June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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68 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 6 I f you are looking to position your embroidery shop to offer more cre- ative and innovative products, dra- matically increase production, and automate traditional processes so they are less time consuming and higher quality, you are a candidate for a laser bridge machine. Although you can build a laser bridge over a multi-head as small as six heads, a mini- mum of 10 heads is recommended to get the best return on your investment. This doesn't necessarily mean a 10-head ma- chine, but a combination of multi-heads that totals 10 is the best setup to maximize a laser's benefits. Adding a laser bridge will dramatically in- crease your shop's capabilities. You will be able to do a wider variety of appliqué tech- niques such as distressed, reverse appliqué, intricately detailed, and multilayer work. You can also etch on things like polyester fleece, denim, neoprene, and wood. There are a wide variety of promo- tional products that can be en- graved or etched with a laser bridge. POTENTIAL MARKETS If you are already doing promo- tional product work or creating appliqués or other items, the laser bridge will speed it up. If you are interested in branching out into new markets, you will have a lot of options to consider. You can use a laser bridge for emblems. Simply hoop a big piece of twill; the em- broidery machine sews out the emblems, and the laser machine cuts out the indi- vidual pieces. Catalog companies have also found a la- ser bridge to be ideal when they are doing appliqué monograms or names on purses, pillows, children's clothing, aprons, and lug- gage. A laser bridge can be mounted over multiple single-head machines and is easily programmed to do a different job at each machine. For boutique and fashion markets you can even use the laser to do perforations and cutting. Consider cutting out stars across the back of a denim jacket, or some type of floral design on a women's T-shirt. Ed Balady is president of Deer Park, New York-based BITO USA, a distribu- tor of the Proel line of embroidery and standalone lasers as well as Millennium digitizing software. He is also co-owner of Proel TSI, the manufacturer of the Proel line. He has been in the industry since 1985 selling embroi- dery machines and related equipment. To reach Balady, you can email him at or visit What to Expect When Adding a Laser Bridge Learn how adding a laser bridge can change your business and impact your profitability B Y E D B A L A D Y

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