May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 44 of 122

40 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 6 PRESSING MATTERS Traditional weeding can be sped up by heating the backside of the material when weeding, specifically when heat-reactive transfer films are hot peels. New equipment advances play to this heat-reactive production and are designed to provide a large, safe, heated surface for weeding. Additionally, with an equipment investment in a laser cutter, weeding can be eliminated entirely on some designs. The laser utiliz- es an etching technique called raster ablation, etching away any areas of the art design specified as RGB 0,0,0 from the film, as long as the proper speed and power settings are used. This method of processing fine details, which were otherwise unachievable, are now possible. To provide clarity, three types of cutting are possible with a laser: kiss cutting (through the film but not through the carrier), die cut- ting (through all layers), and raster ablation (the etching away of film and adhesive completely). The combination of these cutting meth- ods allow for huge gains in efficiency at several stages of the process. For continuous roll cutting, a knife cutter is still preferable and with this style a sharp blade is important. When working with stretch materials or thicker materials, advanced settings such as over- Each roll of film needs to be processed separately. In this instance, the pink and gold layers must be cut one at a time.

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