February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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34 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 Josh Ellsworth is an industry expert on apparel customization and General Manag- er of Stahls' CAD-CUT Direct. His portfolio include s a YouTube site ( joshellsworth) with more than 50 educa - tional videos, a blog ( that is updated regularly and consulting PRESSING MATTERS B Y J O S H A N D Z A C H E L L S W O R T H visits that have been made to some of the largest apparel-customization businesses in the U.S. You can reach Josh by email at and you can find him here, on the hot spot, talking about customization beyond the basics in every issue. Tune in for marketing strategies and sales tips in the heat-applied graphics discipline. Zach Ellsworth is a lead educator at and manages equipment sales for STAHLS'. He has helped thousands of business owners successfully start and grow their decorating business. You can reach Ellsworth at I s there anyone that doesn't love music? Maybe. But, it's an ex- tremely small portion of the world. Music has the ability to do so many things. It can evoke all sorts of emotions, gives us the ability to identify with different people who share our love for an artist or particular genre, and it makes for great conversation when we argue about the best songs or bands of an era. Music is something that practically everyone can talk about in our culture. Some people even take the music discussion a step further. They learn the details of the artists' lives, know how band members change over the life of a group, and find out what's really behind the songs. Likely, some of the most heated exchanges happen when you talk about the different incarnations of a band or artist's career. For instance, were Paul and John better after The Beatles in their solo careers, or together in the 60s writing music as Lennon and Mc- Cartney? Or was supergroup Cream better than the sum of its parts? With the way fashion is trending, we can start to ask some of the same questions about heat transfers. Is one method of decoration bet- ter as a standalone, or do multiple textures and looks make for a more impactful design? Today, some of the most popular materials and finishes are being combined to create something new. We could call them Super Transfers, if you will, but are they better? Let's take a look at a couple of these super transfer options and see what you think. FULL-COLOR AND GLITTER Full-color heat transfers have been growing in popularity for the past 20 years. With more vibrant print technologies, thinner printable materials, and improved production processes driving costs down, the demand for full-color decoration has increased. Apparel industry leaders have also played a big role in driving up demand for custom full-color decoration by putting full-color graphics on the shelves of retail stores. With so much popularity, it may be safe to say that full color is the new black. That's certainly the case when it comes to tween and teen apparel. One look at the major teen and tween retailers' websites, and you will find that more than 90 percent of any given retailer's decorated apparel is decorated in full-color. With that in mind, print/cut and sublimation transfers have a huge place in this market. Another trend in transfers has been glitter, which is arguably even Building Super Transfers A step-by-step look at creating multi-dimensional transfers To create a full-color and glitter transfer, first print out the full-color design with a blank spot where the glitter will fill it in. (All images courtesy STAHLS') Next, apply the glitter portion of your design carefully so that both are in registration.

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