Start Here October '22

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Page 16 of 103 13 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 a cutter to cut vinyl decals and stickers. "e apparel market is growing, espe- cially the ability to do this at home and to sell online. It is really rising. Before, people would have shops and storefronts and sell shirts that way but e-commerce has been taking off and only really accel- erated with COVID and everyone staying at home. ere are more and more oppor- tunities to sell online, to specialize," says Landesman. A small shop can get into DTG for between $16,000 and $18,000, he says. That includes the printer, a pretreat sprayer and a heat press or conveyer dryer. Unlike screen printing, which can print on just about anything, DTG printers work best with 100% cotton and certain cotton blends. Vinyl is another decoration option that doesn't cost too much upfront. ere are machines out there that print on vinyl and then cut it out, making it simple to apply to garments with a heat press. Most shops do both screen printing and DTG, using the DTG for smaller produc- tion runs and screen printing for the really big runs. "ey each have their own niche and complement each other really well but, as DTG develops, certainly it is the wave of the future, we are not quite ready to replace screen printing yet," he adds. People wanting to produce their own clothing line will need a pad printer to put in neck labels or a way to sew in neck labels. Shops can also use heat transfers to put in neck labels. "I would say, a f ter doing this for decades, the most common problem new people have is figuring out how to price or charge for what they're doing," Belz concludes. "Understanding what you are going to charge and how much time it will take and how much energy are all really important. It all revolves around knowing who your audience is." Supply Basics for Screen Printing 6 Quick Tips for Getting Started 1. When purchasing your equipment, buy the best you can afford, but if you can't, buy the least expensive equipment that will allow you to get by until you have enough to buy the best. 2. Put in an integrated registration system that allows you to start in the art department, work through the screen department and finish in the production department, where the placement of a design is controlled from start to finish. 3. Have a proper order form. A good order form is one that has all the information for a job to go through the entire shop without anyone hav- ing questions. 4. Document everything about every job you do so that if a reorder is required, you have all the information needed to duplicate it. 5. Set your pricing based on your costs and overhead, not what some other shop charges. 6. If you're going to work out of your garage or somewhere where you don't have much overhead, price your printing as though you were pay- ing for commercial space so if down the road you move into a commer- cial space, you don't have to change your pricing. Charlie Taublieb Taublieb Consulting

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