One of the very first steps in the decorating apparel industry is purchasing the goods that need to be screen printed or embroidered on. Decorating companies are more than willing to order the goods for their customers, but there are times when customers will supply the garments themselves. This is certainly not a problem and 100% acceptable. However, if the customer does provide their decorator with the blank pieces, there are a few things that they should know and take into consideration. Here are three Things Your Decorator Needs Before Sending Your Order to Production:
Plastisol ink is a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) based system that essentially contains no solvent at all. Along with UV ink used in graphic screen printing, it is referred to as a 100% solid ink system. Plastisol is a thermoplastic ink in that it is necessary to heat the printed ink film to a temperature high enough to cause the molecules of PVC resin and plasticizer to cross-link and thereby solidify, or cure. The temperature at which most plastisol for textile printing cures at is in the range of 149 °C to 166 °C (300 °F to 330°F).
Plastisol is the ink of choice for printing of finished goods such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and tote bags.
Here where I work at Sharprint, we decorate apparel in three main ways, screen print, digital print and embroidery. Out of the three, embroidery has been a fully formed practice the longest by far. Embroidery using silk thread has been known to have been practiced as far back as the 5th century BC in China. However, it has failed to have as significant a cultural impact as screen print or digital printing despite having a solid couple of millennia to get ahead.
Screen printers love Adobe Illustrator because the graphics are so clean and perfectly scale-able. Certain features of the program were even designed specifically for the print industry. A screen print artist or separator prepares your design file for print production, but there are some steps you should take to prepare your file for the printer.
Did you know embroidery thread is sewn in different types of stitches to re-create your customer's logo or design on a garment? It’s true! These stitch types are called out by the digitizer when creating a stitch composition for your image. Each stitch type has a unique look and is best for specific design elements. Here are the top three:
Water-based inks are defined as those that utilize water as the main solvent. That does not mean, however that water is the only solvent. It is significant to note that many water base inks contain “co-solvents” which may even be petroleum based solvents. The reason these co-solvents are used varies, but one of the key reasons is to decrease the time and heat necessary to cure the ink film on the fabric.
Water-based ink is the ink of choice for the printing of yard goods; either in piece form or on the roll.
When deciding between DTG and screen print for your next apparel run, its important to understand the unique benefits each has to offer.DTG printing is typically favored for those fast, low run, high color count jobs; whereas, screen print will offer a better range of color, more flexibility in what it can print on, better hand ondarks and a much larger printable size range. As technology advances, the gap between these two methods will narrow. Below are 5 elements to understand before choosing between screen print and DTG:
If you’re going for a standard full front design, digital and screen are good to go. If you’re looking for something a little more non-traditional like an all over print, then there will be a clear choice. While there may be some minor limitations, screen printing can get this done with ease. Round one goes to screen printing.Read More
Unless you have been on a screen printing shop tour or had the opportunity to print t-shirts firsthand, you may not know just how an idea actually becomes a screen printed t-shirt. In fact, even if you have been on a shop tour, without experiencing the process from start to finish with the same design, the steps may be a little unclear. In this blog, we’ll go over each step in detail and wrap it all up with a short video so you can see the process in action.
Topics: screen printing
It’s pretty magical when a t-shirt design and specialty ink fall into perfect alignment. With all of the specialty printing we do around here, this occurrence is a lot less common than you might think. In a perfect world, the design allows the specialty ink to exemplify it’s capability while the technical aspects are executed effortlessly, like making a box of mac-n-chesse. When we reach this utopia, we step back, take a deep breath and nod our heads in silent confirmation. Yes. It’s perfect.
Let’s take a little trip on the way back machine to around 2000, when high density printing was big on the t-shirt scene. High density ink is geared for a tall, square stack. It’s a simple as that. Why overcomplicate the beauty of the application with large, heavy complex t-shirt design that isn't very comfortable to wear? The Simple Shirt was born. Sans serif and small, the SIMPLE print stacked high and impressed. In my humble opinion, it’s the best example of high density printing we’ve ever done.
Discharge ink was developed specifically for soft-hand printing on dark garments. Discharge is a water-based ink that bleaches the garment weave while depositing pigment. The look of the final print is quite different from traditional plastisol prints. The end print is more muted, the colors are flatter, and the edges of the screen stencil tend to soften through the production run. Butt-to-butt registration is not guaranteed. Discharge is really great for vintage looking prints with lose designs. Tight logo style graphics aren’t ideal for discharge printing.Read More