Since I wasn’t able to attend the Atlantic City ISS Show/ExpoEast I’ve been reading everything I can find on the event. A great article in Counselor Magazine quoted PPAI President Paul Bellantone (@Bellantone) as saying that combining the two shows was a resounding success, with attendance up at both shows. And we’re hearing nothing but positive feedback from the teams that were on the floor. According to Josh Ellsworth, “Folks packed the booth and capitalized on every single educational opportunity. People are hungry to learn how to print more with their heat press and how to sell more in their business.” Josh noted the excitement people had about finding the right tools for the right job– like the new Hotronix hat bill platen. (New – Hat Bill Platen , only compatible with flat presses excluding 11 x 15 clams, not compatible with cap presses. More details coming soon. Currently 5 working days to ship.) This new platen allows decorators to print nearly edge to edge across a wide variety of hats. “Literally, people were stacked 3-4 deep to see this application and are most excited about the new profit opportunities it presents.”
Here are some more trends reported by Josh:
- Development in over sized shirts for billboard printing, with rapid sales growth reported by nearly every vendor. Over sized shirts are now available with color blocking, contrasting color pockets, patterns and even hooded options.
- New super soft garment styles called “sueded” from Next Level Apparel. Mint green was cited as a hot new shade for fashionable blanks that is selling well.
- Sanmar Cationic Polyester in their Posicharged Sport TEK line was heralded by decorators for its bleed resistance and compatibility with even the softest of films without dye migration.
- Excitement over digital camo rages on, with a new roller printed digi-camo blank from Augusta Sportswear delivering decorators a headache free option for printing without the risk of sublimated dyes bleeding through. (note – we still recommended a dye inhibiting option for these blanks such as Thermo-FILM or SuperTEK Sublistop).
- From the decorated finishing side, sublimating on white glitter flake impressed many attendees. Adding the possibility of full glitter textures and patterns really steps up full color decoration.
- The ability to print digital patterns on Express Print and use it for Rip-Away Applique was well received.
- In addition, reflective materials for Rip-Away Applique proved to be a show stopper, as decorators have been seeking an embroidered reflective option for many years to no avail.
“Attendees were impressed with the ability to use CADWORXLive.com to create art for digital printing with one click 3D effects, easy fills and completely custom color gradients. Additionally they were pleased to see new item specific layouts to help them design. Two key examples were the “Shoulder 2 Shoulder” prints for the oversized shirts previously referenced as well as the Hat Bill template with perfect arch for a full bleed customization.”
We were also overwhelmed with the number of photo requests our Stahls’ TV educators received. Josh reported that there were so many decorators who were genuinely thankful for the help we provide in growing their businesses. It’s humbling and motivating at the same time. Frankly, there are literally hundreds of folks across the Stahls’ organization as well as partners that deserve to be in those photos. Thanks to all the GroupeSTAHL unsung heroes who contribute to what we’re trying to accomplish and congratulations to all of the apparel decorators that that continue to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality with heat printing.