November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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8 4 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 Direct printing + heat transfers utensils, vegetables, fruits, and wine glasses in a painted-wash or water-color design. The graphic was rendered in multiple col- or variations, such as multicolor, spot color, four color, fluorescents, black and white, or even sepia finishes. These variations allowed restaurants to diversify from one another through the presentation of the overall im- age. It was quite the game changer, both visually and economically, when heat trans- fers allowed for the addition of restaurant names to the printed image. Sports-driven imagery is also a good use of transfer and direct-print interac- tion. Reflective name drop heat transfers have long been seen as an excellent way to image apparel worn by road runners and cyclists during nighttime hours (not to mention night roadworkers as well), but in order to qualify as a reflective print, the image must be sustained through a deter- mined amount of repeated wash-and-wear cycles. Decorators can't easily complete this application via screen printing at this time, but they can enter this lucrative mar- ket segment by name dropping a reflective heat transfer onto a screen-printed image. The opportunities for print-and-trans- fer combos do not stop at flat-color im- ages only, though. There are other viable combinations that can increase customer interest and build revenue-earning oppor- tunities, too. For one, adding heat transfers with spe- cial effects and textures to a printed graph- ic often increases the value of the finished print. Overprinting a heat transfer glitter, metallic, or pearlescent transfer ink onto a direct-printed surface—especially if that surface is printed in flat ink—can make a big difference in the perceived value of the finished print. Regardless of the market or particular presentation, combining textile graphics and heat transfers allows both the decora- tor and customer a number of advantages. Not least is the opportunity to diversify a generic stock image and turn it into an instant custom-printed design for another revenue-generating service. pw tiPs for success 1. When originating the artwork for the graphic's print por- tion, make provisions for adding the transfer. It should ei- ther be overprinted or aligned outside of the direct-printed image. 2. In most cases, the transfer graphic doesn't need to fit per- fectly onto the printed graphic. This would make it difficult to align the two. 3. by using art origination, the direct-printed graphic and transfer can be placed onto the design so that any out-of-register placements complement the finished design when applied to the actual garment. 4. Use transfers to print names. Store an inventory and apply to screen printed garments as requested by customers. When a customer has an urgent need for a small quantity of Ts or garments with multiple placements, having inven- tory can save the day. 5. When combining the direct-printed image with the transfer graphic, be sure that the direct-print ink has a transfer release paper completely covering the entire ink surface. Failing to do so allows the direct-print ink to adhere to the hot heat press plate when applying the transfer. 6. When applying puff, glitter, or shimmer transfers to a di- rect-printed surface, make sure that the direct-print inks are cured and will not release easily from the garment during application. 7. To ensure the transfer ink applies easily to an uneven direct-print ink surface, place a transfer release paper sheet over the entire direct print to flatten the ink surface. Heat press the transfer sheet at 375 degrees F for seven seconds to fuse with 40-pound pressure and cool peel the transfer paper from the ink surface after the seven- to 10-second lapse. 8. After pressing the transfer image onto the direct-print ink surface, ink can be made to look distressed or vintage by heat pressing a crushed surface aluminum foil, thin layer of wire mesh, or high-gloss transfer release paper completely or partly over the ink surface to change or destroy its ini- tial integrity. Printing a higher deposit of ink onto the gar- ment or transfer paper adds to the distressed effect. 9. If the intention is to name drop a transfer, highlight the worn and tarnished appearance of the graphic by produc- ing the transfer name in multiple colors, gold, silver, glitter, or metallic ink. This combination of the vintage graphic and the highlighted, sparkling name can increase the overall graphic appeal. 10. Adding a transfer to a printed garment doesn't need to be concentrated to the front of the garment where the graphic design is usually located. by adding a place name or slogan to the reverse side of the garment via the addition of a heat transfer, it immediately personalizes the garment. 11. Keep a heat transfer inventory of inventive slogans or up-to- the-minute media catch phrases for immediate printing. pw

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