May '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 M A Y P R I N T W E A R 2 7 APPAREL Let's start with apparel items. The market continues to make apparel items softer and more synthetic. This has caused heat transfer manufacturing com- panies to respond with the technology necessary to decorate these soft and synthetic items. Manufacturers have developed softer ink formulas, more versatile adhe- sives, and production tools to make application easy. Look for transfers that advertise soft as a finish. That can also be translated as stretch or thin when it comes to transfer types. Typically, these transfer types are combined with adhesives that apply at 285 degrees F or less. With some 'new' fabrics and ap- parel items, the low temperature and super soft nature of the transfer still isn't enough to look great on the item. That's when you can add lower heat to your application equation. Heat transfer machine manufacturers have proven that using heat from the inside of your new apparel item can eliminate the heat print marks that can't be eliminated by only using low temperature adhesives. FINISHES Combining softer material formulas, lower temperature adhesives, and heat application tools will open up a ton of new apparel items that you can offer your most loyal customers. But maybe new apparel isn't what they're hoping for. Let's talk new finishes that have hit the market. Runways and retail are high visibility for any new decorating finish. And one of the highest visibility items on runways and retail shelves is hi-vis heat transfers. Think metallic/foil, glitter, and reflective. While glitter has been trending for quite a few years, reflective is the finish that's really gaining trac- tion. And it's not just silver anymore. Designers, retailers, and heat printing

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