February '23

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6 6 G R A P H I C S P R O • F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M UltraColor Max direct-to-film heat transfers for unique applications unachievable by other print methods, such as slippers, bags, and backpacks. The applications have limitless color and detail and can be ordered in any quantity. (Image courtesy STAHLS' Transfer Express) A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G Before, full-color had outlines and pro- hibited knockouts of the artwork into the shirt color. "ey typically steered away from very intricate designs, which now can be done with DTF and digital hybrids," Mazade says. "They offer full color, gradients, shading, intricate designs — all kinds of looks we couldn't get before." Another trend in 2022 was the come- back of puff transfers that add dimension or texture to the transferred graphic. Puff is a plastisol-based ink that, when applied, creates a retro, vintage look. "We were concerned puff was going to be a trend that wouldn't last," Mazade says, adding that its introduction in the 1960s or '70s fell away only to come back this year. "We're going to see that continue to be popular throughout next year." Another type of ink that offers dimen- sion or a raised surface is silicone, a new transfer option brought to market in 2022, fitting the desire for dimension as opposed to colors melting into the fabric, Mazade says. "e silicone ink offers a way to layer the ink enough so it has a raised effect off the shirt or whatever garment you're print- ing on," Mazade adds. Silicone is water-based, which is more sustainable than other materials like PVC, Saunders says. "People want to see dimensions, not a flat transfer," Saunders says. "Once it goes down with the heat and pressure, it creates a loft … onto the actual artwork. Instead of flat, it might be a little bit raised off your garment." Two additional trends with transfers are the return of retro color-changing trans- fers that alter in appearance in light, and the customization and personalization of transfer orders, Saunders adds. "It's something new. People are always eager for something new and different," Saunders says. GP Unique applications to sportswear items with high-stretch and nylon, materials previously difficult to decorate with transfers. (Image courtesy Howard Custom Transfers, Inc.) Headwear continues to trend with transfers providing an easy, cost-efficient solution. (Image courtesy Howard Custom Transfers, Inc.)

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