The History of Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG)

  • September 24, 2018 by Half Price Banners

Silicone Edge Graphics, often abbreviated SEG, were first reported to be seen at the largest world’s largest trade fair: the 2008 EuroShop. Like most innovations, SEG was a solution to several problems faced by advertisers and retailers.

Anyone who attends trade shows would know how much trouble it can be to bring along large, rigid signs and custom displays with them. SEG offered a simple solution to this: create a beautiful, collapsible frame that allows a fabric graphic to be attached with a seamless look. The lightweight, folding frames now could travel easily and cheaper than ever imagined and then come to life at the booth in minutes.

Retailers were facing a different problem. They wanted large signage in their stores, but they didn’t want to require professional installation or maintain the storage space needed to keep some of their larger seasonal graphics. Again, SEG answers this by allowing a single frame to quickly swap the graphics of a larger display. In minutes, a single person is able to completely change the look and feel of a fixed space. Then storing the previous graphic is as light and simple as folding up a piece of fabric such as a tablecloth or bed sheet.

SEG is being picked up by various industries and professionals as their go to-choice for signage and displays.

How is SEG Made?

Dye-Sublimation

The heart and customer facing side of SEG uses a fabric graphic, and this graphic is printed using dye-sublimation. Dye-sublimation, sometimes called “dye-sub,” is a process that uses heat to change solid ink dyes to gas so quickly that it skips the liquid phase in a process known as sublimation.

The heat involved is also heating the fabric, and this will open the pores of the material so that the gaseous dyes are able to infuse themselves into the fabric. The dye is now within the material and a part of the material rather than just printed on the top or soaking into fibers. This is also why dye-sublimation is recommended for specific materials that allow for pores to open when heated so that the ink will retain and keep its appearance for an amazing life span. You'll find this process used in many types of custom fabric printing from feather flags to fabric banners.

Over the years, specialized printers have gotten better and better at dye-sublimation techniques so that you’re now able to get crisp, sharp resolution prints on just the right blends of fabric that won’t fade or smear as if you had only pressed the ink against the material.

Hand Sewn Silicone Beading

After the fabric is printed through its dye-sublimation process, the edges are hand-sewn with a silicone beading strip. This added silicone strip is exactly what gives the graphics their silicone edge. The graphic is now able to fit seamlessly into the specially made SEG frames with just a quick press of the finger. Unlike traditional adhesives or Velcro, the beading will not lose its ability to hold the graphic in place over time. For this reason, you can rely on stored graphics to keep their usefulness and be used again and again.

If you have any other questions about silicone edge graphics, our incredible customer support team would be able to help answer just about anything you'd be able to ask about these exciting new products.

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