In this month’s edition of Wearables, a magazine published by the good people at ASI Central, our Director of Marketing, Joe Longtin, was called upon to give his expertise in the field of direct to garment printing for business. In an article entitled “The Blind Spot,” several readers turned to Wearables for help with delivering business-generating ideas, and Wearables connected the readers with industry experts to provide solutions.
Joe was called in to provide a solution for Parker Morgan, sales manager for Morgan Printers , a family owned and operated printing company from Greenville, NC. Parker was looking to establish consistent pricing while increasing his direct to garment sales. Even though Parker doesn’t own an AnaJet brand printer, there are still straight forward business tips that Joe offered up to help out the Greenville printing shop. Without giving away the entire article, Joe suggested the creation of a set price list that Parker could publish publicly. Joe also suggested that Morgan Printers sample aggressively, laying out a specific plan of attack for Parker to implement.
We encourage you to pick up the latest edition of Wearables or read the digital version online here (article on pg. 50-54).
Our Director of Marketing also took part in an educational webinar with ASI entitled “10 Low Cost Ways to Grow Your Garment Decoration Business” which you can read more about on our blog and even view a recorded version of the webinar online! We believe in educating our customers on the best practices with direct to garment technology because their success directly links back to our success as a company.
For more Tips and Tricks from AnaJet, click here to read more stories from our blog that can surely open doors for you and your business. Alternatively, contact us via email with any questions you might have and we’ll do our best to help advise.
UPDATE. Here is a PowerPoint presentation (download the PDF) that I prepared for the consultation.
The recommendations are detailed. Parker’s concerns are the same as for a lot of commercial printers, sign shops and other businesses whose primary business is not garment decoration: how do we get the most utilization out of this equipment and NOT leave money on the table? What constitutes a profitable business model?
They also struggle with another common challenge: dedicating time to growing the digital product line without changing anything else they are doing.
When it comes to growing any business or product line, you generally only get back what you put into it. Your customers will not automatically know you have a new offering so you have to actively market it. Sometimes this happens through word of mouth, but more often, it calls for making the product or service highly visible in your shop, putting out flyers, offering promotions, using social media and email, even calling the customer database to offer free samples. All of this is feasible and quite scalable once you begin. And done properly, this effort pays off.
Here’s an example of a polyester shirt done on an AnaJet mPower i-series printer. Because it’s polyester, the owner (Jason Bryan, IHS Printing, Fountain Valley) used our own Poly Primer to prepare the fabric for the ink. The ink is basically impossible to feel once printed on a polyester garment, and there is virtually zero waste produced from the process. Jason simply pre-treated the garments with the Poly Primer using a Wagner power sprayer, allowed them to dry, then printed and cured as usual.
We hear this question frequently: what type of fabric can you print on? This is a perfect example of how to do a short run of poly shirts. Our equipment and inks work wonderfully on white or light poly shirts. The only extra step in the equation is to pre-treat with Poly Primer.
As you can see the saturation is good and the ink basically becomes part of the garment. Look closely at the left chest print and you can see through the fabric to the full back print on the other side. The ink does not bleed through the white; it’s just very transparent.
If you own an mPower, the advantage here is that you’re not changing out inks and you don’t need to switch to a different printer or use different RIP software, which means you can save time. It is not the same as dye sublimation, but washability will be comparable to a regular DTG print on a white cotton t-shirt.
Printing on polyester is a great way to get as much versatility out of your mPower as possible, and can rake in high profit margins per printed piece. Polyester garments are a popular trend among golfers and sports teams, so being able to offer custom printed, short-runs of polyester garments can set you apart from the competition.
AnaJet recently attended NBM Arlington where we met up with Stephanie Wells of VS Rhinestone Designs. She walked us through the process of rhinestone application on digitally printed garments. Stephanie also told us what sort of garment decorations works best with rhinestone application. This simple procedure may instantly bump up the price of a printed t-shirt to a wholesale value of $20 and it’s something that nearly anyone can master.
The actual process of applying rhinestones to a printed garment is quite simple. Our own Joe Longtin filmed a short video tutorial of the entire process while manning our booth at NBM Arlington. In the video we printed a t-shirt with a fun frog graphic on it with the mPower i-series. It took about 40 seconds to lay the ink on the shirt. From there, you see the shirt getting pressed to cure the ink onto the garment. Once the ink is cured, Stephanie placed the rhinestones in the desired spot before placing the garment back under the heat press for another 15 seconds. Once that was done, the shirt was allowed to cool off just a bit before the background tape was peeled off leaving the rhinestones stuck onto the garment. Stephanie placed the shirt back under the press for another 5 seconds and the process was finished.
This sort of garment decoration is perfect for retail stores, souvenir shops, as well as boutiques and other similar outlets. The rhinestone application process is exactly the same as the application for sequins too! So once you master one type of application, you’ve learned the other as well.
Regarding the appropriate care for the garment after you apply rhinestones, make sure that you machine wash inside out and do not dry in a machine dryer. Simply lay out the garment flat to dry and you’ll keep the product looking good much longer.
If you have any questions regarding the process, we encourage you to reach out to Stephanie at VSRhinestones.com, or call us at (877)626-2538.
It’s well known that AnaJet is the leader in the direct to garment industry, especially when it comes to printing on t-shirts. What you may not be aware of is the supreme flexibility of surfaces with which our printers can print upon. The mPower i-series is so much more than just a t-shirt printer and once you realize this, you can really start to see how business across the world have opened up new forms of revenue streams because of the various product offerings they are capable of delivering.
Below is a list of different printing surfaces that our AnaJet printers can print onto:
- Natural fiber garments
- Cotton t-shirts
- (Cotton) polo shirts
- Tank tops
- T-shirt dresses
- Canvas bags
- Canvas hats
- Trucker hats
- Painter’s caps
- Art canvas
- Canvas shoes
- Canvas hi-top shoes
- Tote bags
- Denim shirts
- Denim jeans
- Sweat pants
- Hemp shirts
- Hemp clothing
- Children’s clothing
- Baby bodysuits
- Baby onesies
- Cotton towels
- Rally towels
- Golf towels
- Bar towels
- Black shirts
- Gift sacks
- Bed sheets
- Cotton sheets
- Bed linens
- Pillow cases
- Wooden plaques
- Ceramic tiles
- Mouse pads
Of course, there is also a list of surface that our printers are unable to print onto, but the list is much smaller:
- Dark polyester
- Dark nylon
- Dark colored dry-fit or water wicking fabrics
- iPhone covers
- Golf balls
- Bicycle jerseys
- Dark synthetic jerseys
- Dark fleece pullovers
- Dark fleece jackets
- Rubber mats
If you are interested in learning more about AnaJet’s extended media printing, we encourage you to go our Applications Page on our website, or call us at (877)626-2538.
This March, AnaJet took part in a special “10 Low Cost Ways to Grow Your Garment Decoration Business” webinar put on by ASI. ASI is know for providing award-winning services and education to the advertising and promotional products industry. They are the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry and have been doing it for over 50 years.
AnaJet’s Director of Marketing Joe Longtin helped to present this live webinar, along with Chuck Northcutt who owns an all-around imaging business specializing in direct to garment printing: DTG Ready. Chuck has 27 years of experience in garment decoration, including embroidery.
The goal of the webinar was to give attendees real, simple steps that they could use to actually grow their garment decoration business, regardless of whether they’re just starting out in their garage or they’re established and looking to incorporated direct to garment technology to their product offerings. Every tip provided in the webinar was a proven and practical pointer for anyone turning to digital printers as a business solution.
Whether you attended the event or you’re simply interested after reading this, we encourage you to take the time and watch the recorded webinar to see how Joe and Chuck can help you grow your garment decoration business.
On March 5, Eugene Lee, AnaJet Regional Manager, presented our monthly product webinar that highlights the mPower i-series. The purpose of the webinar is to broadly cover how the mPower can be an effective tool for just about any business. Whether you are a start-up business or you currently own a print shop or something similar, the mPower’s direct to garment technology will help take you to the next level.
The garment decoration industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to grow. AnaJet is leading the way in terms of garment decoration technology and we want to help you realize a whole new world of customers and revenue streams. Eugene lays out just how you can realize this when you purchase one of our printers in the webinar.
Our success and our customers’ success go hand in hand. This is why we take such good care of them. We don’t just sell you a printer and send you on your way. We stay in constant contact with the owners of our machines to ensure you get the proper training, technical support, and industry information. In this webinar, we show proven examples of customer success stories. Eugene lays out various business models that work and he also informs the audience of the endless possibilities that the mPower i-series offers outside of printing t-shirts.
For those who missed this product webinar, we are offering up the recorded video and slideshow PDF as an online learning tool for you.