As a machinery and solution supplier, a very important customer base for R A Smart is our Educational market. We are committed to supporting the next generation of textile designers are are actively involved with all design Colleges and Universities in the UK and Ireland.

These include the likes of The Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Glasgow School of Art as well as colleges even further afield with the likes of The Philadelphia College of Science and Technology, Academy of Arts San Francisco and the Danish Design School in Copenhagen.

Our strong links with education have seen equipment supplied by RA Smart being used by graduates finishing their diplomas and leaving university to embark on a career in design and, in many cases, starting their own business.

Whether it’s a simple hand textile print table that’s required or a complete digital print facility, RA Smart is able to equip design studios of any size, and our expert knowledge of the printed textile and graphics industry means we can work closely with technicians and lecturers to ensure the print equipment supplied meets the requirements of specific courses and any special applications.

Based on the foundation of these long-established relationships, we decided to dedicate two days last week to hold Exclusive Education Open Days for our University and College customers.

The days started at Hybrid Services (Mimaki's UK Distributor) where staff from Universities and Colleges all over the UK were welcomed with tea, coffee and breakfast snacks. Following on from a brief introduction of what to expect from the day ahead, the group was split into two and began to explore the vast array of machinery in Hybrid's expansive demo suite.

The attendees were able to see the absolute latest in Mimaki Digital Print Technology, including their 10 million colour 3D printer and brand new TS55-1800 Dye Sublimation solution. It was great to be able to showcase such a wide range of technologies available from Mimaki and create multiple samples to inspire their University colleagues with on their return.

After a full morning at Hybrid, it was time to make the short trip over to R A Smart via the complementary transport we laid on. Upon arrival at Smart's, attendees were able to take a moment to reflect over the morning's activities during a spot of lunch and refreshments in the brand new extension to our demo suite. After the lunch break, the group was split into two again - this time the first group experienced product insights in the demo facility whilst the second embarked on a factory tour to see what goes on behind the scenes.

Members of our team from the servicing, training, machinery and fabric sales were on hand during the product insights to answer any questions our customers may have. We also played host to premium RIP software provider AVA who were there to showcase their powerful colour management solution in conjunction with Mimaki's TX300P-1800 Direct To Textile printer.

Following on from the insights, it was then time to explore our facilities and see what goes on at R A Smart behind the scenes. The groups were granted an 'all-access' pass and were guided through every department of the business learning both how we operate today but also the history of our 46-year-old family run establishment.

Starting in our screen manufacturing area then heading through to digital print, weave, sew & cut, screen print and fabric finishing the visitors were able to witness the breadth of our operation and understand better our rich heritage as one of the UK's largest textile printing facilities. After the tour, each guest was provided with a 'goodie bag' to remember their day and transport was provided back to Hybrid for those who wanted it.

The two days, which were the first of their kind for R A Smart & Mimaki, proved to be a tremendous hit. It was brilliant to see so many of our valued Education customers attend and even better to know that they found the days both enjoyable and informative, cementing our position within the sector even further. Of course, any of our customers are able to request a demo of the solutions we provide and can do this by contacting us on 01625 576231 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..