March '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 6 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 1 9 With heat transfer vinyl, we'll consider the fact that we would need to cut, weed, and layer three layers of material. Due to the complexity of this workflow and the room for error, some novices would immediately rule that option out. However, if we follow the math, we'd be looking at this estimate: 12 x 3 = 36 sq./in 36 sq./in x $0.01 = $0.36 per layer $0.36 x 3 = $1.08, or $2.16 with our labor estimate. With the same math doing a screen-printed transfer, the price grids shows $4.00–5.00 per print. Digital transfers can be manufactured in house with a print/cut system, laser printer, or inkjet printer depending on the quality desired. Most of these options can be ordered pre- done as well. If you own the eco-solvent print/cut equipment, then the cost of materials in each print would be approximately $0.03 per square inch. This would equal 36 sq./in x $0.03 = $1.08. The labor for the print/cut process is much simpler than the heat transfer vinyl workflow in that the machine digitally prints all the color onto white-based media. This means rather than three Now, I must also run the job through a screen-printed transfer analysis to further prove the point. In referencing a couple of industry price grids, this particular logo would cost approximately $6.00–$7.00. So, at a quantity of 12 at this size, heat trans- fer vinyl is the solution. Now, to further illustrate the point, let's consider this same job at a quan- tity of 50. In this case, there are mini- mal savings in the heat transfer vinyl process because the same amount of time and materials are needed for each shirt regardless whether you are printing one or one million. So, our materials cost remains at $1.08 x 2 for a total of $2.16 including the labor es- timate. However, with screen-printed transfers, we start to see savings as the quantity goes up. This is because the fixed cost of the screen needed to make the transfers is a one-time fee that is now spread across more pieces. Many industry price grids would be able to deliver these prints for $2.00 or less making it a more appealing op- tion that will not only deliver a lower price but also save you hours in manu- facturing time since there is no weed- ing involved. Let's take a look at one more logo to prove out our methodology. 3-COLOR EXAMPLE The job: 3 colors, 12" X 3" Location: Front center print Item: Crewneck Fleece Quantity: 36 This customer logo can be produced in at least three ways. Based on what we've learned about quantity, we can compare digital transfers with screen- printed transfers or heat transfer vinyl. Since the quantity is 24, let's look at the details all three ways. HEAT PRESS Pressing Matters With three colors and moderate quantity, this job is best suited for digital or screen-printed transfers, although the math does show favor to one. (Image courtesy STAHLS')

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