Printwear

January '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Manual Labor Manual Labor UTILIZING A MANUAL PRESS IN AN AUTO SHOP SETUP A L E X A N D R I A A R R O Y O 5 4 P R I N T W E A R J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 9 M any, if not most, screen printers start out decorating ap- parel as a hobby with a small in-home setup. This might include a DIY station with a printing table or a single- station press, some ink, and printing odds and ends. If the hobby starts to gain traction and printers see themselves taking on jobs from family, friends, and even local businesses, a multi- station manual is the natural next step. Depending on the success of the business, a printer would then graduate to an auto press to keep up with orders and maintain workflow. This is a typical equipment-buying trajectory printers go through, and once they've upgraded to a predomi- nantly automatic setup, it begs the question: Why keep the manual press around? ASSIGN THE RIGHT ROLE Whether it's swatches and samples, educa- tional and proofing purposes, or a short run of shirts, manual presses serve very specific functions and take on jobs in auto shops across the U.S. Stephen Till, A Small Print Shop, says his shop's manual press is primarily used when creating swatch samples for Pantone colors, as well as testing out print styles before taking them to the auto. Till adds, "The more we understand about the colors and print styles, the less downtime we have on the auto when print- ing." Testing colors and processes out on a manual also makes for easy swapping of screens. Anything from a single-station/single-color to an eight-color manual press can get the job done, although, more stations do allow printers to play around with a variety of printing elements like screens, mesh counts, and halftones. Manuals can also be designated for printing customer samples. Aside from test printing and samples, Steve Taylor of Native Sons Screen Print

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