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Scaring Up a Specialty Print

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One of my favorite things to say to a client is, ‘It doesn’t take a genius to screen print a T-shirt,’” says Jeremiah Johnson, customer service manager at Threadbird. “What it does take a genius to do is to screen print a T-shirt well and do that consistently over an extended period of time. And that’s where we’ve made our niche in the market.”

The Orlando, Florida-headquartered company specializes in high-end apparel decoration for retail customers, many of them independent clothing labels. This discharge-printed, simulated process shirt was printed for one such customer: Aaron Crawford, co-owner of Cavitycolors. Crawford “lives every day like it’s Halloween,” reads the retailer’s website; the “Ghoulies” shirt is just one of his many horror-imbibed designs.

“The high color count, ‘painterly’ look is popular right now,” says Johnson of this type of print, adding that simulated process printing has become increasingly complex thanks to better design programs. The pressure to meet the high expectations of the artists behind the designs is high, as well. “It’s always a bit more nerve-wracking dealing with an actual artist rather than a company who commissions something,” he says. “There’s a certain amount of trust involved.”

Johnson says the biggest challenge with this particular shirt was keeping colors consistent throughout the run. Threadbird has a minimum run of 100 for simulated process work, but quantities can reach up to 1000.

Print Sequence

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Specs
• Emulsion: Murakami Aquasol Hvp
• Frame: Static aluminum 23 x 31
• Garment: Next Level 3600
• Inks: Union
• Press: MHM 14/16 SP400
• Dryer: Interchange
• Flash: MHM & MSI
• Mesh: Dynamesh

Read more from our February/March issue here, or check out more from our Special Effects series:

Special Effects: ‘A Real Money Maker’

Superman Graphics and Scented Shirts

High-Density Inks Meet Glitter, Foil, and More

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