Soft Prints – More and More Tools

More and more tools become available to give customers what they want. You want a soft print on a fabric that had dye migration problems and it also has to stretch and by the way, keep it bright white? No problem. Well… usually there are some compromises, but you have to deliver at least close to what the customer wants.

Tri-blends are a popular new type of shirt (actually a new take on an old classic shirt) made of cotton, polyester and rayon. They are nice to wear but can be tough to print because the surface is tough to get flat because the fibers stick up, they are very stretchy, and there sometimes can be dye migration issues. They also are a soft shirt and some inks that we previously printed to address the issues with tri-blends then were not soft, somewhat negating the value of the shirt.

Today we printed a new Rutland product called “Endurance.” It does not have the maximum dye blocking of the barrier grey, but it does a good enough dye blocking job on most shirts, it is stretchy, and most importantly, the finished prints feels smooth and soft.

A soft print on the finished product.

A soft print on the finished product.

A nice bright white print was achieved.

A nice bright white print was achieved as well.

The print also demonstrated great stretchability.

The print also demonstrated great stretchability.

The printing method was Endurance grey printed down first, then flash, then a smoothing screen in the cool down station after the flash, then Endurance white on top.

Tri-blend shirt made of cotton, polyester, and rayon. Pleasing to wear, not always so pleasing to print.

Tri-blend shirt made of cotton, polyester, and rayon. Pleasing to wear, not always so pleasing to print.

Grey printed down first

Grey printed down first

Endurance grey, thick, but creamier than barrier grey, so much easier to print.

Endurance grey, thick, but creamier than barrier grey, so much easier to print.

After flashing we used a smoothing screen, just a hard squeegee on an empty screen with ink base used only for lubrication of the screen.

After flashing we used a smoothing screen, just a hard squeegee on an empty screen with ink base used only for lubrication of the screen.

Under the smoothing screen is a sheet of teflon

Under the smoothing screen is a sheet of teflon

Over white is printed then through a 160 mesh screen.

Over white is printed then through a 160 mesh screen.

"Endurance" white, another tool for printers to produce softer prints.

“Endurance” white, another tool for printers to produce softer prints.

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