Printwear

July '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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You also have the advantage and benefit of photo quality or custom image design and creation, making specialty printing even easier." IS WIDE FORMAT FOR YOU? "I've seen cool fashion designs from shirts, dresses, jeans, and formal wear to custom furniture patterns, tents, outdoor camping gear, and more created with textile print- ers," Conrad says. "More and more printers are adding this technology to their shop for added applications, for more margins, and higher profits," he adds. Martin agrees that all of the major textile markets are gaining several key elements that help benefit the client and consumer with this technology: speed, on-demand customization, quality, and price. "Here's an example," he says. "I [recently] went on- line and fully designed a dress shirt with a custom-printed pattern set into the collar, cuffs, and placket. I was able to choose from more than a dozen special design features and see the shirt rendering as I was mak- ing the changes––all of which cost less than $100. I received my shirt within two weeks, and it is a very high-quality dress shirt." This is just one example, he points out. "This is happening in just about every tex- tile market, be it business-to-consumer or business-to-business." These possibilities are what keep Roberts enthusiastic about large-format technolo- gies, explaining how users can print directly on just about anything, including items be- yond our typically soft substrates to include hard goods as well. "The unique capabilities and versatility of these innovative devices has opened up a world of 'out of the box' opportunities for product customization and personalization." Businesses ranging from "Mom & Pop" print service provid- ers to Fortune 500 corporations use these printers to customize everything from cell phone covers and table tops, to lunch boxes and surfboards, he says. This isn't an either/or world, market, or set of industries. While wide-format direct- to-textile technology is an exclusive niche that produces quick and durable outputs, many will find that this form of D2 print- ing can act complementary to DTG and offset processes, rather than "instead of." Investing in this equipment––if it's right for where you want to take your company–– will increase your decorating expertise, your client Rolodex, and your bottom line. "The coolest thing was looking at a high- end silk scarf with such color depth that it was simply a piece of art," notes Dees, when discussing what results this technology can yield. And that's exactly what customers should think when picking up an or- der. "At the end of the day," she says, "It's just amazing to know that whatever image can be imagined; it can be print- ed perfectly, quickly, and without compromise." Wide-format DTT creations are as vast as the imagination allows, and the sub- strates are as diverse as the eye- catching potential end products. (Photos courtesy of Roland) 2 0 1 8 J U LY P R I N T W E A R || 55

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