June '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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B Y M I K E C L A R K 62 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 8 D ecorators are always on the lookout for new ways to streamline and improve their business, especially as more clients become accustomed to a fast-paced, e-commerce driven world. To meet more short-run and last-minute orders, however, businesses are beginning to integrate digital technology into their tradi- tional operations. By combining tried-and- true disciplines with modern advancements, decorators are finding new ways to improve their workflow and efficiency. THE WHAT AND WHY OF DIGITAL In most cases, a digitally-integrated print- ing business usually entails a traditional decorating discipline combined with direct- to-garment (D2) printing. Most shops run the combination of disciplines in parallel to ensure they have the most efficient option available both for their customers as well as their own in-house production approach. While it's not unheard of to see an embroi- dery business with D2 alongside their other offerings, the general consensus is that screen printers seem to hold the lion's share of dig- itally-integrated businesses. "Screen printers definitely adopted this technology ahead of other people," explains Matthew Rhome, A ombination of the wo Though there are some standalone D2 operations, most shops offer at least two types of services. (Im- age courtesy Epson) The emergence of integrated digital printing

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