Guangzhou Mountainwood New Material Technology Co., Ltd (formerly Guangzhou Mountainwood Garment Accessories Co., Ltd )

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Tagless labels are for sustainable development

from:newsauthor:admintime:2016-01-07

These tags usually are printed at the label supplier¡¯s premises. Among the industry¡¯s label solutions providers active in the tagless space are Avery Dennison, Paxar, Unimark, Thermopatch, Shore To Shore and Insta Graphic Systems, to name a few. Each firm uses a specially designed ink transfer process to print label contents onto a roll (usually of film or paper). Then, adhesive is applied so that the entire label can ¡°stick¡± to a garment. Each labeling company has its own unique ink, label chemistry and printing transfer technology.
 
The tags are available in pre-printed rolls, ready to be applied onto the fabric with the application of heat and pressure. The application process typically takes about two to three seconds, depending on the manufacturer¡¯s chemistry. Some transfers can take up to 15 seconds to apply depending on the manufacturer¡¯s process and the type of fabric. The tag constitutes an ultra-thin layer of specially formulated adhesive and lettering, which results in a sharp image being fixed permanently to the fabric. Standard practice calls for the labels to be durable enough to withstand 50 washes as well as dry cleaning.
 
Some label manufacturers offer decorative transfer labels that are affixed flat to the garment with a heat-transfer system. While this type of labeling can create a look similar to that of a tagless label, it also changes the hand of the fabric, and thus is not considered truly label-less.
 
Among the industry¡¯s tagless labeling solutions providers, there are as many different variables of offerings as there are suppliers.
Shore To Shore markets Ever-Brand®, a permanently fusible graphic, with no noticeable hand or feel. It can be stretched without harming the fabric.
 
This past spring Paxar added the VR Industrial Heat Transfer to its tagless product line. Designed to withstand harsh wash and abrasion processes such as those used in denim and work wear applications, these new tagless labels can withstand home laundering temperatures up to 200 degrees F and dry cleaning.
 
Mountainwood offers the  no glue-edge heat transfer, which is targeted to the undergarment and  babywear markets, where wearer comfort is a priority. Through a patented process called digiTransfer™,  Mountainwood allows for variable information to be printed on its tagless labels in a secondary operation. Here is how it works: A roll of the transfer with generic information can be sent to garment makers around the world, as part of a mass-produced tag roll process. Then at the point of application, garment-specific size and/or content information, for example, can be printed. At press time, the firm reported that it had a number of patent-pending processes yet to come into the marketplace.
 
By making a slight adjustment in the adhesive formulation (originally developed for cotton), tagless label suppliers have developed heat transfer labels that can be applied to polyester, polyethylene, leather, spandex and nylon. The latest developments in the technology have enabled these tags to be applied to thin low-weight fabrics, such as those used in lingerie, without any grin-through effect.
 
There are two processes for applying the labels. One is the heat transfer process whereby ink printed on an adhesive film is ¡°heat-pressed¡± onto the fabric garment surface. In this process no substrate is used. The second method is where a heat seal is created by printing on a film/paper surface, a substrate, which in turn is heat placed onto the garment fabric. In this method, the film color can be incorporated into the label design.
 
Each method allows the marketer to place additional information on the garment and further communicate with the ultimate consumer. This can be in the form of logos, branded trademarks or corporate tag lines.
 
Layering systems, which differ by tagless label supplier, affect how the label¡¯s image is delivered and ¡°placed¡± onto the fabric surface. For instance, some tagless labels have layers including adhesive, primer, ink and protective overcoat, or some variation of these.
 
Required equipment
There are a number of equipment manufacturers offering machines that use the label-less technology to apply information to apparel and other products.  The cost of these machines can vary widely depending on features ($3,000 to $ 9,000 was the price range of models reviewed for this article).
 
Guangzhou Mountainwood machines feature indexing and positioning capabilities designed to ensure accurate placement of the transfers. A laser guide also can be installed to the firm¡¯s heat transfer machines for extra high-precision transfer placement. Following are some different things to consider in selecting heat transfer machinery for applying tagless labels: Frame construction; size; automatic or manual feed configurations; optional foot pedal controls; integrated digital controls for monitoring time and temperature and label counts; display functions; and parts and labor warranties.
 
Quality and supplier selection considerations
As with the garment itself, the label must withstand the test of time. With advances in label-less technology, you should expect the following performance from your supplier¡¯s tagless labels: Secure permanency of application; stretchability for freer movement by the garment wearer; no cracking with movement; and the ability to withstand washing (laundering or dry cleaning) without loss of consistency and strength of application. The label supplier also should be able to provide tagless labeling solutions that can be applied on a wide range of fabrics, including cotton, poly/cotton blends and synthetics.
 
One size does not fit all in the tagless arena, and each brand, retailer or manufacturer will have to consider its own priorities, processes and supply chain in selecting a supplier of label-less labels and the necessary equipment to apply them. For instance, application speed and manufacturing efficiency will be most important to some companies, while hand and appearance will be most important to others.

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