Printwear

October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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22 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5 Wayne Potter has more than 25 years of experience in the screen, lithographic, and gravure printing of heat transfers and industrial marking devices. He is a pio- neer in the area of digital heat transfer papers. Potter has spent most of his career in sales, developing new business, managing marketing, and writing technical trouble-shooting articles. Up through early 2012, he was vice president marketing development at Air Waves Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. Currently, he is senior sales executive for Joto. Production Pairs GRAPHICS HOT SPOT B Y W A Y N E P O T T E R I n physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In life, there are two sides on every coin. Every single transaction has two effects. When we sell, the customer pays and in return they get a T-shirt, decorated phone case, or another piece of decorat- ed promotion. In this simple transaction the customer's cash balance decreases by the value of your sale, while at the same time your in- ventory value goes down and your cash up by the same amount. Yes, your business grows two by two. With all of this talk of twos, you won't be surprised to learn that there are two machines every small-scale decorator should have in their business. Regardless of all of the other equipment you might acquire, a digital printer and vinyl cutter are vital to growing your business. Many people I talk to—including seasoned operators— are surprised to learn that small-scale custom printing on both dark and light T-shirts can be done by adding just two pieces of equipment. I like to call them, Production Pairs. PRINTER OPTIONS Let's take a look at what you can expect if you employ a digital printer and cutter in your business. Whether a color laser printer or state-of-the-art inkjet machine, the printer is the heart of small-scale personalization. Whether printing one shirt for a customer on-demand or 20 shirts for a school soccer team, the printer can do it. Today, there are numerous digital paper offerings, both laser and inkjet, that when run through one of the new digital printers will allow you to print on-demand and make a handsome profit in the process. If you are just decorating white and light garments, there are polymer and non-polymer digital heat trans- fer papers that can produce full-color heat transfers. Although most photo-electrostatic printers will do the job, it's not often you find one laser printer that will image a wide variety of transfer media. Worthy of mention is a new offering from Oki Digital. The new C831TS Digital Textile Transfer Printer is engineered for small-scale decoration with heat transfer papers. To my knowledge, it is the only desktop laser printer engineered specifically for the heat transfer mar- ket. With a straight-through paper path, this printer accepts most digital heat transfer papers for a diverse group of produc- ers. This machine can produce as many as six 11" X 17" full-color heat transfers per minute. At these speeds, it will be hard to keep up pressing with a single heat transfer press. Early indications of toner usage show promise of an average $0.90 heat transfer cost. I am frequently asked, "Is ink- jet or laser better?" My answer is always the same: They're different. With the many inkjet heat transfer pa- per offerings, printing full-color heat transfers is as easy as loading the paper input tray. Inevitably, the question of washfastness comes up in every conversation about inkjet heat transfer papers. The general perception is that laser is so much better than inkjet when it comes to durability. Technically speaking, the fused laser dry toner should last longer in the wash than ink- jet inks. However, in practice, the real question is what is ac- ceptable. Most contemporary inkjet heat transfer papers were are surprised to learn that small-scale custom printing on both dark and light T-shirts can be done by adding just two pieces of equipment. I like to call them, Production Pairs. and cutter in your business. Whether a color laser printer or state-of-the-art inkjet machine, the printer is the heart of small-scale personalization. Whether printing one shirt for a customer on-demand or 20 shirts for a school soccer team, Today, there are numerous digital paper offerings, both laser and inkjet, that when run through one of the new digital printers will allow you to print on-demand and make a handsome profit To my knowledge, it is the only desktop laser printer engineered specifically for the heat transfer mar ket. With a straight-through paper path, this printer accepts most digital heat transfer papers for a diverse group of produc ers. This machine can produce as many as six 11" X 17" full-color heat transfers per minute. At these speeds, it will be hard to keep up pressing with a single heat transfer press. Early indications of toner usage show promise of an average $0.90 heat transfer cost. I am frequently asked, "Is ink jet or laser better?" My answer is always the same: They're different. With the many Inevitably, the question of washfastness comes up in every conversation about inkjet With printer and cutter capabilities, a shop can produce a number of decorated goods. (All images courtesy the author) ● Beginner

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