GRAPHICS PRO

April '21

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5 0 S U B L I M A T I O N R E P O R T 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M • Calender – with or without a feed- ing table, depending on your pre- ferred method of sublimating onto the fabric • Fabric cutter – manual electric blades or a flatbed cutter • Large tables for workspace, inspec- tion stations, packing, etc. • Sewing machine(s) • Iron – to press finished goods for clean, professional presentation and packaging • Workflow software – to manage the production at each stage of the process • Large bins or trashcans – to manage the leftover scrap fabric When it comes to carving out the ideal space for the cut-and-sew process, Gamba says you can start with the space of a small garage, with the option to size up later. Cut-and-sew is a scalable process. Hunter adds that, ideally, you want your printer and calender to be in differ- ent rooms. The printer needs to be in a controlled environment, whereas the cal- ender, cutter, workspace, and sewing ma- chine can all be in a large warehouse area. "Make sure each section is set up for a smooth flow, as the production job is fed from one station to the next," Hunter says. For example, you don't want a cal- ender and cutting area to be too far apart with a sewing area in between them. This type of setup can interrupt the workflow and productivity. Once you have all the necessary equipment, you will need a team—specifically skilled sewing per- sonnel—in place to help get the job done. You may also want to start small in your offering, especially when it comes to color options. The more you offer, the more you will have to stock specific col- ors of thread, buttons, etc. If you offer too many color options, you'll end up with a room full of thread and accesso- ries, and since trends change, you may be stuck with excess inventory, accord- ing to sources. Another spot to highlight is that poly- ester is subject to high temperatures when sublimated. "We've explored this process a lot and one of the issues that we ex- perienced is shrinkage," says Gamba. "Especially for cheap polyester that is not well pre-treated, it tends to shrink with high temperatures." For this reason, it's important to be aware of the polyester's (Image courtesy EFI Reggiani) When it comes to carving out the ideal space for the cut-and-sew process, the space of a small garage will work initially, with the option to size up later. (Images courtesy EFI Reggiani) S U B L I M AT I O N R E P O R T 2 0 2 1

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