June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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EMBROIDERY BUSINESS 60 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 5 S ince laser etching was introduced to the apparel decorating market in the early 1990s, the appeal of its capabilities and opportunities have continued to grow. Its unique look and ability to decorate a variety of substrates give decorators new reasons to consider this ap- plication. For those who are unfamiliar with la- ser etching, simply put, it's the process whereby a laser burns away the surface of a substrate to create a permanent marking. "The light from a laser is concentrated into a microscopic point," says Henry Bernstein, president of Three Driveway Media, a mar- keting and consulting company specializing in the decorated apparel industry in Solon, Ohio. "It etches art with pinpoint accuracy. In fab- ric applications, the surface fibers are modified and concentrated, which results in a darker ap- pearance on synthetic materials. By adjusting the power of the laser at different strengths and having it make multiple passes, different shades are created within the same design." One advantage of laser etching is that it doesn't require the use of consumables, such as thread, ink, or carrier paper. Moreover, it can be done without hooping, screen prep, or heat pressing. In addition, the process takes only seconds and can be used for hard-to-decorate locations, such as sleeve edges or collars. This process also generates no waste products. Ed Balady is president of Deer Park, New York-based BITO USA, a distrib- utor of the Proel line of embroidery and standalone lasers as well as Millennium digitizing software. He is also co-owner of Proel TSI, the man- ufacturer of the Proel line. He has been in the industry since 1985 selling embroidery machines and related equipment. To reach Balady, you can email him at or visit Let's Laser Etch Expand your offerings with laser etching b y E d b a l a d y Let's Laser Etch n Intermediate

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