June '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 28 of 68

2 6 P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 9 HEAT PRESS Pressing Matters J o s h & Z a c h E l l s w o r t h S creen printing is almost synonymous with printing a T-shirt. Odds are that for the better part of your lifetime, screen printing has been the primary meth- od by which T-shirts are decorated. Con- sumers quickly understand what to expect when they order a screen-printed shirt and often understand the differences between screen printing and embroidery as decora- tion methods. As heat printing technology continues to grow, decorators are embracing products such as heat transfer films, dimensional lo- gos, appliqué, sublimation, and the like as solutions for their client's logos. However, the challenge remains that not all clients understand the terminology associated with these methods. Given this, screen printing is asked for by name above all the afore- mentioned processes. As a decorator, you have probably encountered screen print- ing in some way. Some sell against it, some outsource it, and some invest in it to screen print in-house. All of these are viable ways to approach the opportunity for printed shirts. With the market trending toward smaller runs, faster fashion, and shorter lead times, many producers are finding the optimal strategy is to decorate with screen-printed transfers rather than direct screen printing. While this product has been around for some time, there has been a continual pro- gression in technology to allow a decorator to not only do more with transfers, but also acquire them for less. Transfer suppliers are building in chemistry that allows a complex process to be as simple as time, temperature, and pressure for a decorator. The benefits of the chemistry being 'baked in' is that a decorator, large or small, can scale in the solution with labor that is Screen Printing with Heat Transfers 2 6 P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 9

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