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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

The applicators can apply more than just crystals. Many wands have additional heads that can be used to apply nail heads, studs, pearls, or other embellishments. Some of the better wands also include a triangular-shaped tip also referred to as a ribbon tip. This tip can be used to apply fusible webbing or anything about the width of a ribbon that is fusible. Once the glue has cooled and set, you can wash the garment or item it is on. It is recommended that you turn the item inside out, use cold water, and set the machine on the gentle cycle. Crystal-decorated garments can survive the dryer, but to be on the safe side, it is better to let the apparel hang dry.

For larger volume orders, applying rhinestones one at a time is too labor intensive to be affordable for most shops, although you can find offshore sources that still do this. Another option is to use rhinestone transfers. If you are doing enough volume, you may want to purchase your own machine to automatically produce such transfers. Computer-driven units are available that can create these transfers in any pattern or design at the touch of a button. Systems area available that can create designs in up to six colors and affix the stones at speeds of more than 150 per minute. Automatic systems also are offered to affix rhinestones and studs directly onto garments using ultrasonic welding to melt the adhesive.

Finally, a number of suppliers offer stock and custom rhinestone transfer designs. These designs come on clear Mylar carrier sheets that make them easy to position and heat seal to garments.

Similar to rhinestones are nail heads, which, in addition to spirit wear and dance markets, are extremely popular with hip-hop and urban markets. Nail heads come in the shape of hearts, stars, and more and in a range of sizes. They are mostly metallic shades such as silver, gold, brass, and copper. Studs and nail heads are really the same thing, except that studs are round and not shiny like nail heads. Another option is rhinestuds, which are studs that look like rhinstones, giving customers the rhinestone look at a nail-head price.




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