Printwear

December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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72 | PRINTWEAR D EC E M B E R 20 1 4 part due to the easy setup, clean up, and overall labor. Where other disciplines would take a profit hit, di- rect-to-garment can deliver without much sacrifice to the bottom line. OLD SCHOOL, NEW TRICKS For mediums that have been around for much longer, many of the recent develop- ments come not necessarily in the equipment itself but in the accessories that help spe- cific jobs go to the next level. In the case of screen print- ing, says Mark Vasilantone, Vastex International, it's the screen exposure unit that is currently elevating the craft. In the past, all units used fluorescent lighting or metal halide lighting. Today, LED lights are also available. Ac- cording to Vasilantone, this particular type of light pro- vides faster exposure times; sharp, fine-line, and halftone details; and less energy con- sumption than older styles of bulbs. In addition, he says that LED bulbs generally last from 50,000 to 100,000 hours, greatly re- ducing the cost of replacement bulbs and time spent changing them out. According to Levy, a great example of add-on technology propelling apparel deco- ration, and embroidery in particular, are the advancements made in laser technology on embroidery machines. Not only does the ability to cut material directly on the sub- strate save time and costs, it allows decora- tors to get creative with their patterns and effects. With heat presses, it is, again, the lit- tle things that have helped decorators go above and beyond in recent years. One such upgrade is an integrated laser system, Stahls' Hotronix's Robinson says. Lasers help align shirts on the platen as well as Technology Trends Increased user inter- face allows customers to participate in the de- sign creation process in an online store. (Image courtesy InkSoft)

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