Tuesday
Mar132018

Epson SureColor F2100 VS SureColor F2000

Written by Lann Tarrant III - IT Supplies Textile Printing Expert

Should I invest in the Epson F2100 or F2000?

Our team just wrapped up the NBM Arlington tradeshow last weekend.  We spoke with hundreds of professional printers in the apparel and signage market, and I even taught a class on the direct to garment process.  Without a doubt, this has been our number one question since the unveiling of the F2100 in January at ISS Long Beach. The market’s number one selling DTG, the Epson F2000, has been the choice of printer for both start-ups and production fulfillment houses alike.


So, what’s the big deal about the newer version of the F2000?

At first glance, the obvious new color scheme and peculiar added “black box” on the back of the printer stand out to those with F2000. Outside of the appearance difference, Epson made some key changes to upgrade performance from the F2000. The most notable of these changes include:

  • Variable drop technology: This allows for better image quality with graphics that have gradient colors. The printer can better control the size of the dot of ink dropped, to ensure a better transition in colors and tone. This can also mean ink savings… who doesn’t want that?
  • Maintenance upgrades:
    • The F2100 comes with an additional white ink filter (the added black box). Anyone who is researching DTG, or currently printing DTG, knows that white ink maintenance is crucial to success. While the F2000 already had a couple filter points for the white ink, Epson added an additional white ink filter for increased protection from clogging nozzles in the F2100.
    • The F2100 promotes even more convenience with its inline solution for maintenance. Translation: no more drops. Currently with the F2000, the operator will put 10ml of solution into the printhead capping station at the end of the day. While it is not that time consuming or expensive, the F2100 eliminates this process by having a solution cartridge in the ink bay system.
  • Double the print modes: The F2000 has three basic print modes, fast, quality, and high quality. All of which allow the printer to move at different speeds. The F2100 gives the operator six different print modes to choose from, including using the highlight white mode that increases speed. The additional print modes allow you to really customize the priorities of each print job you do.
  • Increased speeds: The F2100 has up to 35% faster printing on images using white ink, and twice as fast printing without white ink (because of the new print modes available).

The F2100 is currently $15,995 after rebates, and the first wave of printer deliveries is set for late March/early April. The F2000 is $12,995 after rebates and available now (the lowest price for the printer since its induction).

Inevitably, there will be a large amount of businesses that always want the newest thing. I may actually be one of those people myself (I had to have the iPhone X!). For those currently in production with DTG and have a demand for custom shirts from customers that keep their printers printing all through the week, adding the F2100 makes perfect sense. If you already have an F2000 and need to add another to keep up, the F2100 would be ideal, especially since the included Garment Creator software will allow you to use both models from one computer!

Why would I buy the F2000 now? 

Proven, supported, efficient. Epson has thousands of F2000’s in the states alone. It has outstanding image quality, and great support from Epson. It baffles me that most competitive DTG’s still do not warranty the printhead past the first year. Epson coverage is available for 3 total years. Did I mention it is being sold at the lowest price ever??

If you are just getting into the market, this is your printer. Obviously, the F2100 will work as well, but consider an opportunity to save the money with the F2000 upfront while testing the waters in a market new to your company. With the right accessories, you could be ready to take orders for under $18k. You should expect to produce about 20-25 shirts an hour (dark and white colored shirts) and up to 40-45 shirts if you are not using white ink. This is more than enough capability to get you up and running in the market. Once your demand exceeds what one F2000 can handle, adding an F2100 to your workflow is simple.

The good news is that you cannot go wrong with either printer.

You can learn all the differences and benefits for the F2000 and F2100 by contacting one of our Textile Print Specialists at IT Supplies at (800) 771-9665. We would love to help you find the printer that is the best fit for your business!


Friday
Feb162018

Direct-to-Garment vs. Dye-Sublimation Printing

So, you want to start printing your images on something other than paper, but what technology is right for you? How do you know if you should invest in a direct-to-garment or in a dye-sublimation printer?

There are some key differences between these two methods and the machinery, so let’s break some of them down.

The first main thing you should be aware of is that, as the name implies, direct-to-garment (or DTG) is specifically for (you guessed it) garments. This includes t-shirts, hats, bags, onesies, pillowcases, shoes and more. If you want flexibility to use your prints on hard substrates (wood, metal, mugs, etc.) in addition to soft materials, then go no further. Dye-sub printing is what you need between these two choices. If, on the other hand, textiles will be your medium of choice then DTG needs to stay on the table.

The second thing you should know is how these processes work. DTG printers will print directly onto the material. While still using a heat press to cure the ink (340 degrees Fahrenheit for 70 seconds), the process is a little faster. Dye-sublimation requires you to print your image first to a transfer paper, then press the printed paper, using either a rotary or flat heat press, to the substrate (400 degrees Fahrenheit for varied amounts of time depending on the material).

There is a difference in the ink technology that both printers use. For garment printing, DTG ink will lay on top of the material. The ink for direct-to-garment comes in cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white and these prints will be as durable as screen prints. Dye-sublimation ink is dyed into the garment and becomes one with the material. There is no white ink, only cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Prints made with dye-sub technology will fade over time with UV light exposure.

As far as textiles go, both technologies have different limitations and capabilities. Direct-to-garment printers are capable of printing on cotton, 50/50 cotton/poly blend, bamboo and even silk. However, you should know that the higher the cellulose content in the material, the better the ink will adhere to it which means the image quality and durability increase as well. DTG allows you to print onto any color, so you have more freedom when choosing your fabric. Dye-sublimation works best when the polyester content of the material is highest. The material must be polymer coated or a poly material. The material also must be white for the ink to show up properly, which can limit your choices when choosing what to print on.

Another major difference is available printing area. DTG prints can be up to 16” x 20” while dye-sub prints have a much larger range of print sizes. Dye-sublimation printers come in 44” and 64” sizes, which means you can have a print width of up to 43.77” or 63.6”, giving you the greatest amount of flexibility in what you can print on.

If you’re not sure which process best fits your needs, we would love to explore these technologies further with you to match you with the right printer. Our textile print specialists can go through both processes to make sure that you have the right tools for your business. Click here to learn more about our available printers or give us a call at (800)771-9665. Happy printing!
Thursday
Feb082018

Desktop Photography Printers: 

We understand how meaningful it is to own the entire process of your artwork; from choosing your subject to taking the perfect shot and then finally to printing out the piece that you’ve been waiting to see on paper. That’s why we love these amazing desktop photography printers. They allow you to keep the process in-house and have total control over the finished product without breaking the bank.

These printers offer the highest quality prints that professionals and hobbiests alike will admire.  Whether you are partial to Canon or Epson, we have the printers that will bring your vision to life. We want to help you get the printer you need to start printing all your life’s adventures. 

Take a look at our selection of desktop printers: click here to view Epson desktop printers and click here to view Canon desktop printers!

Thursday
Feb012018

Baryta for Black and White Printing

If there is something to be thankful for in these persisting winter months, it’s the opportunity to take stunning black and white photographs of the winter scenery. When you go to print these beautiful photos, what paper do you use?

 

Baryta paper is known for its ability to provide the feel of classic silver prints. The old silver halide papers used baryta to brighten images as well as prevent unwanted chemical absorption. Today, baryta is used as part of the inkjet receiver layer of a paper’s coating.

 

We love the depth, black density and detail that these papers provide. We put together a sample pack that allows you to try out baryta papers produced by different manufacturers, so you can find your new favorite paper to print your black and white photos on.

 

Don’t know what baryta paper is best for you? Try our Darkroom Paper Sample Pack.
Thursday
Jan182018

NEW - EPSON SureColor F2100 DTG Direct to Garment Printer

Epson SureColor F2100 DTG T-Shirt PrinterShipping in March of 2018, the newest in T-shirt printing and direct to garment technologies from EPSON, the SureColor F2100 DTG Printer! It’s WAY faster, higher quality with smaller ink droplets and includes an inline clearing cartridge. Be the first to see the new EPSON SureColor F2100 printer, we’ll have it at our booth (#2318) this at ISS Long Beach.

Epson SureColor F2100 Standard Edition (Prints on White Shirts)

Epson SureColor F2100 White Edition (Prints white ink on darker colored shirts)

Available at IT Supplies! Give our experts a call today at 1-800-771-9665.