October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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34 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5 W hen you hear the term head- wear in the context of a po- tential order for a customer, do you begin to cringe a little? Do you start to wonder what type of decoration they're going to ask for and hope it's something you can do? Do you immediately begin thinking about all the embroidery machine time it's going to consume for just a little profit? It doesn't have to be that way. With just a specialty heat press, transfer materials, and some creativity, you can be decorating hats in no time, and with very little headache. GET PRESSING Fashion has always driven the decorating industry but that has never been more true than it is today. Retailers are adopting deco- rating methods that we've been us- ing for years, and apparel decorated with heat transfers are appearing on more and more shelves in stores across the country. Headwear is no exception to this trend. Let's start by talking about the tools available for you to start heat printing on headwear, and then we'll talk more about some new applica- tions, driven by fashion, that are making heat transfers a staple in the decorated head- wear market. The first thing you will need to put a heat transfer on a hat is a heat press. Seems obvi- ous, right? But did you know that you need a heat press specifically designed for applica- tion onto caps? A cap press features a curved upper platen that follows the contour of a hat, giving you the ability to apply pressure and temperature evenly across the applica- tion area of your cap. These cap presses are designed to press any of the panels of a cap, although you're traditionally you're going to be decorating the front one or two panels with a graphic. In addition to the cap press, you'll also want to consider some optional attachments. These attachments are all contoured the same way as the upper platen but come in different sizes to give you the ability to load Zach Ellsworth is a lead educa- tor at and manages equipment sales for STAHLS'. He has helped thousands of business owners successfully start and grow their dec- orating business. You can reach Ells- worth at Hot Head Heat transfers for headwear B Y Z A C H E L L S W O R T H Offering heat transfers for headwear opens up a world of opportunities. (All images courtesy STAHLS') Hot Head ● Beginner ■ Intermediate

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