Decoration - Soft Appeal

Pamper Promotional Recipients With The Softest Apparel Fabrics

Soft AppealSimply put, dye-sublimation embellishment treatments give distributors more options to sell decorated apparel. With the proper ink and transfer paper, the right printer and a heat press capable of at least 400º F, you can easily create vivid, full-color images that permanently embed in the fibers of the garment being decorated. (Since sublimation works only on polymer fibers, a synthetic fabric like polyester is a must.)

The advantages extend beyond the vibrant, colorful imprint dye-sublimation yields. The process is a simple, low-cost way for you to offer full-color, short-run production and spec samples. Furthermore, once printed, the images do not fade, crack or peel when washed. Today there are more options than ever to outfit your operation for dye-sub production.

Condé Systems recently introduced the DyeTrans GX e7700N ink-jet sublimation desktop printer, which offers brilliant dye-sub, full-color printing and quality, fast speed and versatile paper handling capabilities. "This new printer supports an 11" x 17" paper size right out of the box and 13" x 19" via an optional bypass tray," says David Gross, president of Condé Systems. "This larger 13" x 19" size allows for transfer onto larger substrates and for ganging up smaller transfers onto one page to get the most from 16" x 20" heat presses such as the Geo Knight DK20S."

The GX e7700N uses standard or high-capacity SubliJet-R sublimation gel ink cartridges. At around $3,000, Gross says, "The GX e7700 is a very good printer for most people to start with." Not only will you be able to produce team jerseys in minutes – you can also decorate towels, awards and bag tags for the group. It even opens the door to produce skins for iPhones and tablets.

For large-scale jobs, look to Graphics One LLC (asi/14975) for the GO AquaMax DX printer. This 64" dye-sublimation printer is unique because of its eight-color channel with options for a dual ink setup of CMYK, Lc, Lm, Blue and Orange or Dual CMYK. Print dye-sub transfers with bright, saturated colors for polyester-based textiles, apparel, sport jerseys, promotional items and more.

There are innovations on the supply front as well. GO recently introduced NeoTack dye-sublimation ink, which provides a tack function to conventional dye-sub papers when used on textiles and apparel. It eliminates the need for tacky paper, creating far crisper images while decreasing the overall cost of sublimation by as much as 25%. "GO NeoTack Ink offers a new level of dye-sublimation printing with vibrant colors, true blacks, and neon spot colors not offered by other sublimation inks," says David Badalyan, GO sales manager.

If you don't have or do not plan to add a sublimation-ready printer to your own operation, you can still offer the vivid color of dye-sub decoration. Dalco Athletic, for example, recently announced a line of full-color dye-sublimation twill appliqués. Dalco can produce any appliqué design you need, whether for a split-front jersey, arched or straight. It's an economical way to print three or more colors without added expense. The minimum order is 10 pieces.

Another new option comes from STAHLS' ID Direct (asi/88984). Its Sublimated SimStitch appliqués allow you to create custom lettering and numbers filled with fashionable patterns while providing the look of a sewn appliqué without having to sew a single stitch. Simply apply with a heat press.