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Frequently Asked Questions
Banners, Backdrops, and Portable Displays
- Why choose fabric over vinyl?
Fabric is easy to roll, fold and transport. It takes less room in packing and is considerably lighter than other medias. It won't crack or peel as in laminated vinyl products. Visually, fabric has "great flow" and catches attention. Colors are vivid and stand out in a crowd.
- What is the best way to transport fabric?
Rolling or folding should be fine. Don't throw it in your suitcase like dirty laundry. You might want to wrap it in a plastic bag during transportation to reduce wrinkling. Do not store for long term in plastics and fabric likes to "breathe".
- What should I do if I have wrinkles in my fabric banner?
As Dye Sublimation fabric has polyester content, give yourself time before setup to check for wrinkles. Many wrinkles will work themselves out. If you can, use a steamer or steam iron. Set temperature no higher than medium. Use a white press cloth between the banner and iron. If unavailable, use a white towel. Check the press cloth often to ensure that it remains clean.
- What is the best way to clean my banner, table drape or flag?
That depends on the print method, substrate and severity of stain. If it is a Dye Sublimated banner or appliquéd flag, either spot clean or have it laundered as a delicate.
Dye Sublimation (as used in our industry) is a method of printing onto fabric. We print a reverse image onto rolled transfer paper. The paper is mated to fabric using a 120" wide rotary heat press. Through time, pressure and heat, the image is transferred from paper to fabric. Color is embedded and heatset into the fabric fibers. The finished product is soft and will not wash out.
- Aren't all digital imagers the same? What puts you above the "crowd?"
We manage our business the old fashion way, customers come first. We have no complicated voicemails. A "real honest to goodness person" will answer your call by the second ring because we want to earn your business. Should you wish to speak with customer service, an artist, accounting or the president of the company, just call and we will make ourselves available. Our quality control process is unique for digital imagers. As your order goes through departments, our staff checks and rechecks to ensure that your project is done correctly the first time. We don't assume and we seek clarification when we're in doubt. Our sales, art, and sewing staff are manned by professionals trained in customer service. Should something not be right with your project, we will do everything that we can to make it right.
- What is your turn around time for production?
We request 10 business days. However, we never turn down business. So don't assume that your lead time is too short. We can work miracles so please give us a call.
- How is artwork prepared for a Dye Sublimated fabric banner?
Please refer to "Digital Guidelines
- If digital artwork is prepared using "CMYK," why do you ask us to identify critical colors by Pantone PMS Colors?
We fully realize that art is prepared in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). When we review a strike (mini version), prior to production, knowing your color intentions help
us to "tweak" our printer. Since monitors and printers vary in their color output, a Pantone number is a critical tool enabling us to identify color intentions. Please specify PMS numbers using the Solid Coated Guide
- Why is color approximate?
Each printer will print a little differently. Color gamut in CYMK is more limited than RGB mode. Also, you must take into account the substrate being used. This all translates to approximate color. Whether you are printing by digital, silk- screening, flatbed or other techniques, color will vary. By letting us know PMS match up, we will try to get your color as close as possible to expectations.
- What is your maximum width for printing? What is meant by tiling?
Using Grand Format imaging, we can print in one direction 103" x desired length. Tiling involves sewing two or more pieces together. The secret to effective tiling is a good sewing staff. Ours are better than good; they are excellent.
- Why should artwork be layered and not flattened?
When artwork is layered, it allows us to go into the file and make critical adjustments that are necessary to produce your product. We can manipulate components and get a great looking piece. When an imaged is flattened, we can only make universal adjustments. Never flatten your image.
- Why is final output resolution critical?
It is critical to review output to final size. If possible, send us Vector images. If not possible and at final size, minimum DPI should be 150. Otherwise, image may look staircased and grainy. Please call us should you have lower resolution files.
- What are the most common mistakes made in art preparation?
- Not giving enough resolution for output size.
- Flattening image instead of layering.
- Not giving an additional background image beyond final size for sewing hem (call us in advance for final size).
- Not adding enough background beyond final output size for pole pockets.
- Not supplying support files.
- Not converting fonts to "outlines" and "paths" (art).
Southern Tailors Fabric Imaging prefers to do fulfillment work. We can do art origination. Hourly art charges would apply.
- Can you create artwork or fulfill other artists' work?
- How long will a flag last?
Hard question to answer. It depends on weather conditions and construction of flag. Most flags will last up to a year. Some last longer. With harsh conditions such as wind and direct sun (UV), they may last considerably less time.
- What is single sided reverse? What is double sided correct?
reads correctly from one side and is the reverse image on the second side. One piece of fabric is used. Double sided
correct means that two images (both reading correctly) onto two pieces of fabric are used. A liner is also used for opacity.
- Why is a lighter flag better?
The lighter a flag, the better the fly; double sided flags hang heavier and have 3 plies of fabric (two print sides and inner liner).
If you wish a flag for a special event, printing digitally is the way to go. Digital flags can last for up to 6 months or longer. Duration depends on weather and UV (Ultra Violet) conditions. The harsher the environment, the shorter the lifespan.
- What are the + and - to printing digitally onto flags?
Printing digital allows you to have low production runs and a quick turnaround. We can UV spray flags for extra protection. There is a charge for this service.
- Why is silk-screening so expensive for low quantity runs?
When silk-screening, screens per color need to be set up. It is a relatively expensive setup. Costs are amortized with quantity. If you are seeking small quantities, it can be an expensive process.
- When ordering custom flags or avenue banners, why should you order extra?
You never know what's going to happen. A flag can be stolen or damaged or you just may need an extra.