What are some techniques popular in screen printing right now?

2019 is an incredible year for special effect printing techniques. As a screen printer, I can’t go into any department store without touching every printed T in my line of sight. On my latest trip to Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, Arizona, I could not help but notice an abundance of Ts from most manufacturers embellished with all sorts of special effect printing techniques.

Adidas is a brand that is always on the cutting edge of technology in every aspect of its brand. The apparel brand embellishes most of its graphics Ts with a combination of foils and high-density applications.

Superdry utilizes puff ink and clear gels to create texture in some capacity. The majority of its graphics Ts offer multiple subtle and not so subtle print placements.

Guess uses simulated process printing in conjunction with high-density, puff, and simulated process embellishments to create texture.

Other techniques spotted included beautiful simulated black-and-white photos with foil enhancements and the text printed with a high-density outline, or a buttery smooth acrylic white spot ink on dark fabric, embellished with high-density lines through the text to create texture.

The bottom line: The fashion industry is utilizing multiple techniques on Ts to create textures and experiences. Three years ago it was all about getting rid of the hand feel and creating the lightest, softest hand possible. Now, brands are looking to differentiate themselves by bringing those textured prints back.

For any printer that wants to stay on top of popular techniques, developing a firm understanding of high-density printing will allow you to fulfill niche markets in the coming year when other shops that have not done the R&D have to turn those clients away. Make sure you can print over seams and have the ability to mix simulated process images with high-density and puff to truly stand out above other printers in the industry.

—Monument Limited/The Print Life

Cam Earven

View all articles by Cam Earven  
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Charlie Fox

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