May '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 8 M A Y P R I N T W E A R || 27 corners, or perforations, it is quite possible that it's time for a blade change. While a higher-angle blade tends to do best with thicker materials like glitter, the standard 37- or 45-degree blade is suitable for the job as well. The key to either choice is having the proper blade extension. One of the most common mistakes is having the blade out too far, this is also a common cause of inaccurate cuts. The proper extension is the thickness of the actual material be- ing cut. I've long recommended the distance of half a credit card's thickness as a good starting point. With a sharp blade at the proper extension, it's time to turn to machine settings. If your vinyl cutter can be programmed to use an overcut setting, then this will certainly help with accuracy on details for glitter materials. With overcut enabled, the ma- chine cuts a 90-degree angle a little over the edge on each side of a letter or graphic. This precaution helps to alleviate hang ups on corners, which creates less room for error and ruined designs when weeding. While some cutters don't have the capability, the next recom- mendation, if available, would be enabling a setting called tangen- tial emulation. Many cutters in the market use a drag knife tech- nology for cutting, where, as the blade is cutting a corner, it may skip a bit as it makes the edge. Tangential machines lift and turn the blade at the corner to ensure reorientation of the sharp edge of the blade. Tangential emulation mimics this high-end capability by simply lifting the blade holder at the start and stop points of a cut to allow the blade to almost reset itself and begin along its path in a new direction. Once again, this helps to prevent skipping and ruined cuts and has been found to allow substantially more detailed cuts from glitter products. Nearly any machine can cut glitter. But, if you are looking to add more glitter or purchase a new machine, look for one with a servo motor rather than a stepper motor. Stated simply, this motor is more robust and usually provides for better material handling to prevent puckering of the roll as it travels through for cutting. With a clean cut, we move onto making success in the weeding process. Weeding is the process of removing the excess material away and leaving the intended design. Glitter materials are some of the most difficult to weed. It's tough to see the cut lines through Creating a gap in a design, you can create multicolor designs with glitter.

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