Decoration shops, suppliers, and distributors didn’t have to look far at the Specialty Graphics Imaging Association (SGIA) show, which runs from Wednesday, October 22 through Friday, October 24, to find answers to their most pressing decoration questions. They could have simply participated in educational sessions such as the “Garment Decoration Dream Team: Stump the Experts.”
For an hour and a half, a host of top experts from the decorated apparel industry answered the hardest questions the audience could muster. Subjects ranged from technical components like how to eliminate dye migration with camo fabrics to business topics like how much to charge for custom artwork. “We don’t charge by the hour [for creative art],” said Rick Roth, owner of Mirror Image, “because everyone wants to know how long it is going to take. So we just charge a price.”
Hundreds of new products were on display as decoration equipment and software companies are gearing up for 2015. Pulse Microsystems, makers of software solutions for embroidery and other types of decorations, debuted a new cloud-based solution called PulseCloud. Available to all customers who purchase the company’s new DG15 software, PulseCloud stores up to 100,000 embroidery designs. Users can update digitized files, post on social media and even send to their embroidery machines, which they can monitor in real-time. “We’re trying to unleash the user of our software from his desktop,” said Brian Goldberg, president of Pulse.
While software solutions let owners venture from their offices, a class on waterbase ink and discharge printing emphasized the need for screen printers to stay by their printer to be successful. “With waterbase ink,” said industry veteran Charlie Taublieb, who led the session, “you have to be far most disciplined with your time.” The screen-printing consultant touched on everything from how to mix your own waterbase ink to the essentials of a top-notch screen room. He demonstrated several samples of waterbase ink and discharge and how they have allowed printers to charge far beyond what would be customary for a shirt. “It’s an amazing thing how much money people will pay for a shirt with no hand,” he said.