Rhinestone transfers and decoration of finished products: An untapped market
Rhinestone setting is currently one of the most profitable techniques in garment decoration and for the first time it has become affordable to enter the market or add it to an existing business. Be prepared to spend enough money to buy good quality equipment though, unless garment decoration using rhinestones is likely to be a hobby rather than a serious, profit-making business.
Rhinestones look great on their own, but you can also add a touch of bling to prints from direct-to-garment machines, embroidered designs, heat transfer prints or some screen printed designs. There is a world of applications just waiting to be explored and a ready market for the end product.
Getting a professional solution for rhinestone decoration today is like getting in on the ground floor of an untapped market. You can set up to serve only the trade or go directly to a wide range of end users. The sky is the limit!
Buying a rhinestone setting machine or indeed a rhinestone setting robot is not all you need to think about before getting involved in this business. The rhinestone business is fast increasing in popularity and can be a very profitable niche, provided you go about the business correctly from the outset and invest in good quality equipment and software. Rhinestone designs are a popular addition to anything ranging from t-shirts to baseball caps, but creating these additions in a profitable way is another matter entirely.
Rhinestone setting software
Good software lies at the very core of a profitable rhinestone business. You need to be able to create the rhinestone designs Rhinestone sample quickly and calculate the costs based on the number of stones used quickly and efficiently. Time is money and using software that was never intended to run a rhinestone setting machine will not serve you well. While graphics packages like Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator are excellent products in their own right and can be used, no profitable, professional rhinestone business will ever be running with anything other than dedicated rhinestone setting software. There are many products out in the market place, so choosing your software should involve a personal demonstration to see how quick and easy it is to use. You also need to consider how flexible the software is and how easy it would be to convert poor quality designs like low resolution jpegs or even hard copy files into a viable design. Will your software allow you to create multi-media designs by opening embroidery files and add a rhinestone design quickly and easily?
Special rhinestone software fits this bill and may be a worthwhile investment even if you already have software supplied with a current rhinestone setting machine. The software can run vinyl cutters, laser, engravers and a wide range of rhinestone setting machines.
Rhinestone setting machines
Your choice of rhinestone setting machine is another crucial aspect of making a profitable business out of this niche market for garment decoration. The only way forward is to use fully automated equipment and any other Rhinestone setting machine method is quite frankly not even conceivable outside the Far East unless you are looking at this purely as a craft or hobby. The accurate placement of rhinestones as tiny as 2mm diameter up to around 7mm or so can only be done by fully automated rhinestone setting, machines or robots. The rhinestone setting m/c will generally apply the design to adhesive tape, which is later applied to the garment using a heat transfer press.
A decent rhinestone setting machine will apply around 100-170 rhinestones per minute, from tiny 2mm diameter rhinestones all the way up to 7mm rhinestones. The work area should not be restrictive and the machine should be reliable enough not to require an operator to be present constantly as this is not good for profitability. Ensure that you select a rhinestone setting machine with a decent guarantee and that your chosen supplier is willing and able to put you in touch with the best possible suppliers of decorative elements, as this will ensure you provide a high quality product to your customer at a competitive price and better profit.
The Rhinestone Machines available in the market are capable of placing 150 stones per minute with two colors or sizes of rhinestones or rhinestuds directly to heat transfer material. This means that a typical design of 2300 stones can be done in as little as two minutes. Additionally, there are optional hoppers available that allow you to do any combination of 2 different colors and sizes of rhinestone and rhinestuds making it possible to do multi-color and multi- size designs. The large design field of such Rhinestone machine is 9.8 by 11.8 inches allowing you to create transfers for sizes ranging from a children's shirt to an adult size jacket.
This article was originally published in February issue of magazine, "New Cloth Market: The complete textile magazine from textile technologists.