April '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 S U B L I M A T I O N R E P O R T 5 1 source and run tests in order to map it out from the beginning. DESIGNING TO CUT-AND-SEW When you are designing a pattern, espe- cially the parts that compose your clothes, you want to accommodate for shrinkage. Ensure that your design is larger so that even if the fabric shrinks, you are able to have clothes of the same size afterward. Hunter suggests to always add a 1" bleed in your design, and print/sublimate all the pieces to a garment per run. For in- stance, don't print all the sleeves first, then all the front panels, etc. There will always be slight color shifts per run due to the en- vironment, differences in the fabric fibers (lot-per-lot or roll-per-roll), and other fac- tors. When you start pulling pieces from the various production runs together that feature the same color or design, there may be slight differences in color. To ensure the color is satisfactory, set up a color profile within your software. "Since sublimation ink is designed to be fixed at high temperatures, there aren't issues with the color or color defects af- ter the shrinkage if you already profiled the color to get the final result that you expect," Gamba adds. To support this pro- cess, it is helpful to adopt an efficient de- sign software. Preparation of the files is also essential to optimize the use of the fabric and avoid waste. Once you complete the design phase, the next step is to print the graphics onto transfer paper and go through the subli- mation process. The final step is to sew t he de c or ate d pieces together and form a piece of clothing with clean seams and other accessories, such as buttons and zippers. RISING TRENDS AND THE INTEGRATION OF SUBLIMATION Wide-format sublimation is a widespread technology that continues to build on it- self as more solutions and product op- tions become available. What's on the rise more and more, according to Gamba, is an interest in natural fibers and fabrics in the textile world. In addition to grow- ing substrate options, shops themselves are Ideally, you want your printer and calender to be in different rooms. The printer needs to be in a controlled environment, whereas the calender, cutter, workspace, and sewing machine can all be in a large warehouse area. (Images courtesy Roland DGA)

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