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The Future of Special Effects in Screen Printing

(July 2010) posted on Wed Jul 28, 2010

This month, Trimingham looks at creating special effects on garments and gives advice on how to achieve the desired results.

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By Thomas Trimingham

High-density blister base
There are several ways of producing a high-density print. Some high-density styles involve stacking layers of ink onto the shirt in a technical, pyramid-type structure. These are highly specialized prints and are very difficult for the standard printer to execute. The style of high-density creation shown from Shockwaves is a more production-friendly model (Figure 3). The design used a combination of blister base that was printed through a thick stencil so it would then bubble up and create a print that looked like stone.

Art “This type of ink creates a nice elevated size, but it remains really stretchy and very durable with a cool-looking texture,” Gaardbo says. The art still needs to be simple for the effect to work well; otherwise, details will melt together and areas that are too large can make the shirt feel heavy.

Separations Make some allowance for ink expansion. Blister base can be printed on top, but details will tend to get blurry in the dryer as the ink bubbles up.

Ink Blister base can be mixed with different color boosters to create a custom look.

Production The ink creates a high-quality lift when printed through a thick stencil made with capillary film. The print should be made with a hard flood to fill up the stencil and with a light print stroke to release the ink onto the shirt. Consult with your ink supplier to obtain the proper stencil, curing, and handling instructions to achieve the best quality.

There is no doubt that rhinestones and studs are hugely popular right now in fashionable stores and printing shops across the country. Combining this type of heat-press application with screen printing produces eye-catching results (Figure 4).

Art If you’re just getting into rhinestone application, consider creating a relationship with a supplier of rhinestone transfers. You can send vector art to the supplier who will map out the transfer with stones according to the directions given.


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