Start Here October '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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49 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 format printers, choices include four and eight-color options (CMYK or dual-CYMK), as well as CMYK with an additional four colors. Paper. Choices for sublimation paper vary from cut sheets for small-format printers to roll-fed paper for larger print- ers. Depending on the application, some roll-fed papers have an added tackiness, which aides in the production of printed apparel since it helps avoid a double image, or ghosting, when printing. Software. Many shops already involved in the graphics-based industry have design software on-hand. For those starting from scratch, after the initial costs of purchas- ing a software suite, there are a wealth of online tutorials, webinars, and videos to help with the learning curve. Some resources are exclusively available from the software designers you purchase programs from, while other helpful walk-throughs and demonstrations are readily available on places like YouTube and third-party websites of graphic design professionals. Kavanagh also suggests a few auxiliary tools such as heat tape, spray adhesive, protective gloves, protective paper, and a protective cover for the bottom platen of the heat press. For easy customization, she recommends having a few jigs for smaller items like keychains, socks, and decorative ornaments. Shopping Around Since purchasing sublimation equip- ment, especially the printer, can get com- plicated, Kavanagh recommends buyers ask themselves a handful of core questions as they are fielding their options. "The best questions to ask are ones that will get you to evaluate your needs: What do I want to make, in what quantity do I want to make these items, and how much volume of business do I expect to get?" she notes. For beginners, Ellston also recommends finding a seller that can offer guidance to maximize their purchase. Experienced technicians in the process, he explains, can impart some key wisdom to newcom- ers and even some useful startup training. "A few questions with a distributor's tech SUBLIMATION

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