April '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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18 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 7 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./, an international consulting firm specializing in technical advances, plant design, layout, troubleshooting, productivity, quality analysis, and complete garment-embellishing solutions. Visit for more information. Contact Winters at R ecently, one of our artist friends in the industry referred us to one of his clients as a contractor. Though we are not local to her, she was having issues with her current printer. She was encountering many of the common problems some decorators have that give us all a less than desirable reputation: late delivery, quality issues, and shortages. So, she decided she wanted to try somebody else and sent us an order. The job would be a reorder so she would provide the separations from her former printer. That should have been our first clue about what was to come. We almost never allow the customer to provide their own seps, but this looked simple, straightforward, and the file looked complete. We should have known. TROUBLE AHEAD After receiving the seps, we setup the back screen, which was simple type setting. Peace, Love, Chocolate. Clever, eh? The shirts were a tri-blend and would require lower temperatures to keep them from scorching or burning, so we used low-cure ink. This ink cures at under 300 degrees F rather than the more typical 325 degrees or more, protecting this heat-sensitive fabric. It should be noted that tri-blends, though soft, are fuzzy. This can cause print- ing issues, such as creating a sandpaper texture in the ink. We pre- FROM SOFTWARE TO SUBSTRATE B Y L O N W I N T E R S Garbage in… When Bad Art Happens to Good Decorators After accepting seps from another decorator, it became apparent that someone had changed the original files. (All images courtesy the author)

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