With screen printing, we can apply a variety of specialty inks and techniques to add some very cool effects to your design, adding a little flair to your custom tee. We offer various printing techniques such as High Density Inks, Puff Printing, Gel Printing, Glow in the Dark, Soft Hand Printing, Discharge Printing, Glitter, and Metallic Foil.
Discharge printing is a common screen printing technique to achieve vibrant color prints on dark-colored cotton shirts.
The process uses a special water-based ink that features a chemical compound activator that can deactivate the dyes used on a natural fabric, removing the color. It essentially "bleaches" the area of the shirt that it's exposed to, revealing its natural cotton color underneath, which is usually a tan or slightly off white. This exposed fiber can then be re-dyed with a new color to replace it, or the deactivated fabric can be used in the design itself for a more natural-looking print.
Usually when we print a dark shirt, we have to use a layer of white ink under the design to act as an underbase for the colors of your design to lie on top of. Using a discharge ink underbase, we can skip the white ink and dye the fabric directly, making for one less layer of ink and a softer print.
There is a catch, though. Discharge ink only works on certain colored shirts. Some shirt dyes are resistant to the discharge process: colors like kelly green, royal blue, and purple. If you try to discharge these dyes, the result is a muted, lighter tint of the original color. So if you try to discharge white onto a royal blue shirt, the print will be a light shade of blue rather than the white you intend. It can create a cool vintage look, but it won't be as visibly brilliant or bright as a normal print.
Additionally, discharge works best on 100% cotton shirts. It's less effective on synthetic polyester blends, since only the cotton fibers will have their dyes removed which results in another faded print. If you want to print on that kind of shirt, we'll likely have to go with the white ink underbase.
Your custom screen printed t-shirts could be as good as gold with a foil print. Take the extra step into the gilded age, imbuing your design with a lustrous metallic finish.
Metallic foil is shiny, eye-catching, and can seriously enrich your design. Whether you want to imitate the look of gold or make your design beam with brilliance, metallic foil is a great choice.
Applying the foil layer to a design is generally the last step of the screen printing process. After all the other layers of ink are printed and cured onto your shirt, we print a final layer of adhesive on top of your design, then partially cure it through our dryer. We then cover your design with a special metallic foil sheet and heat treat it. The heat causes the foil to join with the adhesive ink layer. After the treatment, we carefully peel the foil sheet away from the shirt. The parts of the foil that made contact with the adhesive remain on the shirt, leaving behind a beautiful foil print.
Foil works best on large, bold graphics in your design and is less suitable for finer details. We also cannot apply foil to half-tone full-color prints.
One major limitation comes after the print leaves the shop. Due to its nature, foil is unfortunately not super durable and won’t last as long as a normal ink print. One must take extra special care of a foil-printed garment.
The foil can start to flake off after numerous washes, so make sure you wash your foil-printed shirt inside out to minimize contact with other materials that might damage the design while washing. Make sure to set your washing machine to the delicate cycle or you can opt to hand wash the clothing. Hang dry the shirt, and make sure not to iron over the foil. Iron the shirt inside-out if you have to.
If you want to add some more texture to your custom t-shirt, the High Density technique may be what you're looking for. High Density ink produces a raised effect on the t-shirt design, allowing the ink to rise up to 1/8 of an inch above the garment's surface.
Puff Printing adds some unique dimension to your design. Puff ink does exactly what it sounds like it does. It puffs and expands out, giving a nice, smooth, three-dimensional feel to your custom design.
Gel Printing can give your custom design a glossy sheen. It's another way of adding texture to your design, giving it a fluid, water-like appearance.
Don't deny the world your incredible design when the lights go out. Force the world to get a glimpse of your art even in the dark!
Glitter is notorious for looking pretty, but getting messy. Keep the glitter on your shirt and off the floor with our specialty Glitter inks!
Do you want your design to have a more vintage look? Soft Hand printing will bring you back to the past, making your design look like it has stood the test of time. It feels good, too!