Odense Municipality: Graphics workshop

Better quality and new possibilities with SureColor

Odense Municipality: Graphics workshop

When Kulturmaskinen (the Culture Machine) in Odense wanted to find a new, flexible T-shirt printing solution, Epson's SureColor SC-F2000 textile printer was the obvious choice. Odense Municipality now has a place where its citizens can print their own T-shirts and invitations, and try out graphic design as a potential hobby.

Kulturmaskinen's offering

Our citizens' workshop is open to everyone, young and old. We're there as mentors and helpers, and the people have the freedom to do as they please . Therefore, the equipment must offer a certain level of user-friendliness and quality,says Ann Larsen, who runs the workshop.

At Kulturmaskinen it's important that the customers can experiment with graphic details so they feel happy with the products they're working with - be it birthday invitations, fun T-shirts or bedding. This means that the machines provided must be modern and easy to use.

Outdated technology

Kulturmaskinen has been in business for five years. It used to be located at Badstuen, but has now moved to the Brandt area. The decision was made to upgrade the technology in the graphics workshop to coincide with the move.

We previously had an outdated solution. The technology required you to first produce a graphic print and then transfer it to the fabric. It was rather challenging in terms of user-friendliness, durability, etc,explains Ann Larsen.

The old technology meant that the final product didn't achieve the quality Kulturmaskinen wanted its customers to experience.

After you'd washed your new T-shirt four or five times, the colours faded and the graphic prints disappeared. The machine was also difficult to use because our customers had to go through a number of different steps to print using the heat transfer process,continues Ann.

Having a printer that could print directly onto fabric and textiles was going to be a clear advantage.

New, flexible solution

As stated before, Epson's SureColor SC-F2000 textile printer was the obvious choice. The F2000 is the first DTG printer, which means it is the first printer that can print directly onto a garment. It has a high print speed and can print a T-shirt in 27 seconds, making production quick and efficient . It's the first time Kulturmaskinen has had such a flexible solution that not only saves time but also offers users the best possible quality.

You no longer need to print on paper, you can print directly onto the material: people come to the shop with cushions and duvet covers - the only limit to what they can print is their imagination,says Ann.

Besides the new possibilities with textiles, the quality of the final product is far better than before. Prints using the old technology lasted 4 or 5 washes before they faded and peeled off, whereas prints using the new technology last 40-45 washes before the graphic fades slightly. The print doesn't disappear like it used to.

Happy citizens

The most important thing for Kulturmaskinen is that citizens are happy and pleased with what they can get locally. It's vital that they can come here and enjoy their hobby.

We get teenagers wanting to try printing T-shirts expressing their own points of view, as well as older women who want a floral print on a sofa cushion. The age range is roughly 12-90 so it's a pretty good representation of citizens using what we have on our offer,says Ann Larsen

User-friendliness is a key requirement of the machines.

They have to be machines that citizens can use themselves, but if they need help we're there of course. It's the citizens' workshop. We're basically there to instruct them in how to use the machines. It's important that the local people are happy with what's there,continues Ann Larsen.

It costs SEK 25 an hour to use the equipment, but a maximum of SEK 50 a day - SEK 50 for a T-shirt and around SEK 50 for the printing. So it's relatively cheap to design your own T-shirt if you're interested in trying your hand at graphic design.

Everyone's welcome. Lots of people come here even if they don't know anything about graphic design. It's a fun hobby to try - and here at Kulturmaskinen we now have the right equipment and the right mentors ready to help,concludes Ann Larsen.