May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 2 0 M A Y P R I N T W E A R 1 7 Flamingos are odd looking and color- ful birds, which is what makes them so interesting. After creating the vectorized graphic of the flamingo in Adobe Illustra- tor, we began to construct the other ele- ments around it. The finished art would be completed and separated using Adobe Photoshop. Even though we added lots of detail in the feathers, there weren't any soft transitions. With tedious path work and patience, we achieved a nice rendering. The darkest values of the pinks would be influenced by the dark fabric as the white base and blockers would be removed. The rest of the elements were simple and basic shapes that didn't require as much attention. They were secondary to our charismatic bird. For a little more in- terest, we removed some of the base in areas like the veins in the palm trees and the purple stylization of the water. A sim- ple gradient on the base plate from solid ink to diminishing completely created some variation and helped in softening our final print as well. We simulated the diffusion of ink colors in the Photoshop file with varied opacities. The sun had a soft transition with both gold and pink printing on top of the white ink. Instead of using the black blocker plate we chose to create a morph of both that and the white base into one plate. This printed using a not so secret 50/50 polyester white and the blocker ink. Of course, we don't get the complete blocking of the potential for bleed, but it creates a com- promise and achieves a much softer print by removing one layer of ink. The hybrid base would still support all the areas for the color where we want opacity. We re- engineered this base plate to have more open areas for the garment to breath and not be so heavy. We didn't lose much brightness, so this would help again with less ink deposit for a nicer wear. Notice we also reduced the size of the overall im- age as well. Once seps were completed, we output on CTS. We chose a low frequency of 45 lpi at a 22.5-degree angle. We ran the 50/50 base on a 156 rather than the original 110 blocker and 156 white stack. A 65/90/65 triple-ply dual durometer squeegee was used. We flashed long enough to gel the ink and used smoothing screen for the rest of the colors to sit. The balance of the screens all ran wet-on-wet using the LC inks with no flashes on 230s with 75/90/75s. All the screens were at the same tension of 35 N/cm2. With different design techniques, different seps, different screens, and different print se- quences, it resulted in a different outcome. A far better one. It didn't seem like we got much right for the first go around, but the final prints were really nice! More lessons learned and happy clients made it all worthwhile. PW At the age of 21, Lon R. Winters was the Production Manager for Ocean Pacific. He learned screen printing from the ground up, starting his 30+ year career reclaiming screens. His companies have won more than 50 international, SGIA, industry publication and FESPA garment decorating awards and honors, has served over 15 years as an honorary Golden Image Judge, published hundreds of articles and columns, led a multitude of industry seminars and workshops, and consulted on projects large and small throughout the world. He is a master creative problem solver. Winters is the president and founder of Colorado-based Graphic Elephants, an international consulting firm and apparel decoration studio specializing in screen printing technical advances, plant design, layout, troubleshooting, productivity, quality analysis and complete apparel decorating solutions. He was inducted into the Academy of Screen Printing Technology (ASDPT) in 2013 and is recognized for his contribution to the graphic printing industry. Learn more at We reengineered the base plate to have more open areas for the garment to breath and not be so heavy. We didn't lose much brightness, so this would help again withless ink deposit for a nicer wear. We also reduced the size of the overall image as well. 720-746-9075 | Free Shipping On Supply Orders Over $ 99 Screen printing supplies, Siser HTV supplies, and Equipment.

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