December '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 D E C E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 5 7 A climate-controlled environment is important for both direct-to-garment and printer/cutters. It should be noted that be- cause DTG uses pigmented water-based inks, the humidity levels must be kept higher than workspaces with eco-solvent wide-format print/cut machines. When you decide it's time to go digital, be sure to look at your goals and current client needs. Both allow for quick and im- pressive results with relative ease in count- less colors and limited cleanup. Digital is the way of the future so now is the time to look at your options for doing so in your decoration business. D2 Brian Pursel is Strategic Account Manager, TOLA Region, for GroupeSTAHL. He has been with the company for 7 years as a Regional Sales Manager and Strategic Account Manager. Brian also held Regional Sales Manager positions with Brother USA and Hirsch International, as well as being a former proprietor of a screen printing and embroidery business in eastern Pennsylvania. You can contact Brian at brian. GRAPHIC CONSIDERATIONS Artists love designing digital images. There are no limits on colors and no halftone dots so they can be as creative as they want. With DTG, even photorealistic images are easily and quickly achievable. Although digital printers use CMYK inks, it is suggested to use RGB when de- signing. This enables many col- ors to maintain more intensity. Raster Image processing (RIP) programs convert RGB into CMYK commands for the printer. The RIP software allows you to choose the color profiles. Each printable material has a slight difference in the white value, caus- ing a shift in color. Common color profiles are included in the RIP software. Printable heat transfer materials normally have color profiles that can be downloaded into the RIP. These profiles govern the time and temperature of the heaters in the printer ensuring the color dots mix properly. In addition to the color profiling, the RIP estimates your print time, ink and media usage, allow you to create multiple copies, and store your copies in queues. DTG printers will print directly onto your substrate, often with the assistance of a pretreatment, which is laid down before. Pretreatment acts as a glue for the inks. It is a required step when printing on dark garments but commonly recommended for all substrates to help make colors more vibrant. Printer/cutters will output onto a chosen transfer material that will then be cut on the equipment. From there, the graphic needs a clear carrier sheet applied for trans- fer, the graphic weeded, and then applied to the substrate. How you heat apply varies depending on the material and the fabric/ material of the item you are decorating. For example, heat-sensitive fabrics are nor- mally are pressed at 280 degrees F while cotton fabrics are normally heat applied at 300 degrees F. With the variety of promotion- al products available, it's smart to have decoration methods that can work on countless types of substrates.

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