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Understanding the Garment: Selection, Testing, and Prep

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What you need to know to get the best possible print.

Quality screen printing of apparel begins with the garment itself. The garment impacts every other variable in the process, and understanding how it does so is central to achieving the best possible result. Stitch count, finish, weight, thickness, and fabric properties such as the potential for dye migration and heat sensitivity, as well as the material’s construction and color, all affect the print, and need to be considered in the production process.

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OE-A Honors Innovative Printed Electronics

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Five winners to be announced at LOPEC in Munich.

OE-A has revealed the 20 finalists for its annual organic and printed electronics competition.

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The Power of Pigment Ink

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Milan’s ITMA textile show brought the latest in ink technology to the fore, with fade-resistant pigmented inks on center stage.

ITMA is the major international exhibition of the textile industry’s equipment, tools, and materials, and while it’s held just once every four years, its technologies are rapidly easing into both screen and digital printing markets. Held last November in Milan – the urban powerhouse of fashion and fabric – ITMA featured a global span of manufacturers and suppliers displaying the full range of textile machinery, innovations, and software.

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FlexTech Hosts Smart Materials Workshop

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Experts travel to Kent, Ohio.

FlexTech will host a workshop on smart materials April 13 at the Kent State Hotel & Conference Center in Kent, Ohio. Technology experts will discuss the manufacturing and synthesis of smart materials across the automotive, consumer goods, and medical industries; attendees will have the chance to explore developments in polymers, nanomaterials, smart surfaces, and other highly functional materials.

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From the Editor: Garment Decorators Are Reeling in Investors, But...

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Why the cash flowing into the garment industry may not necessarily be good news.

In the late 1980s, corporate America took a sudden, keen interest in garment screen printing. Brand owners and the garment mills that cranked out the blank goods began to appreciate the immense marketing potential of licensed apparel, and both groups wanted bigger pieces of the pie. They acquired many of the largest sportswear printers, but the recession of 1991 deflated lofty growth expectations; then NAFTA and its cost efficiencies proved too tempting, so off the high-volume work went to places where labor was cheap.

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FESPA 2017 Travels to Germany

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Global expo set for May 8.

FESPA has announced the details of its 2017 show, to be held May 8-12 in Hamburg, Germany, the eighth largest city in Europe. Co-located shows will include FESPA Textile, European Sign Expo, and Printeriors. The venue, Hamburg Messe, is a short distance from the center of the city.

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Marilyn Monoprint Added to Cooper Hewitt Collection

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Flavor Paper’s screen-printed designs capture Andy Warhol’s legendary work.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has added Marilyn Monoprint wallpaper, designed and screen printed by Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper, to its permanent collection. Created in collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the print is part of a collection celebrating Andy Warhol’s series of prints of Marilyn Monroe based on a photograph of the actress from the 1953 film “Niagara.”

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DAX Travels to Minnesota and Illinois

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Education-packed events for apparel decorators.

The Decorated Apparel Expo (DAX) is heading to Welch, Minnesota (April 1-2) and Tinley Park, Illinois (April 22-23) next month. Serving the screen-printing, embroidery, and digital garment decoration industries, the shows will feature exhibitors and educational events on everything from screen-printing basics to breaking into the signage industry to “How to Fail at Social Media.”

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The Future of Wearable Technology

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Why screen printers should care about the development of apparel infused with electronic sensors and circuitry.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking shape, and the specialty printing industry is very much a part of the evolution. The IoT’s ambitious goal is to connect systems, people, and entities to enable us to capture, analyze, and act on information to improve the quality of our lives and make businesses more efficient. It’s transforming all sorts of things – factory equipment, home appliances, thermostats, retail stores, and security systems – and in our industry, it’s already at work in automating our workflows.

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An Interview with New SGIA President Ford Bowers

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Did he find print, or did it find him? What's next for the Expo? Will screen printing disappear?

In February, SGIA welcomed a new leader as Ford Bowers took the helm as president and CEO, succeeding Michael Robertson, who had served in that post since 2001. Bowers was named the successor at the SGIA Expo last November, following Robertson’s announcement that he would be retiring after 33 years with the association. Bowers brings a nontraditional perspective to association management, coming to SGIA from the leading retail graphics firm Miller Zell, where he was VP and general manager of the printing operation.

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