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 || 71 Are direct-to- garment printers portable? Can I take them to events? The answer is yes, you can take your di- rect-to-garment (D2) printer to events, but only if you have a printer that was designed from the ground up for D2 printing. To successfully print on-site at events, you will want to consider the following: 1. Ensure you have the ability to keep the printer out of direct sun- light for extended periods of time. Cover your printer when not in use to reduce dust and particulate buildup. 2. Decide if you are going to print on dark garments with white ink, or light garments with color only. If you choose to use white ink on dark garments, I highly suggest pretreating your shirts in advance. Pretreating onsite can add extra work, though a small manual pretreat kit should be avail- able for unforeseen issues. 3. Plan to take orders for drop-shipped items you do not have onsite. If customers want hood- ies, children's shirts, or something you don't have in inventory, don't miss the opportunity to make a sale; sell them the product and decorate it when you return to your shop. 4. Bring a generator. Not every venue will have power; be prepared to generate your own for your printer and heat press. 5. Promote your business and services. With the sale of every shirt, you should have a promo goodies, like stickers and tote bags, that highlights all of your services. 6. Network other opportunities. Having an on-site, full-custom printer is pretty cool. Anticipate discussions about other opportunities and have some documenta- tion ready to promote yourself and your business. JOHN LEDREW, MELCO With the proper prepa- ration, direct-to-gar- ment printers can be used on-site at events. (Image courtesy Melco)

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