Printwear

October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Printwear 2013 Q&A Embroidery There are currently no options for reflective thread, but there are options that allow embroiderers to achieve the look with appliqué materials sewn into a design. (Images courtesy Madeira USA) Where can I find reflective embroidery thread? Currently, there is no reflective embroidery thread on the market. However, there is an appliqué material, available in sheets for embroiderers and as a dye transfer for screen printers that might achieve the effect you are looking for. As a unique, fun, special effect, the material is easily stitched into a design that is digitized for appliqué; the excess is simply torn away, and a heat press or home iron adheres the material to the fabric that is embroidered. When light hits the appliqué, it reflects the light and appears to shine. The unique aspect can add humor or personality to costumes, running gear, clothing or bags. While the shine is temporary, it is triggered by car headlights, a camera's flash, theater lighting, etc., and can offer a very interesting, temporary effect. Rita Toth, Madeira USA Do I absolutely have to have a graphics program? If so, which one is the best? A graphics program is an essential tool for every decorated apparel business. A common misconception on this subject, though, is that the user of a graphics program should also be an 90 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 90 artist. With all of the tools, templates and drawing aids available with most drawing programs, artistic ability is not completely necessary. CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator are the two most commonly-used programs. CorelDRAW has long been the decorated apparel industry standard for the small business and Adobe Illustrator has been the standard for larger businesses and screen printers. Regardless of the standard, it is a good idea to evaluate all graphics programs. A graphics program will help with a variety of essential tasks such as simple typesetting and basic shape creation. Beyond that, a graphics program can scan images and convert them to vectors, and also provide the tools needed to hand draw objects. In addition to the core features of the various programs, there are also many plugins available to add even greater flexibility to the programs. For example, there are plugins and templates that will convert drawing programs into digitizing systems or make the creation of rhinestone designs a simple task. Furthermore, many clipart designs are created where you can simply import a clipart image, customize it and then output for our desired decoration process. Ed Levy, Hirsch International October 2013 9/18/13 11:56 AM

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