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Scoring More Sales With Specialty Garment Decorating

(November 2008) posted on Thu Nov 06, 2008

Want to broaden the array of decorating options you can offer your customers? Then check out the collection of specialty decorating technologies discussed here and find out how you can use them to expand your bottom line.

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By Henry Bernstein

A laser bridge is a computer-driven machine that consists of a gantry built over a multihead embroidery machine (Figure 1). The laser unit travels along this precision gantry or beam using gears in a fluid motion with precise accuracy. Taking its instructions from the computer’s input, the laser stops at each embroidery head to perform one of two tasks: laser cutting or etching. It moves in 0.1-mm increments tracked through highly engineered galvanometric mirrors performing on an X/Y axis.

For each job, material settings, also referred to as recipes, are developed through a combination of power, velocity, repeats, height, and delay. A series of circles are burned at different settings until the proper combination is identified for that particular fabric or job parameter. Once determined, the setting can be saved for future applications minimizing future setup times.

With proper settings, appliqués can be cut in single or multiple layers. The process hugely reduces the time by eliminating most, if not all, of the pre-appliqué work. What once may have taken two hours to produce using traditional methods can now easily be achieved in less than 15 minutes.


Laser bridge applications

One of the greatest applications for a laser bridge machine is appliqué. Appliqués, as we know them, are mostly simple in shape and material choices. This is done to make placement and sewing easier. But, imagine if you were free to create designs as narrow as 3 mm? How about multiple layers for a true three-dimensional look and feel? These can easily be achieved with laser technology.


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