Kardem Tekstil, which produces apparel for world-famous brands, achieves digital printing advantages with Mimaki's price/performance focused TS55-1800 sublimation transfer printing machine. Making a (d)evolution in textile production, TS55-1800 turns into an ideal solution for Kardem Tekstil with its high performance.
Kardem Tekstil, one of the most important suppliers of global fashion and clothing brands, increases its brand value with its successful market studies. The company, which started its activities in Istanbul with 1990 personnel in 30, has become a strong garment manufacturer with export-oriented studies and new investments. The company, which has been producing through workshops for many years, opened its first factory in Smederova, Serbia in 2016. In 2017, Kardem Tekstil opened the Keşan Factory in Edirne, thus turning into a fully integrated garment manufacturer. Serving global brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Bershka, Inditex Group, H&M and Ralph Lauren, Kardem Tekstil is considered one of the pioneers of the Turkish clothing industry with its vision and increasing power in the market.
Kardem Tekstil, which has a monthly production capacity of 2 million pieces of clothing, makes a significant contribution to the Turkish economy by exporting 98% of its production. Keşan Factory, which is considered the production base of the company, has all the interfaces such as cutting, sewing, embroidery, printing, quality/control and shipment with 600 employees, mostly women. Factory Manager Raşit Akgör said that the top fabrics entering the facility come out as the final ready-made garments. Noting that they attach great importance to sustainability as well as quality production, Akgör said; “In 2020, our factory has reached a self-sufficient energy power by switching to a 100% solar energy system. Being a 100% environmentally friendly factory represents an important step. We continue to take the necessary steps to become a 'clean production' and sustainable vision partner for the major players of the fashion and clothing industry.
Changing consumer demands make digital printing mandatory
Expressing that there has been a serious transformation in both consumer preferences and production methods in the textile and apparel industry, Raşit Akgör summarized how they decided to invest in digital printing; “In the past, there was high volume production for a profitable business and the standard, limited pattern/pattern variety it brought. However, today, the volume of orders is lower, delivery times are shorter, and more diverse products are demanded than ever before. It is not possible to produce them only by traditional methods. Although the traditional screen printing method continues, it is no longer sufficient for these increasingly special demands of customers. The efficiency of digital printing at fast, high quality and low/medium volumes has been a new solution for us. In our research in this area, we have seen that Mimaki is the best in the market. We already have machines of many Japanese brands that we use in production. We have great confidence in Japanese technology and engineering. Therefore, in the second stage, we focused on which Mimaki model we should choose.”
Explaining that the TS1800-55 sublimation transfer printing machine is the most ideal solution for them, both with its print quality and efficiency and with its 1800 mm printing width, Akgör mentioned that the installation was carried out quickly by the Mimaki dealer in the first days of 2022. Akgor; “Currently, production of planned orders is underway, so we have not yet used our new press for finished products. However, after the installation, we started to take trial prints on the TS55-1800 for the new season products. Together with our design office, we make applications for the final products in these prints and we send these samples to the brands we work with. Frankly, I can say that this process went well as we expected. We have not received any negative feedback from our customers regarding our prints. Depending on the orders from our customers, we plan to use the TS2022-55 in the actual production of new orders from the second half of 1800, without interruption.”
Akgör informed that many products such as dresses, tights, coats, sweatshirts and tulle, printed with the TS55-1800, will meet with the fashion and retail market in the coming period.
“Mimaki TS55-1800 was the right investment”
Raşit Akgör stated that the weight of digital printing in their apparel production will initially be 5%, but this share will increase rapidly, adding that digitally printed collections mean more options and less cost. Akgor; “A design with 50 colors in a collection is almost impossible to achieve with screen printing, the high cost and process that will result add to the difficulties. In addition, there is the waste cost of the high amount of test printing to reach the correct color value. On the other hand, digital printing offers us new possibilities with its short, fast and error-free production as well as an almost endless amount of color options. The cost of digital printing is unbeatable for low-volume or multi-colour jobs. The quality prints we made with the TS55-1800 at 1200 dpi resolution and the unit costs we achieved show that we made the right investment.”
Stating that the 55 mm printing width of the TS1800-1800 sublimation transfer printing machine provides an increase in productivity and a decrease in costs, Akgör explained the advantage they have achieved as follows; “The processes come to us with a width of 180 cm, and we used to be able to use 160 cm for standard printing machines, so at first, 20 cm wasted on the fabric. This loss of fabric edges has ended with the TS55-1800. In addition, the 180 cm width has increased our productivity as it allows to print more parts at once. Considering the workload that will increase in the coming period, this advantage will come to the fore even more.”
Saying that they were impressed by the strong performance of the TS55-1800, Akgör underlined that this sublimation printing machine can work 7/24 with its strong structure. Akgör continued his words as follows; “Continuous and unattended printing saves us both time and money. Standard rolls need to be changed daily. For this, it is necessary to constantly assign a staff. However, we can work without interruption for a longer period of time with a larger roll. In this regard, Mimaki Mini Jumbo Roll Unit came into play. Thanks to this feeding unit, a longer uninterrupted and unattended printing power kazansteep. Even when the working hours are over and the personnel goes home, the TS55-1800 continues its work and completes its work. We will need larger paint bottles in the next step. Thus, all our equipment will be ready for the machine to work non-stop.”
Mimaki original paints meet expectations easily
Explaining that they used Mimaki's original Sb614 inks for printing, Raşit Akgör stated that they were very satisfied with the printing results. Akgor; “In printing on transfer paper, dye is as important as the machine. We have a very good printing machine and equally good inks. First of all, the saturation of the dye and the transition of the colors to the transfer paper and to the polyester fabric after the calender process are quite successful. There is no deviation or fading in colors. By adjusting the number of passes in printing, we get the glossy or matte colors we want, no matter how challenging. In addition, we do not experience cracking, shedding and similar problems after printing. The friction, perspiration and washing fastness tests we perform for use easily meet the success criteria we want.”
Since they are export-oriented, it is more important for Sb614 paints to have ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX certificate. kazanEmphasizing that he is a good person, Akgör said that all documents showing that his products are sensitive to the environment and human health are presented to customers.
Saying, “As Kardem Tekstil, we do not manage quality, we produce quality from the first step”, Akgör added that the TS55-1800 has increased both its capacity and printing quality in this process, so they ordered to buy another one from the same printing machine.