Sign & Digital Graphics

December '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • December 2017 • 67 "We test a lot of materials at Epilog but we haven't tested everything under the sun. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and see how it works," she says. Most of the laser engraving on textiles is for specialty gifts, Dallman adds. "We are not seeing a ton of it in the signage arena." Mike Fruciano, an industry consultant on laser and UV printing for Fruciano Consulting, says that print, cut, sew is becoming very popular, where the image of a shirt that has a complete wrap graphic on it is printed out onto transfer paper then sublimated onto a roll of polyester material using a heat press. Once it is printed, the different pieces of the shirt are cut out and sewn together. The laser can be used to cut out the design. "It is emerging technology," Fruciano says. "They do a lot of cutting by hand. I have been contacted by customers want- ing to automate that process with a laser." Wide-format sublimation printing is very popular currently, which means many clients are trying to find the swift- est way to do print, cut, sew. There are new printers coming out that allow a business to print directly on a 50-inch roll of fabric. "That's a whole new technology emerging," he says. The process is great for low-volume, custom garments. Dallman says that the same laser can be used on fabric, acrylic, plastic, wood or treated metal. "The only difference between fabric and engraving acrylic would be the set- tings you use," she says. "I think that it is easy once you get your settings dialed in. Engraving on fabric is easy and fun and you can do very customized things on the fly." Shops that are looking to expand their product line and profit potential should consider engraving on fabric, she adds. Photo courtesy of Epilog Laser SDG

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