October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 O ctO b e r Printwear | 9 7 I use multiple suppliers. Do all hot-peel transfers have the same application in- structions? No, not all heat transfers of the same variety have the same appli- cation instructions. While they may look and feel the same, almost certainly there are slight variances in the way the products are man- ufactured as well as the materials used. These factors can affect dwell time, application temperature, and pressure. For instance, many transfer suppliers use their own ink formulas, which have different gel times, adhesives, and addi- tives with different melting points. For these reasons, it's always a good idea to use the manufacturer's sug- gested application instructions. Kyle Rohde, howaRd SpoRtSweaR GRaphicS expReSS When creating multiple-color rhinestone designs, what's the best way to make sure your design stays registered when masking the second or third color since the transfer tape doesn't like to adhere to sticky flock? The best way to ensure that your designs stay in perfect registra- tion is to create an "anchor" on your workstation. A cookie sheet is a great base for a rhinestone workstation. Line the cookie sheet with sticky flock, leaving 2"–3" on one side uncovered. This leaves you enough space to use the exposed part of the cookie sheet as your anchor. daniel Valade, Roland dGa How do I match spot color with sublimation? Color management is a perpetual challenge with digital printing. This is partly because of the way color is processed and perceived. On screens, colors are created using percentages of illuminated red, green, and blue. In print, colors are usually created with percentages of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, and the appearance is affected by a number of factors. Although RGB colors can be converted to CMYK colors, they may not be a true match, and the color you see on your screen is not necessarily what is on your substrate after pressing. The best way to match colors is to do so manually. Print and press the color on the desired substrate and compare it to a printed sample you are trying to match. In a perfect world, your customer would give you a color sample printed on the same type of surface you will sublimate. In reality, you will likely recreate a color from some other medium, which means your challenge is to judge by eye how closely your sublimated color matches. This may sound tedious, and until recently, it was a taxing and inefficient process. However, newer versions of color management software and profiles provide various tools that make spot color matching much easier and faster. These programs perform a pro- cess called color mapping, which takes into consideration a variety of factors specific to sublimation, such as substrates, ink, transfer papers, and other variables. The goal is to make the right adjust- ments to produce a specific color that looks how the user expects after pressing. Color management systems enable you to import ink-specific color palettes into your graphics software and print those palettes with matching color codes. You can take advantage of this feature by printing and pressing your palette onto substrates you use regularly. Then, ask your customer for a printed sample of the color he or she wants you to recreate, and compare it to the options on your pressed palette. Once you find a suitable color, assign its code to the desired artwork in your graphics program. This should result in a close match for your customer's color and save you significant time. To save more time, look for a color-management program that al- lows you to save spot colors to your palette for future use. Some also enable you to start your spot-color matching with an RGB code and print a palette of incremental color variations for pressed compari- son. Together, these two features make matching color much easier and more accurate. As powerful as these software solutions are, they are not a replace- ment for diligent evaluation and lessons learned through trial and error. Take the time to become fa- miliar with your color management software and de- velop processes that work best for your specific jobs. Robin KaVanaGh, SawGRaSS technoloGieS HEAT TRANSFERS THE 2014 Q&A TRoublESHooTiNg guidE by using a color-management program, you can quickly and easily match spot colors. (Image courtesy Sawgrass technologies) pw

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