April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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10 THE SUBLIMATION REPORT • Spring 2017 • A s technology advances, the methods of decorating apparel and soft substrates also continues to evolve. While all- over sublimation is not completely new to the market, it's a decoration method that has seen numerous changes in the past 10 years. Developments in inkjet and paper technology helped shape where it sits today, but all-over sublimation has also changed in its visibility among decorators. The format has piqued the interest of businesses both at the large, wholesale level, and the startup and entrepreneurial levels. Some shop owners transition into all-over sublimation from small format because of familiarity, while others see intrinsic benefits. A faster art turnaround time helps shops cater to clients used to a fast-paced, e-commerce oriented world, and the minimal waste component of this method also appeals to shops trying to improve their carbon footprint. THROUGH THE YEARS The actual process is still relatively the same since its origin, but equip- ment used for all-over sublimation, and the products that companies print on, have both changed. In earlier years, shops used rotary offset presses with dye-sublimation ink to achieve all-over sublimation. This layout meant that most shops offering the service were typically larger facilities running batch jobs with little customization. The advent of new printing equipment and heat presses helped moved this trend in a different direction, says Dennis Halley, Digital2You. "The availability of inkjet printers and smaller format presses helped open the market up to local entrepreneurs," he adds, pointing out that the market has also shifted to more personalized goods because of this trend. The wider availability of economy-sized equipment, and improvements in Raster Image Processing (RIP) software, also helped push the all-over sublimation format into small and mid-sized businesses. While it's a format frequently used to print T-shirts, other soft promotional goods like tote bags, scarves and socks are also common goods for the process. "I think there's more awareness of (all-over sublimation) now, and people under- stand it more than they used to," explains Chris Bernat, Vapor Apparel. "More and more apparel manufacturers have templates and inserts for these types of soft goods." Everything you need to know about all-over sublimation All-Around Appeal BY MIKE CLARK IMAGE COURTESY CHRIS BERNAT All-over sublimation has piqued the interest of businesses both at the large, wholesale level, and the startup and entrepreneurial levels.

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