Sign & Digital Graphics

July '16

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • July 2016 • 43 Printers need to know how much a certain fabric is going to stretch. If they believe it will have 2 to 3 percent stretch because it is technically a rigid fabric but it stretches 10 percent instead, the image won't look right. It needs to be consis- tent. True stretch fabrics like Spandex or Lycra don't take dye sublimation inks the same way polyester does, so it is some- thing to be aware of, Fisher says. The dyes can rub off or crock off when pack- aged next to white fabrics. The percent- age of elastic yarns in stretch fabric can affect color and color fastness. "There's always going to be certain applications where vinyl is probably going to be a much better option," says Scooter McIntosh, senior sales support manager at Value Vinyls Inc. in Grand Prairie, Texas. For instance, large banners that stretch across streets. But fabric has made it so easy to put together exhibits and switch out graphics without having to hire a company to do that. "Some of the graphics you see come out of these soft images are just so vibrant. They look so good. I think a lot of it has to do with… the more satin or soft hand products have such a smooth feel to them and that kind of transfers to the image you get with it too," he says. Exhibit companies like stretch fabric because "it gives them the ability to have a little room for error when it comes to fabricating and actually sewing the edg- ing," McIntosh says. "If the fabric tends to stretch a little bit, it gives them a little bit of room there." Value Vinyls has sold vinyl sign media since 1984, when the company was founded. As the industry has evolved, the company added textiles to its reper- toire. The textiles the company sells are designed for both solvent, eco-solvent and dye-sublimation inks. It has a stretch twill that has a very soft satin hand and a light stretchy applica- tion. It is for backlit products. He says that you can get a nice taut nish on it if putting it on display. In addition, it pro- duces another stretchy fabric that is good for ags or display system applications. It is a 100 percent knitted product, which comes in sizes up to ve meters. It is good for front-lit illumination inside and out- side. Many people use it for pole banners. "Especially in the higher rent dis- tricts, you see a lot of textile being used outdoors, as opposed to vinyl now," McIntosh says. Another stretch fabric it offers is 100 percent woven polyester with a special ribbed back, that allows good light dif- fusion. It comes in a wide width as well, he adds, which is good for roll-to-roll printing. It is good for exhibition or dis- play systems or any kind of projection on a backlit. He says that a printer doesn't need to do anything special to the company's fabric to get a good print on it. "All of these products are formulated to give you very vibrant prints and the color really stands out and becomes very vibrant," he says. "It accentuates the color from the way these are formulated. It is the treatments they put into the ber that allows for that." SDG GF 9766 Poly Cube fabric for custom cubicles and office environments. (Image courtesy of Fisher Textiles) (Image courtesy of Value Vinyls)

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