August '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 58 of 106

D ecorating on fleece can yield new cus- tomers and larger accounts for some apparel decorators. But if it's a first- time job, there are some considerations a shop needs to be aware of before they dive into working with this thicker fabric. WHERE TO START Lon Winters,, says screen printers should maintain some off-contact distance when printing on fleece and may need to consider differ- ent mesh counts than they are accustomed to with T-shirt printing. Because fleece often has a looser weave than a T-shirt, a lower-mesh screen is usually necessary. Screen-printing shops should also stock up on different grades of ad- hesives if they are considering fleece decoration, says Aaron Harris, T&J Printing Supply. "The inside of a fleece garment tends to be thick, fuzzy, and fibrous," states Harris. "Traditional spray or water-based tack isn't likely going to cut it on a long run." Harris recommends web adhesive before putting fleece on press. This style of adhesive goes beyond the initial layer of fibers on the inside of the garment and bonds the garment more securely to the platen to avoid any shifting while printing. Harris adds that the tack will sometimes come off with the garment, so multiple applications may be necessary. In addition to web adhesive, he advises screen printers to refresh their platen tape after a production run of fleece garments, as the fabric will usually leave behind fibers. If a press operator doesn't put fresh tape on, they run the risk of sullying up other jobs with those leftover fibers. Give Fleece a Chance CONSIDERATIONS AND APPROACHES FOR FLEECE DECORATION B Y M I K E C L A R K 52 || P R I N T W E A R A U G U S T 2 0 1 7

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