Creation of Prepare for Fight
Over the past 2 months, we have been working on a new printing method for this Select tee. We are using a new process that mixes water based discharge ink with chino plastisol inks to create a tee shirt that can have an enormous print area but still be soft to the touch. As this process has never been used before, this tee will have certain imperfections that need to be explained before you purchase. This is also why the price has been reduced to $15 from the normal $25 Select price.
Here are the imperfections I will be covering in this little story:
- The colors may vary from garment to garment and from what you see on screen
- Colors will change after the garment has been washed.
- You may see lines of white around pieces of the design, small blotches of color over portions of the design and jagged edges in the linework on the design
Color variationOn dark colored tee shirts, white is first printed under the entire design and the design is then printed on top of that. Like so:
This creates more vibrant colors but also makes the ink coverage thicker and harder and makes you sweaty. With this new process, the water based discharge actually takes the pigment out of the garment without leaving a bunch of ink behind. The problem is all garments discharge differently due to different dying processes used by the shirt manufacturer.
Here is an example of two American Apparel men's mediums each discharged using the exact same process. Notice the difference.
And here is an example of how those two different discharge results look after the design has been printed over them. Notice the difference in colors.
Color changes after wash
Also because of the discharge process, after your first wash the ink colors will change slightly. The initial wash wears away some of the dye, softens up the design and gets rid of the extra tack on the inside of the shirt that is used with this process. The garment should be washed before being worn.
Here is an example of the color change after a wash. The top version is the one that has been washed.
Registration lines, color blotches and jagged linework
There will be various other imperfections with the print. After the discharge is printed, the garment must be dried before the rest of the design is printed. This can shrink the garment a milimeter or two causing registration issues and jagged linework. The blotches and jagged linework also occur because the chino inks are so thin that they sometimes bleed before they are dried. Tack is used to secure the garment to the print press and the discharge inks degrade the tack. This can cause the garment to shift a bit while printing which also leads to these 3 problems.
Below, from left to right are examples of 1) Registration lines 2) Color blotches and 3) Jagged linework.
Using this process in the future
It is unbelievable how soft a print this process yields. After a few washes, the design feels as if it is just part of the shirt, you can hardly even feel the ink at all. We plan to perfect this method of printing and print more select designs using it.
Printing on a red shirt was probably a bad idea for our first try using this new method. Red is the hardest pigment to take out of a garment. We still decided to go ahead with a production print despite the problems we had because we actually kind of like the imperfections and how worn the design feels. Just be aware that there WILL BE imperfections in the design if you purchase this shirt.
We have plans to reprint this design on black which will help with all of the problems we've had so far. Keep in mind that the black version will be priced normally.