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Here is a short interview with the host of our upcoming training class, called the New World of Digital Decoration. Greg talks about Direct to Garment Printing and Sublimation and why this class is a must attend event.
Digital Decoration Workshop More Info or
Are you ready to jump into the new world of digital decorating, and learn to do it the right way? This two-day event will give attendees a hands-on education in direct-to-garment and sublimation decorating from the 2 Regular Guys that you know and trust. For the last 4 years, Aaron Montgomery and Terry Combs have been hosting the first and most listened to podcast in the garment decorating and personalization industry. Together they bring you 55 years of industry HANDS ON experience, which will be shared with you to help make your journey into the new world of digital decorating a success.
Creating a Company Website – First and foremost, your website must show that you actually care about being online. This means having a page that is updated regularly. For example, if your page says “copyright 2014,” and it is 2016, that sends a message that you don’t care about being online. Even if you are not a website builder or don’t want to pay someone thousands of dollars to build one for you, there are plenty of ways to look professional online at a reasonable price. Don’t use a free personal site service with ads all over it. Website building is a lot less complicated now than it was even three or four years ago. If you don’t have the resources for a web designer, or the skills to build a site yourself, allocate some of your budget for a paid website platform like wix.com or squarespace.com. These services feature extremely user-friendly interfaces with drag and drop layouts. You can build a functional, modern looking business website without having to spend hours learning code or hiring developers. As a personal testimonial, I maintain a couple of sites myself (www.2regularguys.com, for example) and am the farthest thing from being a website programmer. If I can do it, you can too.
What do you need to buy to be a direct-to-garment printer? Sometimes when we deal with something day in and day out, we forget that those new to the business still need the most basic of information. A common question I get at shows or on the phone is, “What do I need to buy?” There are basically four items you need to purchase to be a complete direct-to-garment production shop. Continue reading
Instagram – Should you be on it: I think Instagram is evolving for sure and is no longer a place just for teenagers (think Facebook 6 to 8 years ago). This means that it becomes a place where many of the buyers of our products are spending their time online. Since it is a picture and video social media platform and we are in a visual decorating market, it is a great place to show off what we can do. I also find Instagram to be a great place to let your potential customer get behind the curtain so to speak. Show them how your equipment works or what the process you use to bring them your products is so they feel part of your inner circle. Continue reading
Generic Catalogs – Many of your T-shirts suppliers will offer what are called generic catalogs. These look just like the catalogs you are now ordering from, but with no prices and no identification of the company… such as Alpha or SanMar to name a couple. These catalogs are for you to use to show your customer’s different products that they can order from you. Continue reading
How to NOT do Customer Service – Back in 2014, I wrote a blog post talking about a customer service experience I had and some key takeaways about how to NOT do things and what to do instead. Lately, I have noticed some things, even in my company that just stood out to me, so I plan to update that blog soon, but you all get a sneak peak of my thoughts. I have some points that I will talk in more detail about on my personal site soon, but for now, let me just give you the top 2 points so you can make sure you are not doing any of these things. Continue reading
Using Refillable Cartridges with a Small Format Epson – The printer of choice today for outputting film positives is an Epson small format device such as the 1430. The only drawback is the standard 18ml cartridge. Refillable cartridges are the best option to save substantial dollars on ink. Continue reading
Focus – since we talked about Niche this fits perfectly. Don’t go after new things until you are really good at the current thing. Can’t try to do everything all at once and expect that there won’t be a learning curve. If it was easy everyone would do it. Pick your niche, your technique and go all in. Then once you have mastered that expand and do it all over with something else. Like we will talk about next week we are all just decorators but you still need to master your craft.
Coated and Uncoated Papers in DTG Printing – Sometimes we have to stop and look at our procedures and see if anything has changed with the component parts. Too often, we continue with a method or technique because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
We have until recently used uncoated paper between a pretreated shirt and the heat press to protect the heat press and dry the shirt. We used uncoated paper because silicon coated paper cause the shirt to be still and shiny. We then used silicon coated paper between the printed shirt and the heat surface to cure the ink. The silicon kept the ink from sticking to the paper.
Today, you can use silicon paper for both steps. This allows you to stock only one paper, and not stand in front of your heat press trying to determine if the paper is coated or not. With advances in pretreat solution, the glossy finish (when applied properly) is no longer an issue.
All Over Sublimation – The two basic items are a wide format printer (44” or larger) and a wide format heat press. To accommodate a men’s x-large or larger shirt, you would need a press that is 44”x64” or larger. Of course, there are a few accessory items that you will need such as Kraft paper, and some heat resistant gloves should you ever do any sublimation with metals, tiles, or other items of that nature.