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Enter to win a Truss Roll from Stretch Shapes

Stretch Shapes wants to give you a chance to win a complimentary 50’ Truss Roll! Entering to win is just as easy as our Truss Rolls are to use. To enter, simply purchase any item from Stretch Shapes in the month of July. After each purchase, your organization will earn one entry into the sweepstakes. One winner will be randomly selected on August 1st. Winner will have the choice of either a black (retail value of $340) or white (retail value of $300) 50’ Truss Roll.

Truss Roll Giveaway No purchase necessary to win. If you’re not ready to purchase a Stretch Shapes’ product in July, we have multiple ways you can enter the contest. The first and easiest way is to head over to our Facebook page and like the Stretch Shapes’ Facebook page. All new likes in the month of July will automatically be entered to win the Truss Roll. It’s as easy as that.

Click here to like our Facebook Page and enter to win.

Already like our Facebook page? Thank you! We have another way you can enter the contest. Sign up for the Stretch Shapes’ Newsletter and not only will you get great content in your inbox, but you’ll also get entered in to our Truss Roll sweepstakes.

To sign up for the Stretch Shapes’ Newsletter, click on the image to the right and fill out the form that pops up.

Wait. You don’t know about Stretch Shapes’ Truss Rolls? You may need to sit down for this one. Truss Rolls are the most affordable way to cover exposed truss and there’s no sacrifice in quality. We manufacture these rolls with a special lock stitch seam to allow you to cut the segment you need, when you need it, without ever having to worry about fraying. Trusted by some of the largest Live Design and AV industry organizations, our Truss Rolls allow you to always keep Truss Covers in stock and ready for your next event. Rolls are designed to work with straight or circle trussing segments.

Check out this short video about Stretch Shapes’ Truss Rolls.

All rolls are made with IFR Trapeze Plus high performance stretch fabric that will thoroughly mask trussing or light up bright when lit internally with LED lights. When needed, all you need to do is measure the segment of truss cover you need and cut with a sharp pair of scissors. From there, you’ve essentially created a pullover truss cover that you can slip over your truss like a sock. The tension in the stretch fabric as been calculated to keep your cover securely in place, even after multiple uses.

Truss Rolls are available in lengths of 50’, 100’, 150’ and 300’ rolls in either black or white to fit 12” box truss. We also stock 50’ and 100’ rolls in white or black to cover 20.5” box truss. All rolls automatically qualify for complimentary domestic ground shipping or flat rate shipping to Canada.


Dye Sublimation Printing on Stretch Fabric

Dye sublimation printing onto stretch fabric is the process of sublimating dye into the fabric itself. The process itself works by heating a special type of solid ink. This is much different than other types of printing techniques, such as inkjet and laser printing, which spray liquid ink ink onto a page or surface, staining it. Instead, dye sublimation printing heats up the solid ink, causing it to turn into gas vapors. These vapors make their way into the target surface, where they then turn back into a solid form.

Benefits of Dye Sublimation Printing

dye sublimated printing on our flat panel sailsFor stretch fabric, dye sublimation is usually seen as a better option than inkjet printing. The biggest advantage is that dye sublimation creates a finished product that is noticeably more durable than a product printed with an inkjet printer. As the dye essentially impregnates the stretch fabric, it actually becomes a part of the fabric itself. The printing then cannot be damaged with wear, nor can be flaked off or crack.

Dye sublimation printing on stretch fabric is also more visually appealing, especially when you are at large events or corporate meetings. The process involves a continuous tone output when printing. As a result, it creates smoother and brighter color transitions and variations than inkjet printing. Fabrics that have been printed with dye sublimation will always have a more superior look and sleeker finish.

Dye Sublimation Printing on Stretch Fabric

For many, this seems like a daunting task to print onto stretch fabric due to the fear of warping and images seeming distorted once the fabric is stretched into place. At Stretch Shapes, we have engineered propitiatory processes that prevent any warping or distorting of images on all our products. For products like our Flat Panel Sails, our graphic design department performs a proprietary reverse warp process to ensure that your graphics display beautifully when installed. On items like our Truss Wrap Screens or anything with a hook and loop border, we take all factors into consideration. For instance, how fabric pulls out in relation to the rigging points, specific stretch ratios and the overall size of the panel being printed onto. While all our printed stretch fabric may look funny when not stretched, we guarantee all prints will look flawless when stretched properly.

Achieving Photo Realistic Quality Through Dye Sublimation Printing

The standard process requires the ink to be turned from a solid into a gas which can be absorbed into the item being printed. With stretch fabric, a transfer paper that is printed on with a digital printer is used as a go-between. While generically named, the transfer paper is a specially treated paper that is able to accept dyes. CMYO (cyan, magenta, yellow, overprint clear) dye cartridges are used instead of the average CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) cartridges. They CMYO cartridges allow the dye to become part of the fabric, rather than simply covering the fabric.

The transfer paper is then applied to a piece of polyester or other similar synthetic fabric. About 375 degrees Fahrenheit of heat is then applied by feeding the fabric through heated rollers that also apply the pressure to the fabric. The stretch fabric’s cells expand and the dye is converted into a gaseous state and is absorbed. Once the fabric cools, the cells close up and the ink is trapped, making the printing permanent. Hence the photo or image quality is at the most unique and terrific level, which for Stretch Shapes is at 150 DPI.

Dye Sublimation Printing vs. Screen Printing

Let’s start with how screen printing works. First, a screen is made. This screen lets the ink through in some areas while blocking it in others, it’s nearly 100% customizable. The ink is put on top of the screen and spread over the entire surface using a squeegee. The fabric being printed sits underneath the screen and takes on the design cut into the screen. Usually, the process is repeated for each color in the layers; one screen (or layer) for each individual color in the print. After the image has been printed onto the fabric, it is put through a dryer to ‘set’ the ink, making the imprint permanent. Sounds pretty simple, right? This is the most common way to print on a shirt. Odds are pretty good that you have multiple screen printed shirts in your closet right now.

Drawbacks to screen printing:

  • First and foremost, over time, it ends up cracking and peeling. This is because much of the ink isn’t absorbed by the material, but is baked on. For that same reason, when you run your hands over a screen printed fabric, you’ll be able to feel the print. The friction from normal wear and tear causes the cracking and the peeling to happen faster. So if you’re reusing items at multiple events, your product will wear down and need to be replaced sooner.
  • Another drawback to screen printing is a screen can only hold so much detail, so high-resolution images become slightly pixelated when viewed up close.

Now let’s discuss dye sublimation printing. The basic dye sublimation process uses special heat-sensitive dyes to print virtually any image onto a specially prepared “transfer” paper. The paper is then placed on the stretch fabric and both are placed into a heat press. When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transfered to the item and has actually become part of the stretch fabric. Run your fingers across the surface of a sublimated fabric and you will feel nothing.

The reason for this is that sublimation is always done on a polyester or a polyester blend fabric. At high temperatures, the solid dye converts into a gas without ever becoming liquid. The same high temperatures opens up the pores of the fabric and allows the gas to enter. When the temperature drops, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state, making it now a part of the fabric. This is why dye sublimation can’t be done on natural materials, such as 100% cotton. Natural fibers that have no “pores” to open cannot accept the gas vapor. They dye particles are designed to bond with polyester and ignore everything else. Think of it like trying to mix oil and water.


The Photo Booth You’ve Been Waiting For

Photo Booth backdrops are everywhere. From vinyl backdrops to stretch fabric backdrops, a quick search online and you’ve got an endless number of possibilities to choose from. But how do you know which one is right for you and more importantly, how will it perform for your event? At Stretch Shapes, we understand the challenges and faults of many of the photo booth backdrops on the current market. So when we decided to launch our own version of one, we knew exactly what we needed to do to make the perfect kit for your next event.

Photo Booth Frame Kit

First thing we needed to do was incorporate a frame that was not flimsy, was easy to set up, portable and strong enough to hold up to the elements of a live event. There are a lot of plastic, expandable frame systems out there that come in at a relatively low price-point and work with stretch fabric. The problem is, they are too light and need extra support to stay put. Also, they are all one piece, so if by chance you break one of the tabs (which happens often), you’re stuck having to replace the entire frame. After careful consideration, we were determined to come up with a better solution.

What we came up with was a pipe and base system that meets all our requirements.

• Sturdy 1-1/2” aluminum tube frames for strength and durability – check
• Heavy duty 18”x 18” baseplates to ensure your photo booth stays where you want it – check
• Folds up small and easily transportable – check
• Can be set up in minutes – check

Photo Booth Stretch Fabric

Now that we knew we had a frame in place, it was time to focus in on what we specialize in the most – stretch fabric. For years, we’ve been America’s leader in stretch fabric solutions for live events. Now, more than ever, event producers need décor solutions that are easy to setup, affordable and can meet their event’s needs.

Stretch fabric or tension fabric as it is also referred to, meets all these needs, when done correctly. For safety and event certifications, we only use Trapeze Plus stretch fabric for our Photo Booths. This fabric is inherently flame retardant (IFR) and passes NFPA 701, CSFM Title 19 and ASTM E84 standards, even after repeated machine washing.

Installing your stretch fabric photo booth backdrop is just as easy as setting up the frame. Using our perfected pillowcase style, your photo booth scrim simply slides over the frame and zips into place along the bottom support bar. After install, the zipper is discretely hidden underneath the bar. In the end, you have a seamless and wrinkle free backdrop for your event.

Total installation time should take you no more than 3-5 minutes total. That’s including unpacking the frame from the included case that Stretch Shapes provides.

Dye Sublimation Printing

Although many of our stock 16 colors make for an excellent choice as a backdrop or green screen, our dye sublimation printing option allows you to customize your photo booth to anything you like. Our state-of-the-art printers produce photo realistic quality prints and can Pantone color match if required. With our printing option, you’re able to create premium media walls, trade show backdrops, press conference backdrops, event walls, step and repeat walls and advertising backdrops.

Our quick turn-around times ensure your backdrop is in-hand for your event. Currently, we offer two stock sizes including, our 8’x 8’ photo booth backdrop and 10’x’8’ photo booth backdrop.

Need a custom size backdrop? Check out our Quick Walls or give us a call today. Our fabrication team would love to help design any size custom backdrop you’re after.