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Group101 acquires new MTEX 5032Pro direct-to-textile printer to expand its offer

With the MTEX 5032Pro, Group101 is now able to print directly onto a range of textiles including stretch fabric for display frames.

4th July 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Essex


Wide format print and signage specialist Group101 has expanded its offer with a recent investment in an MTEX 5032Pro direct-to-textile printer, in order to deliver new soft signage solutions and to create ‘trussing’ for stages at gigs and festivals, and fabric backdrops for theatres.

The company sees this investment as an important and logical step in its development, since it was founded as a canvas printer by chief executive James Sahota seven years ago. The company’s quick growth made it relocate into bigger premises twice, and after around two years introduce larger scale signage machines including a CNC cutter. Finally, the company settled in a 10,000 sqft facility last year, which also now houses its new MTEX 5032Pro.

“While we started out serving both trade and direct customers, we’re now a trade-only supplier, working mostly with signmakers, other printers and range of design agencies,” said James. “It’s a great arrangement as it means our customers know that we’re not a competitor for their business and we can work together with our clients to develop new applications to meet their customers’ requirements.”

New possibilities

With the MTEX 5032Pro, Group101 is now able to print directly onto a range of textiles including Airmesh vent fabric (for fencing banners, cafe barrier graphics, crowd control railing graphics, building wraps, banners, displays, exhibition graphics, point of sale signage, etc.), backlit fabric, blackout display fabric for where zero light shine through is needed, and stretch fabric for display frames.

With the MTEX 5032Pro, Group101 is now able to print directly onto a range of textiles. © Group101

James added: “The MTEX 5032Pro is a totally different beast from your standard wide format printer. It’s a bit like the difference between driving a car and flying a plane – there are more factors to consider than when you’re just loading a roll of vinyl or a board, such as how the material behaves, and the effects of heat, tension and torque,” commented James.

Stretch fabric display frames

James and a couple of his operators have learned to operate the printer, and while they offer a range of products, the most popular are the stretch fabric display frames, according to the manufacturer.

“The stretch fabric display frames and pop ups are like a sock you pull around the frame – and they can have a massive impact at up to 6 x 3m. We do the finishing too so we supply a complete solution, with bespoke display shapes if requested,” explained James. “With the fabric we use customers can wash the material at 30 degrees to keep it clean and the displays can be packed up and carried over your shoulder in a bag similar to a rucksack.”

Group101 is using its new MTEX 5032Pro to deliver new soft signage solutions including ‘trussing’ for stages at gigs and festivals. © Group101

“At the other end of the scale we can also now produce theatre backdrops on fabric rather than a foamex board, with a 15-20m seamless graphic that companies can fold up and put away.”


“As a fairly small and approachable team we build up a trust with our customers which means they’re able to get us involved as a consultant at the start of a new project and ask us what we can do to help them deliver the best solution for their client,” James continued.

The stretch fabric display frames produced by Group101 on the MTEX 5032Pro are said to have a massive impact at up to 6 x 3m. © Group101

“Thanks to our new soft signage solutions the MTEX is becoming a firm favourite with our network of trade clients. With our exceptional prices, a comprehensive knowledge of all things print and state of the art finishing department, it’s no wonder our trade fabric printing department is growing month on month.”

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