July '12

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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FIVE STEPS TO R&D STEP ONE Print the bases individually by the manufacturer's recommended meshes and param- eters. This step creates a baseline for the individual inks and the effects. By viewing each of the individual inks as they were designed to be printed, one can visualize the possibilities of intermixing or overprinting each of the bases later in the process. During this and every subsequent step in this process, document all param- eters and procedures. This is a must. STEP TWO Once the inks have printed individually, it is time to overprint individual bases on top of each other. Since these are special effect bases, the inks need to be flashed be- tween coats. For example, printing a clear over a flat ink will create a high gloss look, but print- ing the same clear over a puff base will create a much different look. Once the printer learns the different looks, the brainstorming begins. Using the distressed patterns with different bases will provide yet another wrinkle in the process. STEP THREE Since all of the original bases were created in the same color, the printer can now use the inks that were prepared for step one and inter mix them to create new bases. The characteristics of each base can add to a look. For instance; the suede base will add softness to the surface of another base, while the clear will create a glossier look—it all depends on the mix. Mixing these individual bases into each other creates all new bases that can add to a library of effects. Once this round of prints is complete, the print practitioner can go back and create new color in the bases to zero-in on new effects. STEP FOUR Keep the screens setup for new ideas. STEP FIVE Note: The most important step to this procedure is to document all parameters while printing. Do not try to remember what was done! Even if the effect is what not what was expected, it is important to document how it was created. In the first round, it is a good idea to pigment all of the bases to a similar color (except for the clear). This allows clients to visualize the texture and surface differences between the bases, as it will provide a consistent comparison. GO FOR IT In this process, all prints are usable. There are no mistakes. The beauty in this process is, whether or not the practitioner achieves what he or she was looking for, something was still created. The texture or look may be useable on 56 | PRINTWEAR JULY 2012 SFX LAB

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