Start Here October '22

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10 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 Along with a heat press, screen-printing shops should also invest in a spot removal gun for when they accidentally get an inky thumbprint on a sleeve and they don't want to have to throw away the garment. "If you have no clients, no customers, it is easier to start out with as little overhead as possible," Doub says. But if the shop is already an established embroidery company, for instance, that has been outsourcing its screen printing to a contract decora- tor for 10 years, it might make economic sense for them to buy their own screen-printing equipment and start handling those jobs internally. Many people just getting into the industry get fooled by equip- ment vendors and distributors pushing how cheap it is to get into apparel decorating, but they don't understand that there are other costs involved besides the cost of the press and heat press, says Nathan Belz, COO of Impress Designs outside of Dallas. For screen printing, it takes inks, squeegees, screens, a good computer, monthly subscription to a RIP program and chemi- cals for emulsion. Someone can get into it for $500 to $1,000, but "if they are trying to do any kind of good setup, a good home setup beyond being a hobbyist, $5,000 would get you into something," says Belz. at cost doesn't include training and getting up to speed. If apparel decorating is going to be your actual job, most people would agree that it is important to start out with good quality equipment "otherwise you will be paying the price. Bad equip- ment doesn't have resale value. It is trash when you are done with it," he argues. If a shop spends a bit more money on name brand equipment, even if the shop doesn't last long, the equipment can still be sold so it isn't money down the drain. Another benefit of buying good equipment to start is that reputable shops typically offer training and troubleshooting if something goes wrong. Along with a heat press, screen-printing shops should also invest in a spot removal gun. Image courtesy Xpresscreen

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