October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 O ctO b e r Printwear | 7 9 What is the difference between ring-spun versus regular cotton? Regular cotton is made from soft vegetable fiber obtained from the seed- pod of the cotton plant that is made into strands of fiber. These strands of cotton fiber are twisted to make yarn that is then woven together to make a section of material. This is the type of cotton you normally get for 100 percent cotton or 60/40 cotton/polyester apparel. A slightly different process is used to create ring-spun cotton. You start with the same cotton fiber strands, but in the ring-spun process, the yarn is made by continuously twisting and thinning the strands to make a fine rope of cotton fibers. The twisting makes the short hairs of cotton stand out, resulting in a stronger yarn with a significantly softer hand. The number of times you twist the fiber determines how soft it is. In many cases, you see something described as 30-singles ring- spun. This term is used to indicate the diameter of yarn. The smaller the number, the thicker the yarn. The higher the number, the thin- ner the yarn and the softer because it has been twisted more times. Now, if you created the basic cotton material as discussed earlier, and then took that same amount of cotton fiber and created it under the ring-spun process, because of the twisting and thinning, the ring-spun cotton would be lighter weight than the regular cotton. Therefore, even though a 6.1- oz. 100 percent basic cotton T-shirt may be heavier than a 4.3-oz. 100 percent ring-spun cotton T-shirt, the lighter weight ring-spun T-shirt may very well be more durable and definitely a lot softer than the basic cotton T-shirt. NathaN Lucrisia, atLaNtic coast cottoN Can I engrave denim and other fabrics with a laser? Yes, denim and other cottons turn lighter when processed with a laser while man-made fabrics melt and turn a darker color. Make sure to use a light engraving setting and that the fabric is flat and smooth in the working bed for best re- sults. Josh stepheNs, trotec For a huge part of the country, wintertime is bone chilling. What is the perfect outerwear for this time of year that businesses and end users would love? Perfect winter outerwear offers strategic placement of thermal and mois- ture-wicking lining. Although water-resistant and waterproof fabrics re- main prevalent, new details, such as moisture-wicking lining and heat-re- tention technologies, are raising the bar in outerwear styles. Everyone knows that thermal-retention properties are vital to an outerwear piece, especially during the brisk winter months. However, > Apparel Q&A The 2014 Q&A TroubleshooTing guide

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