April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 81 LASER PRINTER TRANSFERS Like inkjet transfers, this technology has been around for a long time. In fact, it predated the home iron transfer. It was originally designed to run in a color copier and was a saving grace for many copy shops hit by the home printer boom. Once inkjet printers hit the market, laser transfer use declined in the average garment deco- rator's shop. Now, with new improvements in both transfer paper technology and the release of laser printers with white toner capabili- ties, laser transfers are making a comeback. Laser transfers, like their cousin the inkjet transfer, have several different paper options, like light and dark garment selections, but also a "weedless" version. This means that you can print an A-sheet, match it to a corresponding B-sheet, and press the opaque white background to only the area that was printed. Combined with the white toner that was originally printed on the A-sheet, this makes for a bright white without trimming the background. Due to the toner and polymer being pressed onto the gar- ment, you can create special effects by adding hot stamp foils and faux flock. Because of the heat involved with the laser printer process, not every printer will work with every paper. You need a printer that is going to run as cool as possible. The straightest path from the paper tray to the finished tray is ideal. This specialized printer is a bit costlier but is worth it since you will not ruin sheets of transfer paper and replace laser printer drums. With this process as well, the transfer paper is the magic. Above: Laser printer transfers can be used on both hard and soft goods. (Image courtesy Coastal Business Supplies Inc.) Above right: Laser transfers are available in a variety of special effects, including foil. (Image courtesy Aaron Montgomery) Right: Options such as light and dark garment papers and weedless versions are available. (Image courtesy Neenah Paper) PROS: • Fast print speeds • Self-weeding on dark garments • With white toner, you can get bright whites similar to D2 printing CONS: • Heavy hand on both light and dark garments • Lacks washability compared to D2 • High transfer paper cost, espe- cially for weedless products Markets: Promo- tional garments, bling/ specialty creations, and corporate wear. TIP: Try to incorporate the garment color into your design and let it show through. Avoid big, solid colors where possible. This will make for a softer hand and improved washability. LASER PRINTER

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