July '12

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Once the artwork has been created, RIP software then communicates the design from the computer to the cut- ter. That is the sole purpose of the RIP. Most cutters come bundled with this software. When it comes to machines, there are many different options to choose from, including a vinyl cutter, plotter, and/or laser. You can find all the different vari- eties and brands by attending an NBM Show (go to to register) or by looking at the advertisers in this magazine. Once the goods are in place, put- ting specialty materials in production is fairly simple. The media comes in rolls, typically sold in 15" to 20" in width, and as little as 1-yard rolls to as high as 50-yard rolls. It doesn't vary much from working with more tra- ditional cutter materials. The biggest difference is that specialty materials can be thicker than basic materials, which requires additional pressure to cut properly. A simple adjustment on the cutter will do the trick. WHY HEAT-APPLIED MATERIAL? The industry offers many ways for decora- tors to add special effects to their offerings, and each technology stands on its own mer- its. The great thing about using SFX heat applied material to custom cut designs is that it allows users to make money, regard- less if the order is for one piece or a thou- sand. In terms of production time, a lot is tied up in loading the material. It takes a minute or two to switch out materials. But, all it takes to send the artwork from the com- puter to the cutter is the press of a button— very easy! The time it takes to cut depends on the detail of the artwork and the size. The same is true when weeding: the more detailed and sizable the artwork, the more time it After you get some experience, the sky is the limit. You can take glitter, sparkle and fashion to new heights. See where Melissa Carmichael with Pleasure Girl Western Wear's creativity took her (above). There are no rhinestones on this jacket. It is all simulated with Glitter and Sparkle Films. will take to weed. This needs to be taken into consideration when pricing the job. While high volume is possible with cutter materials, it is important to look at each job individually. For example, when it comes to basic spot colors, it may make sense to or- der screen printed transfers. Price out both scenarios to see which makes most since for the job at hand. Typically, the price differ- ences are competitive. However, one of the reasons there is more profit in the specialty materials is its perceived added value. A CUT ABOVE Once a shop starts creating more interest- ing looks with these specialty materials, it's difficult to settle on giving any customer a plain design. Provide clients with a master- piece everyone can be proud of and they'll not only be impressed, but addicted and coming back for more. Separate your busi- ness from the competition with this simple media and increase profits in the process. pw Use INFO # 6 MARKETPLACE DISPLAY ADVERTISING The Marketplace, contact Diane Gilbert 800-669-0424, ext. 297 To advertise in 2012 JULY PRINTWEAR | 71

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