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Rockstar Happiness

Rockstar Happiness

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. For decorated apparel shops with any decent size there are usually a few people on staff that outshine their coworkers every day.  Without much effort, I’m sure you can think about someone on your staff that fits this description.  At least I hope so.
They just do all the right things consistently.  A few times a week you say to yourself, “Boy I’m so happy that they work here!”
But what if they left?
How big of a hole would that create?  Probably enormous.  They might be the onesfilling your production schedule with orders, or creating those designs your key accounts crave, or producing all the great work on the shop floor.  Can you get by without them?
Maybe.
It depends on who is left sitting on the bench.  How good is your training program anyway?
So the big elephant in the room is how do we keep that type of talent on our payroll? Here are some strategies that you might employ:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (841)/Comments (0)/
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Avoid Lines with This Squeegee Technique

Avoid Lines with This Squeegee Technique

When I demonstrate screen printing techniques at seminars, people often ask why I don’t pull the squeegee perpendicular to the design. Instead, the squeegee is always skewed a few degrees. This technique is a product of evolution.
Friday, March 4, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (984)/Comments (0)/
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TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES WHEN PRINTING POLYESTER

TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES WHEN PRINTING POLYESTER

1. Research Your Garment
Look at the fiber composition, the color of the garment, the stretch of the garment, the functionality of the garment and the weave and texture of the garment. Then decide what ink is needed. Is it necessary to have bleed resistance, extra adhesion, elongation, both bleed resistance and elongation or both extra adhesion and elongation?  While deciding what ink is best for the job, make sure to understand the limitations of the ink and the garment. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (938)/Comments (0)/
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Are You Doing the Right Things?

Are You Doing the Right Things?

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. First and foremost in our shops, we only have so many hours in the day. The big question is what are the people in your shop doing with that time? Are they doing work that matters? How do you know for sure?
One of my favorite Peter Drucker quotes is "Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing."
So how are we getting our staff to do the right thing constantly? I don't even think we should be a matter of choice. They shouldn't have to choose to do the right thing. We have to make it an expectation. Part of our culture.

That my friend, is trickier than it seems.

If you wanted to build a culture that emphasizes being effective by doing the right thing, where would you start? How about these:

Monday, February 29, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (958)/Comments (0)/
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GRAY MATTER

GRAY MATTER

While color can be created with ink that is pre-mixed or formulated with ink mixing systems, the substrate will always challenge the true weakness in all inks -- opacity. Ink manufacturers match color based on a standard printing parameter on a white cotton substrate. This is a necessity to maintain control of a standard matching requirement, but it falls short under certain circumstances. When an ink is printed on a dark substrate, or worse, a dark polyester blend, it requires a base plate.
Thursday, February 25, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (887)/Comments (0)/
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A NEW SPIN ON WATER BASED INKS

A NEW SPIN ON WATER BASED INKS

As the demand from brand manufacturers for non-PVC prints grows and intensifies, screen printers using traditional plastisols have found themselves at a crossroads. No one wants to turn away business, but what sort of adjustments will be necessary in the print shop to meet the customer’s requirements?
The biggest challenge for ink manufacturers has been the race to provide a non-PVC solution for their customers that acts like a plastisol ink in production. One solution is the development of a better, more user-friendly, high solids water-based ink. This ink has a look and feel similar to plastisol on press with improved open screen time, but the print processes are very different for the shop. The details outlined here reflect how ink formulation, pre-press processes and print parameters all play into a solution for this ink formulation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (985)/Comments (0)/
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Screen-printing is a Lion. Digital Printing is a Cheetah.

Screen-printing is a Lion. Digital Printing is a Cheetah.

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. Recently in a few decorated apparel social media groups that I’m in there has been some debate about the merits of digitally printing t-shirts.  Some say that you can’t make any money doing it.  Others point out that there are problems with the printed results and the printheads constantly fail.  All in all, digital printing is a big loser and not worth our time.
Really?
The grumbling sound of disharmony among the decorated apparel community on this topic is perfect fodder for a blog article!
The first thing that we should get out of the way is a common misconception about digital printing.  Screen-printers will always compare it to their brand of production.  Will it ever be the same?
No way.  Digital printing is something completely different.

Monday, February 22, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (954)/Comments (0)/
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From Software To Substrate

From Software To Substrate

During the Golden Age of penmanship from 1860 to 1930, masters and teachers of this art recognized that before one can effectively put pen to paper, they must first learn to properly put hand to pen. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (862)/Comments (0)/
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Defense Wins Championships

Defense Wins Championships

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. Did you see Cam and Peyton blister the field in Super Bowl 50 with their brand of high octane offense?  Of course not.  Because that’s not what happened, despite what the sports journalists predicted in the crushing hype leading up to the game. 
I wonder why nobody takes into consideration that other people are on the field giving their all too?  It’s their job to stop them.  From a former defensive tackle (I was the slow guy that tried hard in high school), I thought it was a great performance.  It certainly wasn’t what the talking heads predicted. 
After the Broncos won the game Von Miller, their star linebacker, was named the Most Valuable Player.  Rightfully so…but that trophy really should have gone to the rest of his defensive teammates too.  (Except for maybe Aqib Talib for that asinineintentional facemask on Corey Brown)
So around the world Denver Broncos fans are celebrating, Carolina Panther fans are saying “wait until next year” in the surrender cobra pose, and everyone else is just either talking about how dumb the halftime show was or the disappointment in the commercials this year.  My eleven year old son is trying to weasel out of doing the dishes three times in one week, as he lost his bet by backing Cam.  This old guy took the old guy.
Monday, February 15, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (901)/Comments (0)/
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The 12 Essential Terms for Automatic Press Calibration

The 12 Essential Terms for Automatic Press Calibration

Ink transfer is most often described as interface, variable, center pressure, pressure differential, and fluid pressure drop, but even so, these precise quantities are inconspicuous. Here are 12 terms to keep in mind when dialing in automatic press calibration.
Thursday, February 11, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (901)/Comments (0)/
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