ROQ IMPRESS interview for FESPA News

What are the critical advantages over directly applied decoration? e.g. cost, waste, applicability etc

Yes, all of those are advantages, but also the flexibility and versatility of the ROQ Impress. And of course the production rate of up to 500 per hour, optimizing time and significantly speeding up the manual DTF application process.

What is DTF’s breadth of applications? What will it and won’t it print on?

The ROQ Impress doesn’t print but is built to press multiple types of heat transfers including DTF, screen print, digital/screen hybrid, vinyl, and specialty transfers, making your life easier for those specialty fabrics and hard-to-print items. This powerhouse can handle add-on applications like twill, rhinestones, foil, and more.

What are the limitations of direct to garment (DTG) in comparison?

Although ROQ's DTG machines are among the most advanced on the market, having the best wash fastness due to Dupont's advanced ink chemistry and the also best price vs cost relation in our powerhouse, the ROQ NOW, they do have limitations when it comes to the substrate, which has to be clothing or other fabrics. 

Can you discuss the flexibility and customisation options this method offers for designers?

This ROQ Impress is ideal for not only fashion garments but also sportswear and all other possible heat transfer applications discussed above, all of which allow huge flexibility and customisation options for designers.

Where does DTF sit as a textile decoration method?

In recent years we have seen an exponential growth in DTF as a textile decoration method. Its growth is limited to a niche, but the great flexibility of applications means that this niche will keep on growing beyond fashion garments and sportswear, namely in the gifts, advertising and tourism markets.

Which other sectors can we see DTF growing into?

It will gradually grow in small print local shops whose target audiences are tourism, low-volume advertising and personalization of gifts.

What are the sustainability benefits of DTF and how can these be improved further?

The sustainability benefits of the DTF are very much due to the fact that most productions are for almost immediate consumption, i.e., it doesn't create large stocks which are then sent to various parts of the world to be sold in retail shops. Mostly serves local markets.

How does the quality of prints produced using direct-to-film printing compare to other printing techniques?

It doesn't have the same quality or wash resistance as screen or digital prints, but it's perfectly acceptable.

What measures are taken to ensure the durability of prints over time?

There are two very important things to ensure the durability of prints over time:

One is the quality of the transfers, and obviously the cheapest ones, mostly produced in the Far East, are less durable and sustainable.

The other one is the quality of the heat-press. The added value of the ROQ Impress is that it uses ROQ’s advanced technology and engineering to standardize the pressure and to automate the process of applying transfers using the structure of a circular machine with pallets with rubberized tops to dissipate the heat that the heat presses apply to the substrate, activating the glue, and making it possible elaborate on types of fabric that are difficult to print on screen or digitally.

What advice would you give to businesses or designers looking to implement direct-to-film printing successfully?

To be successful in implement direct-to-film printing, for businesses and designers it is essential to choose a that has laser markers for accurate placement of transfers, is fully programable from the control panel, including recipe selection, and that incorporates a feature for standardizing of the pressure applied by the heat-press.

That will ensure quality and reliability of the heat transfer process.

The ROQ Impress does all that while allowing fast set-ups, pressure, temperature and the time of each heat-press plate adjustment.

It also has an automatic feeder for perfect positioning of the transfers on the different substrates.

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