Start Here October '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 8 W hile some people wear undecorated T-shirts, most people want a T-shirt that says something about who they are or something they care about. T-shirts with funny or inspi- rational messages, from a favorite bar or restaurant, a favorite brand, or even just a cool design, are all as popular as ever. You can meet the need for unique T-shirts by starting your own custom T-shirt business. At its most basic, all you need is a heat press, some transfers, and blank shirts. Read on to learn about some of the options available for getting started. Equipment and Materials Heat press vs. hand iron: It should go without saying, but you'll always get better results with a heat press over a hand iron. A heat press provides consistent, even heat and pressure when applying heat transfers to a shirt. Even the most expensive hand iron can't give you this assurance. The result is a durable, professional finish that won't crack, peel, or fade and lasts through washing. A low-quality product can sink your business before it starts. Heat press comparison: When shopping for a heat press, one of the first considerations is what equipment is right for your business. There are many differences in heat presses that impact productivity and usability. Clamshell: The clam style heat press is the most popular on the market. This model has a hinge between the upper and lower platen and opens like a clamshell. This type is ideal when space is limited. They come in a variety of sizes. The most common are 16˝ x 20˝, 16˝ x 16˝, and 11˝ x 15˝. Josh Ellsworth is the VP of sales, dealer channel for STAHLS'. He deals in the sales and implementa- tion of heat applied, apparel decorating systems with a core focus on customization. He holds experience in mass customization for apparel; production, sales, marketing and business develop- ment. He has a strong background in social media marketing including videos, blog development, and social networking. Additionally, Josh helps to deliver educational seminars at trade shows around the world. He also regularly contributes articles to trade publications, including Printwear magazine. 82 How to Get Started In Heat Transfer PRINTING As a 16" x 20" swing away heat press, the Insta 256 Manual Swing-Away gives you tons of room to work with.Photo courtesy of Insta Graphic Systems. By Josh Ellsworth Make unique T-shirts a part of your product offerings

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