Soft Shirts in Soft ColorsSome: Comfort Colors, SanMar, and Hanes Coastal Colors

At ISS Long Beach in January Tom and I did some seminars in the SanMar classroom on printing on Garment Dyed shirts. A few of our words of advice: use good platen adhesive to promote good registration, and re-apply more often than usual. At my shop we mostly use Albatross Brush Tac and then some Albatross spray when necessary. test your garment for whether it will discharge, which
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How’s It Printed: Grandwheels Los Angeles

We were asked by SanMar to create and print a design with their new Port & Company® – Essential Pigment-Dyed Tee – PC099.  Distressed graphics printed with discharge ink would always be my first choice when working with pigment-dyed tees as the soft hand and subtle “grunge” is a natural fit for the washed and faded look inherent to the garment.  The only problem with this approach is, depending on the manufacturer’s
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The Little Guy

We recently installed press #5 at Motion Textile.  I’ve affectionately nicknamed this 8-color MHM X-Type Plus “The Little Guy” (maybe I was thinking of that Portlandia sketch?). A few thoughts on going small with this new install: Sleeves The majority of sleeve prints that we run are very simple (2-4 spot color) prints with a flash or two.  We can now schedule (almost) all sleeve print jobs on this
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What Does It Mean to “Discharge” Print

To “discharge” print a shirt is to use “discharge” ink and get the dye in the shirt to be neutralized. You add a catalyst to a specific type of ink and in the presence of heat and water the dye basically goes away. Only cotton discharges and not all cotton dyes discharge. We test shirts from time to time to see if they discharge and
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Don’t Listen to ‘Em

In the last several months we have been printing with discharge inks at a higher level than ever before.  This is partially a trend and partially driven internally.  This trend also corresponds with a trend toward specialty substrates, i.e.: tri-blends, fashion fleece, etc.  Obviously, this complicates things.  You can be reasonably sure of the results you will acheive when printing 100% cotton reactive-dye fabrics, but specialty
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Discharge Ink – Do It Right and Don’t Poison Yourself and Your Workers

Someone was asking me this week about the use of a discharge ink as an underbase. Discharge ink is an ink that basically neutralizes the dye in a shirt instead of printing over the dye. So with discharge ink you don’t need two prints (usually white and then the color) and so it gets a softer result. You can also print a discharge underprint which
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Mis-Print Monday: Don’t Knock ‘Em (Well, Only if Necessary)

I recently met with a perspective customer.  He was questioning the quality he was receiving from his current print provider and brought a couple of samples to get my take.  His issue was with the heavy “hand” on the white discharge ink in his printed designs.  “It looks great but it feels like shit, until you wash it, then it feels great”.  I took this as
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Good Discharge Trick

For blocking out screens for printing water-based discharge inks, regular old generic clear nail polish works very well. It holds up and that aggressive discharge ink doesn’t get through, and also importantly it reclaims fine. It isn’t expensive either. Another trick we did not follow in this situation, don’t print out so much crap on the films like we did in this case and you
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Misprint Monday – Sometimes It’s the Shirt

Discharge printing is getting more and more popular as a way to produce soft prints on soft shirts. It doesn’t always work. The process is that the discharge agent in the ink combines with water and heat to neutralize the dye in the shirt. The color of the ink then goes into the fabric and there is no need for the usual underprint of white ink. It
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