July '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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54 || P R I N T W E A R J U LY 2 0 1 8 WIDE-FORMAT TECHNOLOGY A nother popular type of wide-format application for apparel and similar soft goods is dye subli- mation. And while wide format can be used to decorate standard T-shirts, the medium truly shines in all-over decoration says Darci Jeffrey-Anderson, Coast- al Pro. "Depending on the shirt you are decorating, your graphics ability will determine your profitability. However, the most used, but often not recognized as sublimated printing by the (end user) is the production of sublimation within the cut/sew world of apparel and textile." For those looking to add a wide-format sublimation printer, Jeffrey-Anderson explains that the business should be sublimating three or more goods a week to help justify the upgrade. Once a larger machine is in use, it can open up business to intended large items such as blan- kets and flags, but also smaller items in larger quantities. "This equates to improved efficiency, speed, and reduced costs. For creative inspiration, she suggests taking a walk through a home or business to realize all the items that can be created with sublimation. "Within a home you could see sublimated curtains with matching sublimated pillows. Set at a table that has been made special for that room. Reupholster a cushion or love seat with sublimated fabrics and place a large photo panel on the wall that has a beautiful photo sublimated on it. Bathrooms need large curtains and floor mats that can be customized with sublimation. Bed- rooms need bed cover- ings and pillows cases." And, obviously, look in the closet for plenty of items from athletic jerseys and pants to socks and more, and know that large-format sublimation can make it all possible. (Images courtesy Coastal Pro) not only expands the types of jobs a business can accept…it also en- ables users to add value to their products through customization and personalization." Equipped with this kind of technology, Roberts says, you can produce everything from unique POP sig- nage to high-end products. "The idea behind all of this is quite simple––transform basic objects into customized offerings that boost sales and profits without re- quiring mass production." Direct-to-textile printing can be more economical than screen print- ing when you are talking about these shorter runs, too, according to Conrad. "Wide-format digital printing DTT is easier to set up, less expensive for running short jobs, and easier to clean and operate.

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