August '22

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1 4 G R A P H I C S P R O A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M this style of heat-applied graphics. "ese flex style patches allow some shops to keep lower inventory while allowing for quick turn times for production," Picker says. "ese patches also lend a diverse product mix of hat styles, and it can be applied to multiple locations on the hat." • Puff: A puff special effect has seen an increase in popularity, according to Romano. Designs using a puff ink or vinyl have a raised 3 D area in the design, so it pops off the apparel more, with a more defined edge. Decorators can also combine this puff special effect with dyed garments. • Full Color: While one- or two-color designs are still the main trend, full color designs are being seen more, accord- ing to Romano. Even if the design is not "full color," with shading and gradients, designs with many spot colors are increas- ing in popularity. Neon colors are also back again. Ellsworth predicts you will see a lot of neon in garment decoration in the coming months. • Other Timeless Options: While it is not new by any means, distressed images are still a staple, making designs look vintage, Romano says. While rhinestones are not a current hot trend, Romano says you can still offer a faux rhinestone look with metal- lic dots of ink. is can be done using a screen-printed trans- fer and a glitter, pearl, or metallic ink type. Animal prints also remain strong contenders, Ellsworth adds. LATEST ADVANCEMENTS Decorators can create different effects based on the heat-applied method. "When it comes to special effect transfers, there are sev- eral avenues you can try," says Romano. "Each has their pros and cons, along with a time and place for each decoration method." More options are available due to advancements in technology, including heat transfer vinyl, direct-to-film ( DTF), sublimation, and screen printing. • Direct-to-Film: Direct-to-film (DTF) transfers can be applied on different types of materials, such as polyester, cotton, and spandex apparel. is makes it an ideal process for reoccurring corporate or sport online stores. DTF transfers are also econom- ical for low runs. "If a customer comes to you wanting a full color graphic in a low quantity, your customer won't leave with sticker shock," says Romano. "You'll be able to fulfill the order and still make a healthy margin for yourself." (Be sure to visit GR APHIC PRO's July 2022 issue for a full rundown on DTF at • Sublimation: Sublimation is an ideal decoration technique for printing on 100% polyester pieces. "e sky is the limit UV-reactive vinyl is a sun-changing heat transfer vinyl material that looks white when indoors and changes color when exposed to UV light. (Image courtesy STAHLS') One of the most popular new special effects trends this year is color-changing heat transfer vinyl. (Image courtesy STAHLS') Heat-applied graphics can allow for a shop to offer a variety of special effects. (Image courtesy Sandlot Sports)

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