June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 J U N E P R I N T W E A R || 77 they have enough business and space to add these additional finishing options," she adds. Many screen printers are starting to get into sublimation and they already have cut-and-sew production in-house. Sign companies have also been attracted to dif- ferent styles of fabric printing for home décor and signage. It wouldn't take much to expand their offerings to the apparel decoration market with the equipment they are already using for soft signage. There are a handful of companies out there who have taken industrial printers and reengineered them so they can print directly on fabrics, but you get better de- tails printing onto paper first and then transferring, Hunter says. That's because each fabric has a different texture to it, so if the fabric is bumpier or stretchier than other fabrics, they might not get the fine lines and details they are looking for. To achieve the look of dye sublimation, they would have to lay extra ink down and they would still have to fix the inks to the apparel using a heat press. "We are definitely seeing more interest. If you look around, a lot of the perfor- mance wear is polyester fabrics," Hunter says. On the apparel and home décor side of things, more products are made from polyester than ever before, so the same equipment that can be used to print T- shirts also can be used to print table-cloths and pillows. Dye-sublimation printers can also be used on promotional products, like mugs and computer mouse pads. Wide-format digital and dye-sublima- tion printers have come down in price and the technology has improved so much that even small mom and pop shops can con- sider expanding their apparel offerings. Many dye-sublimation printers employ high head gap printing that ensures ac- Learn the latest in embroidery from ERICH CAMPBELL ONLY IN ↘ ↘ 855.863.1638 m P OW E R ™ i - S E R I E S DIGITAL APPAREL PRINTER • Industrial strength print heads • Fastest direct to garment single-platen printer in its class • Made in USA globally sourced components SEE OUR PRINTER IN ACTION AT JUN. 24 INDIANAPOLIS, IN BOOTH #1001 042716 1x2v ASI.indd 1 4/27/2016 3:46:34 PM

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