Applications and Money Making Insights for the Business of Sublimation Printing

Year-End Tax Essentials

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Section 179It’s November again, and chances are that the last thing on your mind is taxes. After all, April 15th is a long way off and holiday production season is starting to pick up speed right now.

Keeping taxes on the back burner can be a serious business mistake, as the last day for making strategic tax decisions for 2014 is only a few weeks away. December 31 rolls around pretty quickly, and considering that its New Year’s Eve, any decisions you make then will likely be too late.

A great example would be deciding whether to take advantage of the Section 179 deduction. Depending on your tax bracket, buying a new sublimation system now could be like getting a 35% discount!

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What Lies Beneath – Digital Transfer Paper

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This month, we’re taking a look at decorating using transfers. There is so much to say on this topic, that we have broken up the discussion into two articles. This first one explores the world of digital transfer applications, and the other delves into adhesive transfers.

Digital transfer involves printing onto a sheet of transfer paper that is a temporary home for the ink. When applied to the substrate using a heat press, the ink transfers from the paper to the surface of the product. The manufacturer usually adds a binding agent to the ink, the paper or both, to ensure that the ink bonds/affixes to the surface during the pressing process. The paper itself is then removed and discarded.

Digital transfer papers come in three distinctly different types: inkjet, laser and sublimation. Take note: they are not interchangeable!

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What Lies Beneath – Adhesive Transfer Paper

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Adhesive transfers are next in our discussion of decoration using heat transfer processes. Also called a surface transfer, this process involves physical materials that are permanently applied using adhesives. An image is printed onto transfer paper, which is then applied to the surface of a garment using a heat press. The heat and pressure activate the adhesive on the back of the paper, causing it to stick. Think of it as welding the transfer to the product.

The construction of such papers is pretty basic. Because the ink will not be transferring off of the surface, the paper is engineered solely to accept and preserve the ink that is applied to it. The key ingredient is a heat-activated adhesive coating on the backside.

The adhesive transfer process is akin to applying an emblem. It’s vital that all excess paper be trimmed away so that only the contour-cut image is being applied. You’ll need an XY cutter if you are doing any substantial amount of production. We can’t overstate how critical it is that you trim your transfers to the boundaries of the print. Otherwise, you’ll have unwanted white edges peeking out once the transfer is permanently bonded to the shirt.

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