November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 49 of 68

2 0 1 9 N O V E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 4 7 EQUIPMENT CONSIDERATIONS Before taking on safety apparel decoration, consider equipment purchases to ensure successful printing. Helpful items include: Heat press—You may already have a heat press, but a model that has inter- changeable platens is helpful and increases productivity. Being able to swap out a 16" X 20" platen for a leg/sleeve or a 4" X 4" platen will make decorating those nontra- ditional areas much simpler. Besides interchangeable platens, you will find a lower heated platen offers distinct advantages, particularly when decorating heat-sensitive garments. Using heat from the inside out will eliminate permanent scorch marks that traditional heat presses can cause. Print/cut system—This will allow you to print and cut full-color designs in any shape and size in a large variety of heat transfer materials. These materials can be used on cotton, poly, poly/cotton blends, nylon, leather, denim, and even neoprene. What's more, they can be applied easily with your heat press. In addition to gar- ment decoration, this machine will also al- low you to print banners and wall graphics in which pertinent safety information in the form of signage can be offered to your customer as well. Vinyl cutter—A simple vinyl cutter will be handy to have for one- to two-color designs and smaller orders. In addition to your traditional heat transfer materials for all garment types, this machine will cut your pressure-sensitive vinyl needed for signage. It is a helpful addition to produce smaller quantity runs when screen printing isn't efficient or cost-effective. The safety market represents a sig- nificant revenue stream from a variety of market segments. Knowing how to deco- rate these garments will give you a leg up on your competition making you your community's go-to source for reflective safety apparel on even the trickiest fab- rics. PW Stacy Snell is Strategic Account Man- ager, Southeast Region, for GroupeSTAHL. She has been with the company for almost 6 years in different capacities ranging from Customer Service to Outside Sales with a particular background in Custom Logo Designs. You can contact Stacy at Above: When heat pressing reflective materials to places like pockets, sleeves, legs, cap brims, etc. you can increase your productivity by using a platen that fits the job. While you can print almost anything on a 16" X 20" platen, often you will have to use pillows and pads to make it work. This takes more time and decreases output. Left: Runners, walkers, and bikers who are out at night are another great niche to target with reflective graphics that can help motorists see them at night.

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