February '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 Josh Ellsworth is an industry expert on apparel customization and General Manag- er of Stahls' CAD-CUT Direct. His portfolio includes a YouTube site ( joshellsworth) with more than 50 educa - tional videos, a blog ( that is updated regularly and consulting visits that have been made to some of the largest apparel-customization businesses in the U.S. You can reach Josh by email at and you can find him here, on the hot spot, talking about customization beyond the basics in every issue. Tune in for marketing strategies and sales tips in the heat-applied graphics discipline. Zach Ellsworth is a lead educator at and manages equipment sales for STAHLS'. He has helped thousands of business owners successfully start and grow their decorating business. You can reach Ellsworth at Knock Out! A New Process for Knockout Designs with Heat Transfer Foil H eat printing with heat transfer foil is a process that deco- rators love. New adhesive-only rolls of heat transfer film are sold to cut graphics in quantities as little as one on a vinyl cutter. The ensuing process of removing the excess, heat ap- plying, and then covering and heat applying again with foil creates a bright, shiny, metallic finish that sells well for a variety of applica- tions. Sometimes, a finish like foil can sell a T-shirt all by itself. Ad- ditionally, it's often been said that artwork can sell a T-shirt as well. Imagine the possibilities when combining the best of both. In speaking with many apparel decorators, it's clear that a knock- out design style still sells extremely well. A knockout design com- bines a clipart element as part of a text graphic with that clipart conforming to the same shape as the text. Typically, the clipart ele- ment is a simple silhouette such as a basketball, heart, dancer, cross, megaphone, etc., depending on the market that it is designed for. While basic materials sell well with knockout designs, materials like glitter, foil, and reflective add extra appeal. When trying to learn how to properly set up artwork for this type of design, there's little doubt that it is complicated and requires some level of skill. Plus, time and expense can quickly add up when taking into account the process of completing a knockout design with heat transfer vinyl, which includes cutting, weeding, and heat applying two or more colors. However, it can be done. In this month's column, you'll learn to reduce labor and art time using the knockout process while also creating looks that are second to none. PRESSING MATTERS B Y J O S H A N D Z A C H E L L S W O R T H Knock out de- signs allow for multicolored and multiple finishes in a heat transfer design. The pro- cess just takes a little learning. (All images courtesy STAHLS')

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