Impressions Atlantic City Brings Big Stories To the Northeast

March 29, 2024

Late March is a harbinger of windy days, unpredictable temperatures, and the Northeast’s largest apparel decoration show of the year: Impressions Atlantic City.

As it always does, Impressions set up shop at the Atlantic City Convention Center for two and a half days of conferences, seminars, shop talks, demonstrations, and discussions. Here’s what our team saw!

Ink Kitchen Continues To Bring Educational Content

The Ink Kitchen is an industry leader in decoration education and resource building.

A quick glance at the website tells you everything you need to know. This is a platform set up to help novice and expert shop owners through a myriad of scenarios by bringing knowledge and education through seminars, articles, walkthroughs, and video content.

Ink Kitchen Shop TalkImpressions has been able to develop a great partnership with this platform, and it’s always a pleasant sight to see a large backdrop on the show floor that proudly states, “SHOP TALK.”  This backdrop serves as a venue for various Q&A seminars throughout the entire show that allows attendees to take part in educational content from industry professionals, equipment suppliers, supply distributors, apparel houses, technology gurus, and fellow shop owners. Some talks are simple back-and-forth Q&A with a moderator, while others serve as a cross-pollination of thought and ideas between multiple facets of the industry that help the audience understand the bigger picture of a specific topic.

Each Shop Talk culminates in a Q&A segment between the audience and those on-stage, which allows the attendee to engage with experts on a certain topic that may not otherwise find an opportunity to be discussed throughout the event.

Ink Kitchen is also heavily involved in charitable causes in the community surrounding Impressions shows, such as their recent fundraising for Care Closet LBC in Long Beach and Adelaide’s Place in Atlantic City.  These endeavors allow our industry to come together and support wonderful organizations that do good across the community.

Stampinator Highlights New Manual Stamp

StampinatorWe first wrote about the Stampinator in our What We Learned At Impressions Long Beach 2023 blog.

It’s a revolutionary 5-in-1 piece of ancillary screen printing equipment that attaches to the front and rear screen clamps on an automatic press, and is capable of actions such as matting down fibers as part of the pre-print process, in-line heat transfer application, creating a matte finish on traditional screen prints, acting as a flash cure unit and serving as a final cure unit as well.

Introducing the newest product from Slant Engineering, the Stampinator-M.

This Manual Stampinator continues the trend established by its predecessor and brings all of its talents to the manual side of a print shop.

When printing and flashing, you can print your initial white screen, swing it around under the Stampinator-M like a traditional flash unit, hit the foot pedal to stamp flash, swing it back under the white screen for your bright white pop, then finish it off back under the Stampinator-M for a full cure.

Five-color jobs are accomplished by a similar process, with an extra stop under the Stampinator-M mid-run to decrease the buildup of additional colors under the final screens. The Stampinator-M also allows you to run in-line transfers on a manual press with a simple application, rotate, foot pedal, peel process.

Matting down fibers on fleece to decrease fibrillation is simple when including the Stampinator-M as part of the pre-production process.  You can also smooth down your prints during post-production as well.

The Stampinator-M is a welcome addition for a young print shop looking to bring versatility to their manual press, as well as a great diversification tool in a more mature shop’s manual ecosystem.

Vastex Simplifies the DTF Process With Powder-to-Film & Conveyer Dryer Combo

Vastex PTFRather than investing in roll-to-roll automated DTF equipment, some shops prefer to satisfy their DTF needs with existing equipment in-house.  Namely, utilizing their Brother or Epson DTG printers to print film, while the user manually applies the powder and cures the film to complete the process.  Think of it as “DIY DTF.”

Industry leader Vastex has answered the call for this process by building a tabletop Powder-to-Film (or Powder Shaker), PTF-100, system that uniformly coats DTF films with adhesive powder.

Exposing shop personnel to adhesive dust is becoming increasingly scrutinized as health hazardous and asking them to stand over an open container of this substance is not recommended. The PTF-100 solves this issue by containing this powder throughout the application process.

This unit consists of a steel case, with a clear polycarbonate door set at an angle.  It includes two cartridges capable of holding 3lbs. of adhesive powder each. The rear mounted exhaust is built to collect adhesive dust particles and create a negative pressure within the cabinet. The operator can then adjust the position of the powder deflector to accommodate the size of film being coated. The duration of vibration can be adjusted to achieve repeatable results, which allows for uniformly coated DTF films each time.

The PTF-100 can be paired with the D-100 or D-1000 Vastex Conveyor Dryer by sitting on top of one of these units, creating a compact powder shaker/dryer combo.

For shops looking to maximize the use of their existing DTG equipment, these products from Vastex can increase safety and output in the DTF process.

Anatol Mixes It Up With Formulator Series Next To their Volt Automatic

Anatol VoltThe Anatol booth saw great traction with their Volt press on display, alongside their Formulator Ink Mixing series.

The Volt is Anatol’s All-Electric Automatic Press, operating within 6 station/4 color models up to 20 station/18 color models.

Unlike other automatic presses, the Volt uses servo motors for power. The servo motor is a rotary actuator that allows for precise control of angular position, velocity, and acceleration. Essentially, these are “smart” motors that make the operator’s job easier by giving them a more efficient source of production. They provide quiet rotation at high speeds, including free wheel capabilities for manual rotation. The indexer is capable of clockwise, counterclockwise and half indexing at the press of a button.

All print heads are AC electric-driven to enhance smoothness, speed, and power. While pneumatic presses can cause a problematic dip in consistency if air leaks are present, an all-electric press prevents this quality issue from occurring.

Anatol Ink MixingCentral Off-Contract is digitally controlled with 38 settings up to 2/5” from the machine’s touchscreen, while the pallet system provides tool-free locking and a precise four-point leveling system.

Positioned next to the Volt was Anatol’s Formulator Ink Mixing series, which is available in three models, each including a touchscreen control panel.

  • The Formulator Double contains six easy-to-clean, stainless steel mixing blades and accepts the full range of US and international container sizes. Both mixing table’s speed, time and direction can be independently controlled.
  • The Formulator Large accepts containers from one quart up to six gallons and includes three stainless steel mixing blades.
  • The Formulator Mini comes with two stainless steel mixing blades and accepts containers from one quart up to one gallon.

Anatol continues to be an industry leader in efficient engineering. Their Volt automatic is whisper quiet, and their assortment of presses, conveyor dryers, flash cure units, pre-press equipment and accessories bring great diversification to the screen printing landscape.

Hoop Master Shows Off the Collection

Mighty HoopsAs the story goes, in 1983, Midwest Products was operating as a small home embroidery shop known as Midwest Embroidery.  As the company grew and expanded into working with large Fortune 500 companies, it became apparent that a quick and accurate way to hoop items for embroidery was needed.  This led to the development of their own hooping device, which an embroidery machine distributor quickly recognized as being industry-changing and desirable in embroidery shops across the country.

Hoop Master was patented in 1998, and by 2004 was working out of a 17,000 square foot facility to accommodate demand. Today Hoop Master is the #1 selling commercial hooping system in the world.

Leading the way is their Mighty Hoop, which solved the riddle of how to hoop thick items such as work wear, bags, leather, and blankets.  This magnetic hoop was designed to simplify the hooping process without damaging the substrate in question.

At Impressions Atlantic City, to a full crowd at their booth, Hoop Master had most of their catalog on display, featuring hoops, fixtures, and accessories.

Hoop Master does a phenomenal job of identifying which of their products align with specific embroidery machines on the market. This makes browsing their website a simple process of equipment identification to locate the kits, fixtures or guides you may be looking for.

Hoop Master has also designed a FreeStyle Arm to help hoop smaller garments, or specialty items such as cap backs, cuffs, collars, bags, aprons, etc. This arm is included with each fixture purchased, and is custom made for the size of hoop being used.

In the land of industrial embroidery, you’d be hard pressed to find a hooping company more exhaustive than Hoop Master.

Until Next Time!

We hope to see you at your nearest decorator show later this year. Feel free to consult our Decorator Solutions Team landing page for a complete list of our Team’s 2024 event schedule. Happy decorating!