November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Pictured is another example of a smooth print compared to a rougher print. For the smoothest surface, use the type of ink that is best suited for the substrate. 5 0 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 order to achieve sufficient opacity for bright colors typically involves printing layers of ink. This is known as fibrillation, and it may be unavoidable when color is import- ant. While each layer makes for an even smoother surface, it also adds bulk. There are different strategies for address- ing this, depending on the fabric, applica- tion, and customer expectations. A natural fiber, like cotton, tends to lay down easier, so you can often get by with minimal color, a single pass, or a clear or white underbase. However, recycled fibers, such as nylon and polyester, tend to stick up and become virtually engulfed in the ink. Here, you might have to focus on the ink's smoothness and potentially sacrifice ink thickness. The ink's viscosity and curing properties are other variables to consider. Applied correctly, an ink that cures harder can pro- vide coverage and a flat, smooth hand. But if the layer is too thin, it can work against In this comparison, you can see the image on the right is much smoother than the image on the left. graphic-to- garment success

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