June '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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easy to find. Additionally, decorators are better prepared to lever- age sales on ecommerce without the preprinted inventory. Many businesses embrace a made to order workflow, even on garments that appear to be a stock offering. This secret way of manufacturing allows one design to be merchandised across many styles and colors of garments, giving the benefit of selection to the customer without the financial burden for the retailer. Additionally, screen-printed transfers are often relied upon due to the ability to maximize a screen. Consider that a group of small logos can be obtained for the cost of a transfer sheet, which is manu- factured by only burning one screen per color. To complete the same logos with various placements across various garments, multiple screens would have to be burned per order and color, adding to the expense of manufacturing. For this reason, screen-printed transfer providers allow grouping of designs with a small cut-apart fee to save the decorator money on every print. Another prime example of where screen-printed transfers excel is in event printing or retail experiences. Something about live apparel printing draws attention at events. Big brands are hiring mobile decorators to come to events and deliver customization experiences with transfers. Many businesses have focused their model on doing this exclusively, tailoring each experience to the client and often get- ting the product prepaid as part of the service since it's more of a branding endeavor for the client. Still, many use screen-printed transfers as their choice way to ful- fill any type of order. With quick turn times available from transfer manufacturers its feasible that a decorator can submit artwork one day and be heat printing the next. The simplicity of the process, coupled with the limited space that a heat press consumes, makes heat transfer technology a countertop profit center. When you consider screen-printed transfers for your business, there are a few key things to know. • There are many different ink formulas on the market and not all transfers are created equal. Be sure to experiment with different formulas such as plastisol, water-based, performance, soft hand, and effects. • Screen-printed transfers are just that: screen printed. So, you will need to have a certain quantity of prints planned to make them profitable. For instance, 12 pieces of the same logo is a good starting point for most companies, but they become most affordable as quantity goes up. 2 0 1 9 J U N E P R I N T W E A R 2 7 With the market trending toward smaller runs, faster fashion, and shorter lead times, many producers are finding the optimal strat- egy is to decorate with screen-print transfers. (All images courtesy Stahls')

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