Printwear

October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 4 | Printwear O ctO b e r 20 1 4 Remember, these are the consumables cost only. The actual production time you must account for is about a minute and a half for white shirts to approximately two and a half minutes for dark shirts, plus pretreatment time and pressing. COST SCENARIO 2: DIGITAL TRANSFER The other digital process requires a color laser copier, color laser printer, or desktop inkjet printer. First, we concentrate on producing a digital heat transfer using photo electrostatic printing. The largest cost of producing a full-color laser heat transfer is for coated paper. Depending on whether you're using a newer laser copier or printer or a legacy oil-fuser machine, the heat transfer paper cost is between $0.75 and $0.95 for a full 11" X 17" paper. The consumable cost for toner, which is normally excluded form service contracts, varies depending on the percentage of coverage. Most manufacturer toner estimates are based on 5 percent coverage of both the black and color toners. In practice, heat transfer images are in the range of 35–50 percent of coverage. That puts your toner cost in the range of $0.60–$1, depending on whether imaging is done with a color copier or desktop color laser printer. If you are using a desktop printer, you must also account for the depletion of the imaging drums. You can look at this much the same as the direct-to-garment maintenance factor. The cost of decorating with digital heat transfer paper will look like this: Keep in mind, decorating dark shirts with digital heat transfer paper requires trimming the image to size or contour cutting with a digital vinyl cutter. This adds labor that should be accounted for in your pricing formula. THE RESULTS Purely on the basis of consumables, white shirt imaging is considerably more costly using digital heat transfer paper. When it comes to dark shirts, color laser heat transfer consumables are considerably less than direct-to-garment printing. There are, of course, many other considerations with respect to the two types of imaging. For one, direct-to-garment printing is soft and can reproduce a printing range that heat transfer papers cannot. As com- pared to a normal polymer heat transfer paper, direct-to-garment printing does not leave a visible polymer background. Plus, the direct-to-garment decoration visually drops off into the garment col- or with no white halo on dark shirts. Intricate designs are possible with di- rect-to-garment printing that cannot be created and contour cut with the color laser white film products as well. One might ask if there is still a sweet spot for digital heat transfer papers. You bet. If you already own a copier or print- er, and personalization is a small part of your business, you may have difficulty justifying the $20,000-plus investment for direct-to-garment technology. There are many other situations where digital heat transfer papers make better sense too—like for small orders. It's rela- tively easy to lay a design copy or photo- graph on a copier or scanner and output a few heat transfers to immediately satis- fy your customer. You should rest assured that digital heat transfer paper technology is keeping pace with the changes in laser technology. Of course, there is a whole world of other inkjet technology where digital heat transfer papers fit in. I plan on looking at that cost in relation to direct-to-garment printing in an upcoming article. Graphics Hot Spot | | | | pw Light ShirtS (11" X 11" Full-color Design) Ink usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.87 ml Ink cost per shirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.33 Maintenance factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.07 Total consumables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.40 Dark ShirtS (11" X 11" Full-color Design) Ink usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.68 ml Ink cost per shirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.08 Maintenance factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.07 Pretreatment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.68 Total consumables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.83 Light ShirtS (11" X 11" Full-color Design) Digital heat transfer paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.00 toner cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.75 Maintenance factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.06 Total consumables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.81 Dark ShirtS (11" X 11" Full-color Design) Digital heat transfer paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.95 toner cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.75 Maintenance factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.06 Total consumables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.76 With direct-to-garment printing, more intricate designs can be reproduced and no white halo appears on dark shirts.

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