November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 23 of 68

2 0 1 9 N O V E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 2 1 effort, and potential for errors that comes along with outsourcing. If your clientele frequently needs personalization, you will find yourself adding or altering names at the last minute due to customer omissions and errors as well as your own occasional miscommunication. This shouldn't steal hours from your schedule. From uniform shops, team sports, and B2B providers, in- house creation, repair, and replacement of lettering is critical to quick turnarounds and keeping production rolling. Editing: Though there are many benefits to leaving digitizing to the digitizers, I rec- ommend shops have software at least capa- ble of simple stitch editing. Should you de- velop a relationship with a digitizer who will provide original working files, buying basic digitizing software in their brand allows ed- iting of original embroidery shapes when problems arise, but especially for those whose digitizers provide only stitch files or those who use standard stock designs, stitch editing software is a must. From sorting and eliminating unnecessary color changes to remov- ing unnecessary trims to repositioning a few out-of-registration stitches, short bouts of stitch editing can save a great deal of time if you can't immediately reach your outsourced digitizer. Though the best scenario sees digitizers editing the original objects in their work file rather than the embroiderer dragging around individual stitch points, simple changes requiring only 5–15 minutes with in-house staff can save time over contacting a digitizer and waiting for edits, particularly when a machine is set up for a particular design and deadlines are loom- ing. Embroiderers must remember, however, only to edit when the wait and setup time spent switching a machine to another job's production exceeds the time one would spend in editing and/or when it endangers promised delivery dates. HOOPING Hooping stations: In my early days as an operator, I hooped every garment on a flat table positioning at first with templates and measurements and later by feel when my hands were practiced. The first method wasn't quick and the second wasn't precise, meaning neither achieved the best result in the fastest time. Switching to uniform, adjustable hooping stations gives you a measured, repeatable, and easy to record placement for each logo/garment combi- nation without the extra time spent measuring or second guessing your intuition. Particularly when using magnetic hoops, stations and fixtures are critical. Alternate hooping methods: Alternatives to traditional hooping, like machine-mounted mechanical or pneumatic clamping systems, can save immense amounts of time for those whose product lines revolve around compatible items. Moreover, for certain hard-to-hoop items like belts, name tapes, or patch blanks, specific clamping fixtures and frames may No matter the department, information should be readily available, complete, and clear when it arrives in production. If you find embroiderers running around your shop asking for color clarification, it's time to reevaluate your informational work flow.

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