Finish Soft Signage Fabrics Like the Pros

With the heavy retail season upon us, you’re likely getting more requests for fabric banners and displays these days. Retail outlets often prefer the elegant, lightweight drape that fabric signage offers, as opposed to vinyl, for instance, for banners, hanging signage, table skirts and more.

LexJet Poly Select Medium used for hanging posters.

However, when it comes to fabric signage, finishing needs can vary from fabric to fabric, since some cut cleanly and others may fray. Watch the video above to learn how to test your fabric, and which ones can simply be trimmed with a knife versus those that need a tool such as a heating knife to keep the weave from unraveling.

We offer a wide range of printable fabrics for a variety of print technologies:

For Aqueous

HP Light Fabric used for retail banners.

For Latex

For Solvent

A popular finishing option for printed fabric signage is pole pockets. Watch the video below for a fast, easy and professional result:

Retail Signage Made Easy: Our Favorite Go-to Products

In the fast-paced world of retail promotion in the form of hanging signs, window graphics, floor stickers and much more, providing easy-to-install material is key. Whether it’s a teenage sales clerk or an experienced graphics installer doing the work, switching out retail signage has to be quick and efficient.

Here are some solutions for retail spaces that you can offer your customers who are looking for great print quality, speedy install and clean removal when it’s time for the message to change:

Allison-Kaufman-Display-350x727
LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl w/ PSA

Re-invigorate Display Cases: When Allison-Kaufman Company participated in a jewelry show, they needed an eye-catching display for the Queen of Black Diamonds pieces. The solution? Wrapping a dull display case with Art Deco-style graphics printed on a pressure-sensitive vinyl like LexJet Extreme AquaVinyl w/ PSA, which instantly upgraded the case and could be removed later. This aqueous-compatible waterproof vinyl is durable enough to be used outdoors or on vehicles for up to 12 months.

Better Banners: When to Choose Vinyl or Fabric for Event Signage

Banner printing is a staple in many print shops, and vinyl was the go-to for years. However, fabric is a top trend lately that customers demand these days. While fabric used for banners has some advantages, vinyl is still the top option in many circumstances. We put together this quick hit list on when to choose which media for the best event banner results:

Printer capabilities. If you have an aqueous printer, vinyl is generally your best bet. Fabric works well on latex or dye-sub printers. However, LexJet does offer LexJet Poly Select Heavy, for example, which works on aqueous or latex printers. It’s a good option when you want the drape of a fabric, but a heavier option that won’t curl like vinyl. It’s also available in Poly Select Light and Poly Select Medium that are multi-tasking products that can be used for backlit signs and trade show displays.

rodeo bannerEnvironment. Asking your customer where the banner will be displayed and what the ambiance is are the two most important questions to help you deliver the best banner for their expectations. At a casual, outdoor sporting event, a vinyl banner with grommets can deliver great results for the money. However, as Nackard Companies found when working on the Chuck Sheppard Memorial Roping event, opting for LexJet Poly Select Heavy was a great outdoor choice because when the signage hit the chain-link fence, it didn’t make as much noise as vinyl would, which could spook the animals in the rodeo.

Quick Tip: Cut Back on Media Waste When Printing to a Take-Up Reel

A take-up reel is recommended for flexible substrates like fabric, mesh or banner material, and is essential for long runs and unattended printing. However, the amount of lead material you need to start your take-up reel can be costly when using high-end products. To keep you from wasting that higher-end material, here’s a quick tip to try when using your printer’s take-up reel.

In the example featured in the video above, we chose HP Light Fabric to print to. To avoid wasting several feet of unprinted fabric, we are going to create a re-usable leader out of a scrap piece of media.

Step 1: Measure

  • Start by advancing the fabric to the take-up reel to measure the length needed for the leader.
  • Once measured, rewind the fabric and remove the roll.
  • To make the leader you will need:
    • Scrap media that’s the same width as the media you’re printing to
    • Quality tape
    • Utility knife

Step 2: Create Leader

  • Since the width of the fabric is 42-inches, we’ll use a scrap piece of material that’s the same width
  • Align both rolls and tape the edge of the leader to the fabric on both sides, and trim the tape edges flush.
  • Make sure your tape is secure by applying some pressure with the tape roll after it’s in place.

Step 3: Ready to Print

  • Now, reload the fabric with the leader into your printer and advance it to the take up reel.
  • Pull the media taut and secure it to the spindle core with tape. Now you’re ready to print.

The leader we created here saves more than $25 of wasted media on this job alone. And better yet, it’s reusable for future savings as well.

For more information and video tips, visit the LexJet YouTube page and give us a call at 800-453-9538.

Easy Ways to Start Marketing Your Décor Services Today

Whether you’ve got full décor printing capabilities, or you’re just dipping your toe into this new market, everyone will eventually need to start marketing their services to build business. We sat down with LexJet’s market development pro Rachel Gamberg to learn how to get a décor-focused marketing plan off the ground.

“Based on your equipment and current capabilities, you can identify markets that you can created product lines for and start to segment these groups,” she says. “And if you have plans to invest in new equipment, started thinking about more applications you can offer in the future.”

Intro to Décor Printing: You Already Have What You Need to Begin

Today, we’re kicking off a blog series on how on-demand printers and anyone offering wide-format printing services can jump into an exciting new market within the industry: Décor printing.

Chances are you’ve heard about the booming customizable décor printing opportunities in our industry. With the advances in substrates and printer technology, offering your customers more ways to create one-of-a-kind projects for residential or commercial spaces has become more accessible than ever.

It’s also likely your customers are starting to make requests for projects like wall murals, canvas wraps, floor graphics, customized window screens and even lampshades. In other words, if you can print it, they can decorate with it!