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Methods for Installing & Setting Up Dye Sublimation Fabric Displays

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The Methods Used for Installing Dye Sublimated Fabric Graphics onto Display Frames

Question:  What are the methods that are used to attach dye sublimation printed fabric banners or mural graphics to a trade show display frame?

Answer:  There are several ways that printed fabric banners are attached to trade show display frames; I’ll list them below.

One method is the pullover method where the dye sub fabric graphic is pulled over top of the frame like a sock. It is sewn together on the top, and sometimes will have another rectangle of fabric added on the top if it is going over a frame with a rectangular foot print. This method is often used with “serpentine” displays and also on trade show booth tables/kiosks.

Serpentine Trade show Tables Designs

Serpentine Welcome Tables

Socks for tables table cover cloth

Table Sock

The advantage to this style of display is that the fabric graphic is pulled over the frame, so installation is very simple and quick. No matching up of clips, tabs, or velcro strips to the frame. The disadvantage is that it is somewhat more costly because of the additional fabric, although it can have the print on both sides which is a good feature with some trade show displays that can be viewed from both sides, i.e., a larger booth area.

Some trade show booth display manufacturers have proprietary clips or attachment methods like Nimlok, though I personally am not a fan of proprietary methods as they are both more expensive and lock you into a certain style of booth that is costly to switch away from. Large corporations may not care about this cost, but many of our clients do, and in my opinion, it’s not worth the extra money you pay for a system that is not superior in any way.

serpentine frame nimlok

Serpentine Nimlok

Another method for attaching fabric graphics is velcro, which is popular because it is relatively easy to use, and can be transferred to new displays with a little re-work sometimes, although typically, with most companies, a new frame will also merit new graphics. Nobody or no company wants stale graphics, so usually this feature would not be utilized. However, it is a feature that could be useful.

Below are a typical frame, a close up of the tabs where adhesive hook velcro can be attached, and how a booth could look upon a dye sublimation printed fabric display graphic being attached with velcro, although it is likely with this scenario that more than velcro tabs are being used. It is more probable that velcro strips would be sewn to the entire length of at least the top and bottom of the graphic due to the serpentine construct of the display.

serpentine design display form

Serpentine Frame

Installing Trade Show Graphics to Pop Up Display

Attaching Graphics to PopUp Display

Serpentine Trade Show Booth

Serpentine Trade Show Display

Question:  In a related question, we’ve been asked how long it takes to set up a pop up trade show display, and how difficult is it to do so?

Answer: How long does it take to build a house? This is a relatively open ended question as there are a lot of variations with trade show backdrop displays, but I think that, on the average, you should figure about thirty to sixty minutes, give or take an hour. A “sock” style display, as discussed above, probably would take five minutes, but the first photo above, if attached by velcro tabs, might take closer to an hour to set up. The Nimlok system could take even longer, unless you’ve become proficient at setting it up.

The difficulty factor, again, will be somewhat related to the size and complexity of the display, and the difficulty factor will be the lowest with a slip cover, next with velcro tabs or strips, and then with proprietary attachment systems. At least those that I’m familiar with.

Visit this page for more about trade show booths, graphics, and displays.

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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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