2014 Resource Directory

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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38 | Printwear M i d - M a rc h 20 1 4 20 1 4 M i d - M a rc h Printwear | 39 How To... diversify wiTH sublimaTion aren't getting that business because you don't have the capabilities to produce it. And there is another twist. Since customers are going to other sources for other items, they may find a shop that can service more of their needs, including the goods you were already supplying. Thus, you may lose customers in the long run. Therefore, if you are an embellisher of any kind, you need to pay close attention to the full spectrum of needs that each customer has and try your best to get all of their business rather than just a small portion. The key here is diversification of services so you can produce a much larger range of products on-demand and in small runs as needed. Sublimation can fill that need. Sublimation 101 For the most part, sublimation is a digital printing process that allows anyone to quickly and easily apply high-resolution, full-color graphics to a wide variety of hard and soft goods such as plaques, awards, iPhone covers, flip flops, flags, signs, photo panels, clocks, tiles, coasters, mouse pads, mugs, poly performance apparel, and a whole lot more. On the surface, sublimation looks a lot like some of the other digital heat transfer processes, but it's what goes on below the surface that separates sublimation from all other decoration technologies. The sublimation process actually dyes the substrate through molecular bonding. Images are permanently embedded into the surface of the item being decorated— no scratching, peeling or cracking. And, in the case of apparel, that means no fading either, despite repeated launderings. Not only is sublimation a simple and effective process, it's also quite reasonable in cost with ink averaging less than $0.01 square inch. For example, the Ricoh 3110 printer has ink costs of $0.007 per square inch, which means an 8" x 10" full color image will run about $0.56 in ink to PW_MidMarch14.indd 38 2/28/14 1:26 PM

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