Printwear

November '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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50 || P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 Printing Professional Considerations for Decorating Workwear B Y J O H N L E V O C Z 50 || P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 T he term workwear covers a large range of imprinted clothing. Everything from industrial uniforms, out- door wear, safety, and spe- cialty clothing all fall under this category. However, although these diverse end uses are technically the same, the requirements of each industry can vary drastically. Here, we will try to break these specific industries down and look at printing, curing, and oth- er common differences to help you be suc- cessful in printing these garments. INDUSTRIAL STYLE UNIFORMS Let's start with industrial style uniforms. These can be any type of cotton, 50/50, or polyester uniforms worn by workers that have some type of print on them. Uniforms that require industri- al laundering such as mechanics' uniforms, restaurant wear, or any others that are worn in a very dirty environment will not be a candi- date for standard plastisol inks. Instead, most of these uniforms use some sort of emblem—either embroidered, heat transferred, or screen printed—to embellish the uniform. If the garment is screen printed, it is done so with a solvent-type ink system that will withstand the high temperatures and ag- gressive wash cycles of industrial laundering equipment. Plastisol ink is designed to only withstand normal home wash temperatures and cycles. Other industrial style uniforms that do not require industrial laundering can use standard plastisol inks. Low bleed plastisol for 50/50 and inks designed for polyester are the latest craze for garments used in the workforce. Generally, these uni- forms are worn in warehouse environments where industrial laundering is not required. Even though these uniforms can use plasti- sol ink, a full and proper cure is essential to keep a lasting print. Beware that some of these uniforms are made of heavyweight materials that can John Levocz is the eastern region- al sales director of International Coatings, a manufacturer of plasti- sol inks. Levocz has more than 30 years of experience in all phases of screen printing. He can be contact- ed at jlevocz@iccink.com. ● Beginner

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