Lessons learned: data garment design and screen printing
with Amber Guo and Phoebe Cai
- Show participants sample designs and get their opinion. Talk to participants about garment style, color, and fit.
- Buy test shirts before committing to a style. Nice material makes shirts much more wearable! Also, screen printing ink may bleed through light fabrics.
- Paper sketches can be turned into digital files for vinyl cutting. Outline sketch with a marker, scan with a copier and import into your program of choice.
- Graphics should be sized to shirts--scale matters! Graphics can be tested by laser cutting the design in paper and placing it on the shirt.
- Rolls of vinyl for screen printing templates can be bought online. Make sure to get a wide enough roll for your design.
- Tweezing vinyl designs takes a long time. Good sharp tweezers make a big difference!
- Final touches and touch-ups on the screen printed shirt may be painted directly on the garment. But this is not ideal and should not be used to create the entire design.
- A heat gun may be used to heat set the ink on the shirt. Be careful not to burn your garment no matter whether you use an iron or a heat gun.
- Before creating a full batch of shirts, print, heat set, and wash a test design to ensure your heat setting protocol sufficiently fixes the design.
Screen printing: clean up
- Wash screen immediately after printing (within 5 minutes).
- Wash screen using hot water and a soft scrub brush. Run lots of water over screen while washing.
- Speedball cleaner works best. Fast Open 957 is nasty smelling stuff. Windex is not very effective.