July '12

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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WIDE-FORMAT PERSPECTIVES for apparel decorating migrating to large-format dye sublimation for several reasons. The most obvious is the ability to do all-over prints for large shirts. Additionally, we are seeing a strong market for imaging on bolts of fabrics for cut-and-sew garments. The other reason small format users are moving to large-format apparel imaging is that the cost of ink is far less when purchasing for large-format dye sub printing. Once a small-format user understands the economics of ink pricing, they tend to switch to printers larger than forty-two inches. "We have seen a tremendous increase in users who were using small format printers " — DAN BAREFOOT, GRAPHICS ONE "Wide format sublimation enables users to put multiple prints in different locations in one cycle of production. Instead of printing one location, then another, and another, and then a fourth location on the front, you're able to create a big print in all four locations at once. So, production-wise, that becomes a whole lot more cost effective than having a small printer and a small heat press that can only put one image on one location at a time. If there are four separate images on the front of the shirt, it would take four times longer on a small format system than it would on a large for- mat. It becomes a production tool as well as a new capability tool. " — JIMMY LAMB, SAWGRASS INK So what does the future hold for wide- format sublimation in decorated apparel? "In terms of image quality, softness of hand and profit margin, dye " sublimation offers a very unique solution. There has been considerable development in the technology in recent years. The objective has been, and will continue to be, to simplify the sublimation process to reduce costs and improve productivity. — DAVID HAWKES, ROLAND "In three years, I would say that the vast majority of screen printers will have wide-format sublimation systems. It's going to be taken for granted, much like it's taken for grant- ed that every trophy shop in America has a sublima- tion system. All it takes for a screen printer to get into sublimation is a competitor to get a machine. " — DAVID GROSS, CONDÉ SYSTEMS 94 | PRINTWEAR JULY 2012

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