Printwear

June '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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14 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 5 Lon Winters learned screen printing from the bottom up, starting his 20-plus-year career reclaiming screens. He has won nearly 50 international industry awards and honors, published numerous articles, and led several in- dustry seminars and workshops. Currently, he is president of Colorado-based Print This, Inc./GraphicElephants.com, an international consulting firm specializing in technical FROM SOFTWARE TO SUBSTRATE B Y L O N W I N T E R S advances, plant design, layout, troubleshooting, productivity, quality analysis, and complete garment-embellishing solutions. Visit www.graphicelephants.com for more information. Contact Winters at lonwinters@aol.com. W hen auto specialty shop Berg Performance first came to us for apparel in late 2011, we did it as a favor for some friends and colleagues. We don't mind a favor here and there. The custom orders were short runs with many ink and screen changes as well as embroidery. There were different size logos and versions. Fast forward a few years and Berg Performance has had great suc- cess, and the wearables and promotional merchandise opportuni- ties have grown with it as the runs are now significant. We've since done several versions on multiple styles, and the account continues to grow. Recently, we created some Colorado-themed garments that combined both screen printing and embroidery. SCREEN PRINTING We began with a little online research and googled "Colorado flag." Of course, we found more references than we knew what to do with. After sorting through a billion choices, we chose a simple ver- sion. To get the customer's blessing, we mocked up a T-shirt and knocked the flag into the negative space of the logo. We created the real art by first opening a previous one-color version of the Berg logo in Illustrator and selected everything to make it all the same color. Using "Pathfinder," we merged all the parts to one object to create a clipping mask. We selected the Colorado flag and pasted it behind the Berg logo. With the Berg portion selected, we went to "Ob- jects," "Compounding Path," and then "Make." Finally, while the Berg was still selected, we choose the flag just behind it and went to "Objects," "Compounding Path," and "Make." Bingo—we had our new Berg Colorado logo made and ready for output. The inks were custom mixed using the manufacturer's software and a scale to match the Colorado flag's official Pantone Matching System colors. We exposed our underbase on a standard low-elongated 156 thread per inch and 54u, and all the colors as well as the highlight white were on 230/48. All were dyed mesh to minimize undercut- ting and stretched to our standard 30 to 35 N/cm, and then coated using a high-quality dual-cure emulsion with a two-three coating method, finishing on the squeegee side. This gave us roughly 14 or 15 percent emulsion over mesh on the substrate side. Setup was straightforward on press using our preregis- tration system. After some minor adjustment, setup took only 10 minutes. The white under-base was first followed by a flash and cool station. The subsequent colors came next. Just to freeze those colors and keep everything clean on press, we added a flash and cool before the underbase. We used a 65/90/65 triple-ply, dual-durometer squeegee in the white and 75/90/75s in the other screens at min- imal pressure and half speed, all at 15 degrees. Wing-tip floods were also at about half speed with medium pres- sure at a traditional angle. Off-contact was set using our minimum T-shirt distance of roughly 1/16". EMBROIDERY On this same project, Berg Performance ordered some performance golf shirts with a left-chest embroidered logo. Up until this point, we had only sewn hats for Berg Ice-Berg Ahead This T-shirt shows off the client's Colorado pride with a flag in the logo. (All images courtesy the author) l Beginner n Intermediate

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