Printwear

April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Digital transfers are something any garment decorating business needs to have available to meet customers' demands. Fortunately, there are lots of options that do lots of different things, so now it is up to you to find the right mix for your customers' needs. Many companies choose a combination of these items mixed with their traditional methods. Get out and see some of the decorating methods in action, get samples, and do wash tests. Then enter the digital deco- rating world with these great methods. 2 0 1 7 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 83 SOLVENT VINYL TRANSFERS This is a tried and true decorating method that you probably have not heard of unless you are also involved with signs and banners. But, you may be familiar with cut heat transfer vinyl. In this method, you take a roll of vinyl, run it through a plot- ter/cutter, weed the excess vinyl, and transfer it onto a garment. These transfers are very similar, but this time you print the vi- nyl with a solvent-based printer and solvent inks, cut the vinyl, weed the excess, and then mask the product for transfer. This method makes extremely durable transfers that with- stand many washes and retain color well. It is not permanent like sublimation, but it will rival screen printing in washability. The problem lies in the inks being solvents, therefore requiring a special printer that handles corrosive solvent inks. The inks have continued to improve over the years, though, so they no longer have a horrible smell and are not as dangerous. PROS: • Extremely durable and washfast • Versatile decorating method that goes on a lot of garments • Able to print signs and banners with the same equipment CONS: • Weeding vinyl is tedious • Solvent inks smell and are harmful • Since it is vinyl, it has a heavy hand Markets: Workwear, spirit wear, and youth sports garments. TIP: When weeding the vinyl, use a little heat to let the cuts open. The heat shrinks the vinyl slightly and warms up the adhesive, making weeding much easier. SOLVENT VINYL Above: Solvent ink transfers are popular in the sign and banner market but work in apparel applications as well. (Image courtesy Siser N.A.) Right: Solvent ink transfers require a special printer that can handle corrosive solvent inks. (Image courtesy Heat Transfer Warehouse)

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