Sign & Digital Graphics

Start Here October '18

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17 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 "Some customers are also using a heat tunnel to dry the shirts if still wet with water after a post print heat press," he says. When a print shop is determining whether to buy or lease equipment, they first need to figure out their budget and customer base. They also need to factor in location, availability and taxes, says Rhome. "The business owner needs to decide what works best given their specific situation," he says. If they do decide to purchase a printer, they need to make sure it has an onsite warranty. Image quality and print durabil- ity are also factors they should take into consideration, Rhome says. If they decide to lease equipment, they need to make sure they have enough orders to make that monthly payment or have a plan to ramp up to that, says Crocker. "I would urge anyone looking to enter the direct-to-garment market or expanding their current direct-to-garment capabilities to ensure printed samples are seen and felt. Reading a spec is one thing but you will want to get your eyes on output quality in terms of color and speed and see for yourself how that relates to feel and wash- ability," Perrelli says. There also needs to be a thorough understanding of the steps needed to pro- duce the garments, he adds. That means looking at whether pretreatment is needed and whether it is a safe process: water vs. chemicals. They also need to know if they need to be gentle when moving the gar- ments from process step to process step or whether the print is dry after printing. "Some companies will be better suited to handle more process steps than others. Prospective buyers need to understand how it fits their business," Perrelli says. So when choosing a direct-to-garment printer, companies need to revisit their business plan. If they are looking to get into the performance wear and synthetic garments market, "there aren't as many options available to accomplish that as there are for cotton," he says. Crocker adds that different printers fit different needs. If the printer wants to do high-end custom shirts and charge a premium that will determine the specs they are looking for in a printer. MANUAL PRESSES INDUSTRIAL-GRADE SCREEN PRINTING by THUNDER LIGHTNING • Rugged, ergonomic design for high performance • Heavy duty construction + smooth, easy movement • High-end features with an entry-level price • Strong but light for durability and ease of use 847-367-9760 Available in models up to 12 colors/12 stations Available in models up to 8 colors/8 stations

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