Printwear

January '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link: https://nbm.uberflip.com/i/1065002

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 43 of 84

2 0 1 9 J A N U A R Y P R I N T W E A R 4 1 technology provide T-shirt manufacturers with new ways to maximize their materials. Previously, apparel manufacturers would mark giant fabric reams by hand to denote where to cut pieces for T-shirts. "We now create fabric markers through computer system programs," explains Glen Brumer, Royal Apparel. With this technique, a pa- per printout derived from an algorithm sits on top of the rolls of fabric to help guide the automated machines on where to cut. "That technique maximizes fabric consumption and reduces waste." With algorithm-driven pattern cuts, the potential for defects also diminishes since it reduces the margin of error that occurs naturally through hand-measured lines. Additionally, automated systems offer a much tighter knit, cutting down on yarn spoilage and, as a bonus, results in softer T-shirts. Newer dyeing techniques have also changed the way T-shirts are made. Mox- ley notes how a method known as solution dyeing has come to the forefront for his company. By melting polyester and dye, the two elements are chemically bonded then re-extruded back into yarn, so "the color of the yarn is the same all the way through to its core," Moxley explains. In addition to improving colorfastness and quality, this technique helps to reduce the amount of water typically consumed during the gar- ment-making process. CHANGES IN FABRICS AND ATTITUDES On the fabric side, technological advance- ments have opened the door for new blends not available in previous decades. One of the most significant shifts in fabric popular- ity, parties agree, is the growing prominence of polyester. Earlier iterations of polyester were often considered uncomfortable and even a borderline novelty at times. How- ever, today's polyester blends offer a much more versatile material for a variety of mar- kets and styles, particularly the 50/50 cot- ton/polyester blend. "I think the overall perception of polyester has changed," says Greg Brown, Citadel Brands. Performance fabrics specifically, he says, have improved over time. "You now have more breathable fabrics for people with active lifestyles that help maintain your body temperatures." In addition to breathable fabrics that ac- commodate athletic and professional ac- tivities, Nancy Knapp, Freeset USA, notes the continued demand for T-shirts made with softer fabric blends based on comfort. "[There is] a large customer base in the U.S. that desires a blended product with polyes- ter for the softness in the feel," she notes. Active lifestyles and the demand for a softer garment aren't the only influencers driving these newer fabric types for T-shirts, however. The consensus is that in the last decade, a growing concern over the impact the garment industry has on the world has taken center stage. Brumer cites the rise in popularity of T-shirts made from materi- als like recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET), a recycled form of polyester, and organic cotton as part of this shift. While the eco-conscious consumer comes from all walks of life, multiple parties point to the increasing number of millennials in the workforce now entering into more ele- vated and leadership roles. A report (http:// bit.ly/2017WorkforceStats) by Forbes in late 2017 estimates that 20 percent of mil- Vastex light-, medium- and heavy-duty screen printing equipment lines include: presses in 1 to 10 stations/colors, athletic numbering systems, infrared conveyor dryers, flash cure units, LED exposing units, screen drying cabinets, screen registration systems, wash-out booths and utility equipment. Vastex light-, medium- and heavy-duty screen printing equipment lines include: presses in 1 to 10 stations/colors, athletic numbering systems, infrared conveyor dryers, flash cure units, LED exposing units, screen drying cabinets, screen registration systems, wash-out booths and utility equipment. Vastex light-, medium- and heavy-duty screen printing equipment lines include: presses in 1 to 10 Vastex light-, medium- and heavy-duty screen printing equipment lines include: presses in 1 to 10 Rockets ink temps up to 350°F in the first several inches and holds at-cure temps longer for the highest possible rates. Digital temp control of 3 height- adjustable heaters maximize efficiency for each ink type. Cure 720+ plastisol-printed garments/h, 240+ water-based or discharge-printed garments/h, and 100+ garments/h inkjet printed with white ink. 30 and 54 inch wide models. OF PLASTISOL, WATER-BASED, DISCHARGE AND DTG WHITE INK 1-800 4 VASTEX +1-610-434-6004 SALES@VASTEX.COM VASTEX.COM FF-0673 Mix & match chambers and conveyor extensions for Limitless Possibilities! Made in USA

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Printwear - January '19