May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 119 of 122

20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 111 single-color designs PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS PAGE ADVERTISER PAGE continued from page 69 er, this won't necessarily give an approximation of the darkness of shading intended in the design. It's better to know the look of different densities and to execute lines at measured distances known to give the right lev- el of shading for the area in question. In the straight-stitch sort of these designs, pathing must be carefully attended to in order to maintain proper line weights. If you want even lines through- out a straight-stitch design, remember to run each line an equal number of times. As you travel around the design, keep a main reference line in mind, and plan 'trips' away from the main line as you go. For instance, when rendering a flower petal con- taining contoured shading lines following the curva- ture of the surface, start at the edge, and, traveling around the outline, venture into the petal whenev- er the outline touches the contour lines. Trace until any line to which you can easily connect is covered, then backtrack until the outline is reached. Imagine following the lines like programmatically running a maze—stick to the right wall, and, when there is no further to go, turn around and head back in the di- rection from which the 'trip' began. Any manner of lines can be used to define shapes in linework, including: • Curved lines that trace the volume of a curved surface, • Random squiggling paths that shade with density while imparting texture, • Orderly pattern stitches, • Cross-hatching, • Angular lines for shading, and/or • Even satin stitches to provide bold strokes among the thin lines of straight stitch. Studying engravings and woodcuts provides an endless source of inspiration for how to construct linework shading. Single doeSn't mean flat No matter what kind of single-color work you do, the first thing to remember is that it doesn't have to be flat. Embroidery is, by its very nature, a dimension- al art form that benefits from the light and shadow that applied thread creates. Utilize that dimensionality. Use the texture, and the interaction of thread and sub- strate, to your advantage. You may find that, not only do your single-color designs improve, but that recog- nizing and exercising control over the nature of this simple form of embroidery can help you to refine the more complex forms that much more. pw bond to the surface it is applied to. You can even add more than the ink company recommends when you are really having problems with adhesion. (Technically, the ink may not fully "cure," but, if it won't scratch or wash off, it serves the purpose.) Add curable reducer, which effectively lowers the pigment percentage and can help with a complete cure. This often improves how the ink crocks. Run the bags through the dryer once or even twice before you print them. Canvas can absorb moisture like a sponge. That moisture evaporates, which cools the bag and keeps the film of ink from getting hot enough to cure. (Note that the bag may not feel wet, but it can still retain moisture.) Some bags come with a crazy amount of lint. Instead of removing it, try print- ing a clear base or a thin white coat to seal in the lint. If the bag panels have lots of threads unraveling off of the edge, they will in- evitably go all over the place. Figure slower rates and more misprints into your quote. Very thin canvas panels will curl up. Be careful to figure that into your quote if you are going to have to make a big effort to glue down the panels. Make sure the bag panel has some straight edge you can load to and be clear on location vis-à-vis that edge. Make sure your finished bags will fit on your existing platens. They usually won't stretch at all. A bag that is 15 inches across does not necessarily go on a platen that accepts a 15-inch wide shirt. Consider laying down more ink than you would on a shirt. Nobody is wearing the bag, so you don't have to worry about how it feels on the inside. If you have a local bag manufacturer, get canvas panels and print before the bag is made. This allows you to gang up the work when printing the same image on tote bags and shirts. If you are printing between the handles that run down the side of a boat tote, leave room so the squeegee won't ride up on the handles and cause a misprint. And, don't trust one sample. Hard-working real people sew those handles on and there is inevitably variation on the gap between handles. Since canvas bags are often used for environmental reasons, consider directing your customers to organic cotton bags, and consider using greener inks when printing them, such as high solid acrylic inks. Rick Roth, MiRRoR iMage/theinkkitchen.coM pw BagS & acceSSorieS tips & tricks continued from page 101 (image courtesy Rick Roth, Mirror image/theink- PW_MAY14.indd 111 4/17/14 1:29 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Printwear - May '14