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Fabric printing for the cycling sector: the Bicycle Line experience

16 042018

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Comfort, quality and style are the concepts at the heart of Bicycle Line’s daily activities as a leading Italian company in the manufacturing of cycle wear. Mindful of the entire production chain, Bicycle Line has equipped itself with three sublimation printers that ensure the highest standards possible on various different fabrics. Epson machines that best met the company's needs were chosen for the task and the very latest models of these printers will be showcased at Print4All.

Bicycle Line, a leading company in cycle wear, was established in 1987, when Irish racing champion Stephan Roche won the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and World Championship. Since then, 30 years have passed and Bicycle Line has continued its research into new fabrics and technologies, ergonomic dynamics and the identification of different requisites to provide garments with a distinctly Italian style and design, capable of improving performance. In fact, sublimation printing, used predominantly for garment personalisation, is just one of the many innovations developed by Bicycle Line.

After a lengthy and extensive assessment of the offering available on the market, completed by means of various product tests, in 2016, Bicycle Line chose the Epson SureColor SC-F9200, equipping itself with three printers. The PrecisionCore print heads used in these printers represent one of the key advantages for company owners, since they also guarantee excellent printing definition on ultra-thin lines, with detail and precision showing up well on the fabrics following the sublimation process. High productivity is yet another advantage of this model: the three machines work for up 12 to 13 hours per day, printing approximately 700 linear metres, totalling 130 centimetres in width.

The fabrics used by Bicycle Line for transfer printing are polyester-based. Many of these however are not common polyesters but are made from microfibre and are almost always elasticated; to obtain a high-quality product in all respects, it is necessary to use the best and most suitable technologies in all the various phases, from cutting and sheet printing to transfer. The SureColor SC-F9200 is a 64” high-speed large-format sublimation printer, ideal for large printing volumes. It produces prints for transfer onto premium-quality fabrics for clothing, sports equipment, home accessories, advertising banners and flags. Thanks to innovative Epson PrecisionCore technology and the two TFP print heads, it is possible to print at high speed on supreme quality fabrics, characterised by well-defined details and bright colours. With high-density HDK black ink compatible with different types of media for the sublimation process, the SureColor SC-F9200 has two high-capacity cartridge feeding systems, which allow for longer, non-stop print runs without the routine delays associated with the replacement of consumables. Moreover, thanks to the large post-heating unit and optional air-drying system, the printed fabrics can be precisely and easily wound using the designated winding system.

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