By Kacey King
Bio-Racer is a one-stop shop in Western Europe for the design and printing of cycling apparel custom-designed for comfort. When the company was founded in 1984, it invested in screenprinting equipment as its main production source.
“Seven years ago, we were looking for a technique to print smaller jobs, and we started investing in dye-sublimation printing,” says Danny Segers, project manager for Bio-Racer. “Smaller volumes are being requested by our customers, and more colors are used in the requested designs. By introducing digital, we were able to be more flexible in the market.”
The company has a seven-person design team that uses Adobe Illustrator to configure designs that are then sent to Bio-Racer’s three 74-inch Roland FP 740 inkjet printers using a Caldera Visual RIP. Cycling apparel is then printed roll-to-roll onto sublimation paper using Manoukian sublimation ink, then transferred to polyester fabrics (e.g., Lycra). Once the reverse-print has been processed and printed piece by piece, it’s processed roll-to-roll through a Monti Speed Sport sublimation heat press.
“We currently print about 40 percent of our orders digitally,” Segers explains. “We are convinced that this amount will increase even more in the future. The advantages of this technique are huge: the ability to cost-effectively produce small runs, the number of colors we can print in one production run, the small space required for the machines, and the practically unlimited design possibilities.”