Racesafe, a manufacturer and seller of bespoke equestrian racing silks, has invested in an HP Stitch S300 from textile specialist RA Smart.
Based in Northamptonshire, UK, Racesafe has a 50-year history of producing equestrian clothing, accessories and safety products to retailers and customers across Europe. Racing silks are made individually to order, with a rider choosing their perfect personalised colours.
As Racesafe expanded with more direct-to-customer sales, it quickly became clear that its existing technology could not keep up. Specifically, the team experienced issues matching colours, typically using physical swatches.
HP reseller RA Smart recommend the HP Stitch S300, a digital dye-sublimation printer ideal for accurately colour-matching sportswear designs. At the highest standard of racing, sponsors expect their brand and corporate colours to be replicated perfectly, while distinctive colours distinguish families and riding owners - essential in competitions at every level. Even riders who do not compete may want customised gear.
The Stitch was installed in early 2020 and immediately made an impact on colour-matching processes.
"Since installing the HP Stitch there are now far fewer hold-ups in that process," comments James How, director of Racesafe. "We can now, accurately and consistently, replicate colours and people's branding. And from a time point of view, that's massive. It's quite easily shaved a week off turnaround times.”
According to JP Sheffield, a Racesafe customer, custom equestrian clothing makes riders stand out when in the open. "Riding silks are really important in three-day eventing because people like to be noticed, they like to be seen as they're going cross-country. Especially the younger generation, they seem to like the more colourful ones.”
As the business continues to develop its e-commerce offering, the introduction of the Design Your Own customisation tool to Racesafe's website offers an opportunity for customers to add personal or commercial touches. The HP Stitch printer ensures that the depth and shade of colours match the customer's expectations.
"The future of Racesafe is hopefully very exciting. The Racesafe brand will continue to grow," says James How. "The HP Stitch and customisation is fundamental to that, a really important part of the next 50 years."