When printing colors on dark garments, we often suggest to print a white ink layer as an “underbase” in order for the colors to pop. The inks are not opaque and vibrant enough to print directly onto, for example, and black tee, so the white underbase serves as a ‘primer’ for the inks to achieve the correct brightness. One example is wanting to print a golden yellow design onto a navy blue tee. Though this is only a one color print, we generally print a white underbase for the yellow to appropriately pop. In the end, this job would be a two color print: white and golden yellow. Please account for the additional color and charges. If this happens, we often suggest to incorporate the white into the design for more variation and color- since it has to be printed anyway!
Often, customers prefer to print without a white underbase to achieve a ‘vintage effect’. Coupling this style onto fabrics like tri-blends and burnouts make a killer print!
When printing white as a single color on a dark garment, we suggest to print>flash>print the white ink, meaning, print to passes of white ink (as two layers) so the white becomes more vibrant on the dark garments. Working with dark garments often require an additional charge since it is a lengthier process to print.
Here is an example between a white ink with a single pass and a white ink with two passes.
ONE PASS OF WHITE INK (LEFT) ON DARK GARMENT SHIRTS ARE NOT EXTREMELY VIBRANT. MOST DARK GARMENTS REQUIRE A SECOND PASS OF WHITE (RIGHT) SO THAT THE DESIGN HAS A BRIGHT WHITE.
Dye Migration is a process that most commonly occurs between standard screen printing inks and synthetic fibers. When sending printed apparel through the dryer at +300 degrees during the curing of the inks, the dyes in the polyester fabric sublimates, or turns gaseous. In gaseous form, the dyes seep into the ink layer, tinting the color of the ink. This occurs most often in colors like red, navy, maroon, greens, and other dark colors. Though using low-bleed inks and adjusting heat levels during the curing process help with the migration, please be aware that discoloration and migration into the inks can still occur. Here is an example of a white ink on a red cotton tee versus a red polyester dri-fit.
DYE MIGRATION CAN OCCUR WITH BRIGHT POLYESTER COLORS, LIKE RED. ALTHOUGH WE DO OUR BEST TO USE LOW-BLEED INKS AND MINIMIZE THE NECESSARY HEAT DURING THE CURING PROCESS, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT MIGRATION CAN OCCUR. THIS EXAMPLE SHOWS HOW SOME OF THE RED IS BLEEDING INTO THE WHITE INK.
Tri-blend material is generally thin and sensitive to heat. Because of this, we do not prefer to use white underbases or flash units to cure each color of ink after being printed. Without an underbase, tri-blend tees will have a faded/vintage look, which is what the shirts were intended for! This is super popular!
A SINGLE PASS OF GOLD AND CREAM (WITHOUT A WHITE UNDERBASE UNDER) ALLOWS FOR THE TEXTURE OF THE TRIBLEND TO COME THROUGH. THIS IS A VERY POPULAR LOOK WITH THESE BLENDS! ADDING A DISTRESSED FILTER ON THE ARTWORK, EVEN ADDS MORE TO THE VINTAGE FEEL.
For screen printing, it is important to have a flat surface. As we pass the ink through the screen (the stencil of the design), the flatness of the garment allows for the ink to lay softly on the fabric. Any seam, zipper, hem, or collar will affect the consistency of the print, since it creates thicker portions of the garment. When the ink is printed, these different heights of fabric will affect the smoothness and density of the ink. Here is an example of a print of a seam. You can see how the ridge affects the ink coverage around it. At times, customers do not mind- and sometimes prefer- this look.
We do our absolute best to give you the highest quality print possible, but when a print goes over the seams, we cannot accept responsibility for any negative effects caused by this issue.
PRINTING OVER THE SEAM OF A SHIRT CAUSE BUILD UP AND INCONSISTENCY DUE TO THE UNEVENNESS AT THE SEAM. WHILE THIS SOLID COLOR PRINT MAY PASS AS A SUFFICIENT PRINT, OTHER DESIGNS INVOLVING MORE COLOR, DETAIL, OR BLENDING, COULD HAVE A WORSE EFFECT.