November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 30 of 120

2 6 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 • Baseball and softball: 4" left chest and 8" back number for adult jerseys and 4" left chest and 6" back number for youth shirts. • Football: 8" front number and 10" back number for adult jerseys and 6" front num- ber and 8" back number for youth garments. • Soccer: 8" adult number and 6" youth number on the back of the shirt or jersey. WORKING WITH TODAY'S CUTTERS AND FILMS Cutters are a natural fit in the small-scale production of numbers, letters, and simple de- signs for athletic apparel. While the process is simple, plotters have grown into sophisticated cutting devices, and the heat-sealable material has moved from the earlier PVC to the more eco-friendly materials, like polyurethane. If you own a good heat press, you can add this process to your value proposition for less than $2,000. For those starting from scratch, add $600 or so for a heat press. If you're testing the water and don't want to invest in equipment, you can purchase heat transferrable num- bers, letters, and designs from several reliable sources. In addition to letters and numbers, you can add high-quality full-color heat transfers to your business package right from your desktop. Several cutter manufactures produce print- and-cut machines that enable you to produce full-color mascots and team logos as well as an array of full-color lettering. Pay special attention to the type of heat transfer flex material you choose. Polyurethane films are the new breeds of heat transfer flex media that are typically thinner and suppler than their PVC counterparts. Polyurethane's soft hand and stretchability make it perfect for decorating athletic apparel. In addition to the comfort factor, polyurethane films are in line with the Consumer Product Safety Informa- tion Act and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 com- pliant, making them kid friendly, which is a strong selling feature. PVC heat transfer films, on the other hand, are generally thicker and less expensive. Being thicker, these films are generally less flexible and do not have the soft hand of the polyure- thane materials. They are also not CPSIA or OEKO-TEX Standard 100 compliant. When choosing this film, consider the amount of time needed for the adhesive to cure before removing the liner material. This is especially important for a multiple-color embellishment. A long wait time is also both- ersome when layering a three-color design. Hot-peel flex films reduce production time and aggravation. Some films can be Graphics Hot Spot | | | | Die-cut lettering and number kits simplify the decoration process for athletic apparel. (Image courtesy the author) Text continued on page 111

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