Heat TransferThis week, parsonskellogg added a new member to the family – a heat transfer machine. Safe to say, we?re excited about it. Up until this acquisition the primary (and really singular) in-house decoration method at pk was embroidery, which while probably the most elegant and beautiful of all decoration types, is very time consuming and limited by many factors i.e. product type, product material, and product size.

A heat transfer machine removes almost all limitations on decoration! Now all it takes to decorate anything is to find a way to make the target area lay flat for two or three seconds while the design is transferred. But heat transfer exhausts the stencil when it is placed on a product, and so the decorator needs to have as many copies of the design as products they want to decorate. Before the acquisition we still offered this decoration through third parties but it?s nice to be able to do it ourselves!

Silk screening or screen printing is a process very similar to heat transfer in that it depends on a design being placed onto a fabric rather than sewn in like with embroidery. There are certain product limitations and not quite as much stylistic flexibility as heat transfer, but it is very effective for many decorations. Silk screening depends on an ink block that only allows a dye to get through a specific area (in which a decorator would place their design) and this stencil can be used many times over.

But embroidery, screen press, and heat transfers are not nearly the full array of the decorative machine spectrum. Recently we have started looking into laser etching in fabric. This process, in its easiest way to understand, cuts an image into fabric that lays just fractions of measurements deeper than the original fabric itself and gives you decorations like this.

We don?t have this machine on site but we like the samples that third parties have mocked up for us. Laser etching gives the same classy look as embroidery but without the limitations of what a needle and thread can cut into, and when done well there may be no product decoration that can measure up to this technique.

[Image credit: AP]

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