November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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5 2 P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 9 incur digitizing or artwork fees. A company that produces patches that are decorated may also be more flexible regarding size and shape. GUESS WHO Now that you've settled on how to create the patches, you need to figure out where you will sell them. Several markets can be fertile ones when it comes to patches. One market is small- er businesses or corporations. Every business wants to look as prosperous and businesslike as possible. Having employees moving about town in matching uniforms with identification that mimics the appearance of larger corporations or franchises helps promote trust among customers. Patches are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add that sort of branding. They also don't require the commitment of a garment the way direct embroidery does, so there may also be budget savings if uniform garments can be reused. Saving money can be a big selling point when pitching patches to a smaller business. backing, a hot knife, and a universal cutting tip. Using the fabric, you can add a design, generally using embroi- dery, and then add the heat-seal back- ing using a heat press to seal the back of the patch. The heat-seal backing often doubles to secure the patch to the gar- ment as well. Once the patch has been created, the hot knife is used to cut the patch shape from the fabric. The hot knife is also used to seal the edges of the patch to ensure that it doesn't fray. If you would prefer to offer patches that look like the ones the larger in- dustrial uniform companies use, there are two options. Patches of that sort have a colored border, often called a merrowed border. This type of border is created using a merrow machine. These special machines are an invest- ment, and the cost is such that they're not generally an affordable option un- less your business is dedicated to mak- ing custom patches. If your company doesn't want to purchase a merrow machine and train an operator to use it, but still wants to offer patches with a colored border, another option is to buy patches from a company that creates them. Patches can be purchased as blanks, which means you receive only the patch itself and then add the required decoration in your shop. Depending on the composition of the patch material, blank patches can be embroidered, sublimated, or screen printed. Blank patches of this type are also generally offered in standard sizes and shapes, and companies that make blanks may not offer custom sizes or shapes beyond a square, circle, rectangle, and oval. Patches can also be purchased already deco- rated and would just need to be added to the garment or item to be embellished. Purchasing custom decorated patches may CORPORATE EMBLEMS Top: Emblems can be made with a kit, on a merrow machine, or pre-made with screen printing, embroidery, and sublimaiton. Above: Reflective patches are a useful product for those who work on road crews or who may work into the evenings outdoors. Top: Emblems can be made with a kit, on a merrow machine, or pre-made with screen printing,

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