Sign & Digital Graphics

January '17

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34 • January 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS found a self-adhesive printable fabric on an import/export website. The inven- tor of that material was in South Korea. Gierlach purchased one roll of the mate- rial and after handing out samples of it at an equipment show in Canada, he real- ized the market for it was unlimited. One man bought the entire roll and then kept coming back for more. Gierlach realized he was onto something and flew out to the factory in South Korea where he signed a one-year con- tract for the U.S. distribution rights for the product. He purchased a full con- tainer of the material. That container sold within a month and Gierlach has not looked back since. The material revolutionized the peel- and-stick fabric industry, he says, because you can't rip or wrinkle it and it doesn't shrink at any temperature. "That's been one of the major selling points. It doesn't matter if it is indoors or outdoors or air conditioned or [is put] through seasonal changes, it doesn't ever shrink. That's why a lot of people switched out of vinyl." The adhesive also won't peel off the paint beneath it when it is removed and it doesn't leave a sticky residue. "They can leave it up for a day or a decade," he says. Photo Tex trademarked the word "StikAbility" to apply to the fabric's ability to stick and be removed with no mess. The company has two patents on the adhesive in the U.S., and it is non-toxic. The material is biodegradable and is fire- resistant. "It keeps reinventing itself into new markets," Gierlach says. He still isn't sure why the inventor of the material gave him a chance. "He could have gone to Fuji or Canon or HP or whatever, but he chose little old me. He knew my passion would be to take this 24/7. I was the first American to go over physically to meet him; the first American in the door," Gierlach says. "They print polyester textile for shirts and pants. He invented the coating to print on top and the adhesive to stick with. The whole thing was timing. I call it a blessing though." Fisher's GF 6732 Apollo backlit fabric in a silicone edged graphics frame. This fabric features an extreme white point and is excellent for retail and trade show SEG prints requir- ing the brightest white possible. It is wrinkle resistant and produces an excellent vibrancy of color. A closeup view of TVF's Supra Fabric Elite backlit fabric. Offering an upscale look and feel, the uncoated face is ideal for dye sub transfer printing and the opposite face offers a print recep- tive coating for direct printing. (Photo courtesy of Top Value Fabrics)

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