Last week we talked about Yarn's design process, showing you all how artworks become garments. This week we are going to turn our focus to the process of printing these garments. All of our screen printed products are printed here in Brisbane by our talented printing specialists. Traditional silk screen printing is a process that has been used for thousands of years and still to this day continues to be one of the most effective forms of printing.
Step 1. We begin with the digital designs that have been created in collaboration with Indigenous artists. Screen printing is best suited to bold designs with blocks of colour. We screen print all of our cotton hoodies, tees and bags. An example of one of our screen printed designs is our “Always Was, Always Will Be” NAIDOC hoodies that are pictured below. The design is bright and bold. To create this design, first the correct ink colours are selected and the design will be translated into stencil form.
Step 2. Next this stencil will be placed onto a screen. The screen is a large rectangular frame that is covered with a fine mesh and coated in a light sensitive emulsion (you’ll learn more about that later on). Each separate colour in the design will be printed on transparent film and exposed onto a separate screen. This is so the colours can be layered to create the design.
Step 3. The print will then be applied to the garment one colour layer at a time. This is done by applying the ink through the stencil, the ink will only travel through the exposed parts of the stencil, thus creating the design. In between the application of each colour a high temperature light flash is used, this will harden the light sensitive emulsion that was originally applied to the screen.
Step 4. Lastly, once the print has been fully applied the garment will run through a heat tunnel to cure and dry.
We have also recently started using Direct-To-Garment printing here at Yarn. DGT is still a relatively new technology that overcomes traditional boundaries associated with other styles of printing. It's excellent for reproducing illustrations and intricate designs that are full of colour. Most excitingly we use Innobella Textile water-based inks which are OKEO-TEX® certified, as such they are completely environmentally friendly.
We hope this gave everyone some insight into how our printing professionals create your beautiful Yarn printed products.