October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 O C T O B E R P R I N T W E A R || 65 Which is better for creating transfers: inkjet or laser printing? The first question most prospective buyers ask is, "inkjet or laser?" Those individuals typically want to know the best way to decorate a white or light shirt using digital heat transfer paper. My answer is always the same. There is no good, better, or best relationship; just different. The bulk of the printers sold today are color inkjet printers. Most inkjet printers are rated on a standard doc- ument page of 5 percent coverage for the basis of com- parison. This is obliviously not the type of coverage that our industry encounters on a daily basis, so it is hard to estimate coverage and time from these ISO tests. How- ever, you can anticipate an inkjet printer will take around three minutes to produce a 11" X 17" heat transfer in draft mode. At a higher resolution, it can be as much as 3–5 minutes per transfer. That said, inkjet printers are typically slower than laser technology, and have a higher consumables cost. Laser tech- nology has ruled the roost for years now. Laser printers are reliable, fast, and affordable to operate. You will find a 11" X 17" laser printer will produce three or more heat transfers from a cold start in the same time it takes to print a single inkjet transfer. WAYNE POTTER, JOTO Will a transfer's white ink backer be enough to stop fabric dye migration? It depends on the fabric the transfer will be applied to. If the fabric is white or light in color and the fabric is 100 percent cot- ton or 100 percent polyester, then a white backer can be used. If the fabric color is dark or black and the fabric is 100 percent polyester, then a dye-bleed barrier will need to be used to be sure that over time the dye-bleed mi- gration will not change the transfer colors. CHRIS PLUCK, INSTA Is there a difference between hot-split and hot- peel heat transfers? The term hot peel refers to the application process of the transfer in that you will immediately peel the carrier from the garment after pressing while the transfer and garment are still hot. The term hot split refers to the carrier sheet your transfer is printed on. A hot-split transfer typically does not release 100 percent of the ink after application, which re- sults in a softer hand. JODY MAZADE, HOWARD SPORTSWEAR GRAPHICS EXPRESS INC. Most printers sold today are inkjet printers, but laser printers can be faster and more affordable to operate. (Image courtesy JOTO)

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