November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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16 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 From Software to Substrate by Lon Winters Lon Winters learned screen printing from the bottom up, starting his 20-plus-year career reclaiming screens. He has won nearly 50 interna- tional industry awards and honors, published numerous articles, and led several industry seminars and workshops. Currently, he is president of Co- lo.-based Print This, Inc./, an international consulting firm specializing in technical advances, plant design, layout, troubleshoot- ing, productivity, quality analysis, and complete garment-embellishing solutions. Visit for more information. Contact Winters at | | | | A s we put pen to paper, the weather in the Rocky Mountain region is showing signs of fall. Though nights in Colorado are cool year-round, the tem- peratures will fall further as the holidays approach, and with that chilly weather comes the need for more fleece and sweatshirt work. A new chAllenge For more than two decades, we've developed seasonal cloth- ing lines for one of our clients. While the client continually presents us challenging projects, the most recent one was of particular difficulty. We previously created an Americana line, which included several flag and patriotic designs, all hailing to the red, white, and blue. Several designs were full color and even photographic, which we handled and printed beautifully onto T-shirts. This most recent project, however, was on sweatshirts—not just hoodies and crews but zipper hoodies with full-color images across the front. Yes, even over the zipper, but we had to make it work. We print over zippers but not typically in full color on dark hoodies. First, we had to handle the art. The client gave us images at a resolution of 300 dpi. How about that? After 25 years, this client knows how we like to receive original files. No creation or recreation was needed there. However, with all full-color images, we had some work ahead of us in order to achieve the best final prints. The techniques we used work for photos as well as any full-color imagery. To optimize the files, we began in the "RGB Color" mode in Photo- shop and made the colors pop by removing the gray matter in the "Image Adjustments" and "Selective Color" pull downs. In the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, we adjusted the setting to about 5 per- cent. Through all of these steps, we toggled the preview on and off to see the adjustments. In that same "Image Adjustments" pull down, we selected "Hue/Saturation" and moved the sat- uration slider to "+25" to boost the overall color. Next, we selected "Brightness/Con- trast." To increase our contrast, we bumped it to "+5" using the contrast slider. Again, with "Image Adjust- ments," we selected levels and adjust- ed slightly both the black and white. We sharpened the image's detail by selecting "Image Mode" and "Lab Color" with the "Channels Palette" visible. With the lightness channel selected, we changed the image to a grayscale and opened the "Filter" menu to bring up the "Sharpen" dia- log where we moved our slider to the right until we liked what we saw. Using a traditional simulated pro- cess, we separated the image but a Splitting image How to create graphics for zippers This project's unique challenge called for printing full-color images over zippered hoodies. (All images courtesy the author)

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