Those that used a technology which was akin to a transfer process that is 4-color print cloth/fabric, although the first sublimation printers were not inkjets.
They were and are great little printing apparatus for short run decals and signs, but with the advent of electronic press, they became too costly to be competitive, although I know a number of sign shops that use them. It’s just cheaper to maintain the old machine running than go into debt for the most recent technology. But it’s not.
These were among the high end improvements graphic industry in the last two decades, as I’ve written about a few times earlier. Fabric has been the choice for more classy events like trade shows where graphics are viewed up close, but the costs could be astronomical. In 2002 and 2001 we did a huge banner project for booster of a state university. We were happy but had it happened a few years after, we would have used dye sub printer, and would have been able to do the project for about half the price it did previously.
Why and how Inkjets are Simply Better
When it comes to printing fabric, dye sublimation inkjet printers are unparalleled in creating a product that is gorgeous, and in efficacy, cost-savings. There’s no other one on the marketplace that can do a one-off print of a photograph with stunning results. There are other methods, but these types only work with substances that have polymers in them.
I don’t know why this is, so we would be enlightened by maybe one of our readers that can clarify polymers in layman’s terms. While natural fibers like cotton do not other materials like nylon do have polymers in them. However, they generally work best on polyester materials.
One reason they have become so popular is that the fabrics exhibit color in a tone like a photo, whereas inkjet printers on vinyl employ a process which sprays the CYMK ink down in patterns which resemble a photograph. While no difference may be picked up by the eye at a distance of five feet, when you place them side by side, the final product looks more real.
How Cheap is the Print Method? I Do Not Have a Massive Corporate Advertising Budget
They’re great for some things, like announcing a new tool or a new style of work boot or a sale on burgers at Burger King, but if you have an upscale product or service, consider that if your screen looks cheap, prospective clients may view your service or product the same way.
They might think that your customer service won’t be quite great because your vinyl banner seems made if the company skimps on images, it might just skimp on customer service. Perception becomes reality in the beholder’s mind even if it’s not accurate.
We are currently finding that, especially in trade shows and conventions, but also in poly knit and poly stretch fabrics are now immensely popular for lots of the reasons. In presenting eyes with your company in a trade show or convention, your first impression may be your final, if you dismiss it.
As with several kinds of advertising, you have less than 10 seconds to grab your potential client’s attention. Fabric banners so do many of our customers, and work in this environment.
Barry Brown has been for over 20 years at the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business. He says he knows too much now to do anything else, although it is not what he thought he’d do with his life!
He has been promoting these products online and the company he was general manager of in 1998 was the first sign company to be listed on Yahoo!