May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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88 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 89 prefer to use a product that is easy to mix (in terms of stirring or color matching) with minimal components or additives. Additives can limit the shelf life of an ink, so such products are often scrapped to en- sure that it does not get mixed with fresh product. By limiting additives, the ink is less likely to change over time in the bucket and it's possible to reuse the ink. (This disposed ink is commonly referred to as the scrap rate. A high scrap rate quickly deteriorates any up- front cost advantage of an ink line.) Also, an ink that has stability in the shipping container reduces production slowdowns in terms of reviving the product for use. The value here is in the cost-saving due to lower scrap rate, quickness to press, and less risk with repeat mixes on colors. Performance in the Screen This, in short, is all about production, and probably the most misunderstood cost-saving factor. When the purchasing agent examines cost, their main concern is price per gallon. You will hear many ar- guments about differences in weight per gallon, yield, and printing through higher mesh to tighten gaps between ink brand costs. But, the most compelling argument has less to do with the cost of the ink and more about what cost savings that particular ink can generate. You soon realize that an ink that costs more per gallon but can produce Graphic durability is very important to the end user. Inks for stretchy performance garments, for example, should stretch with the garment (shown above, right), not crack when stretched (shown above, left). evaluating ink PW_MAY14.indd 88 4/17/14 11:23 AM

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