Tuesday, July 12, 2011

printing tote bags

Don't get squirted! Or do. Yesterday I went grocery shopping right after I printed and the cashier nearly freaked out because she thought my arm was bleeding but I was just squirted with red...

I still have a hard time printing tote bags but I think they came out ok this time around. It's hard because the paint has to be thick but all I want to do is water it down, but you would run the risk of the image bleeding...

Also, bags take longer to print because I am re-registering each individual bag for every single color, so much work! Here I am registering to print blue, making sure everything is aligned.

Yellow paint with transparencies. This was the easiest separation to print. If all the colors are mixed right it has vibrant results.

Before all the printing begins I iron all the bags, wrinkles in the fabric gets in the way of the paint. I use a blow-dryer to each bag for every layer of color that is printed.

All this paper I use because some way or another I mess up printing the line in-between. Maybe one day I'll get to use one of those carousels, but this will do for now!


BradyDale said...

We met briefly at PACC.
I gave you mad kudos on the Comics Beat yesterday, too. Richly deserved.

So, I was reading your blog and caught a very small point and have been fixated on it.

You said that when you are messing with printing ink, all you want to do is water it down. I was like... wait, what? You can do that???

(((everything i know about printing I have learned from books and they never seem to answer the questions I have)))
Do people add water to printing ink to make it thinner? It seems like that might make it go through the screen a bit more easily and evenly.
Is that right?
Is that why people do it?
Do they do it?

And if so... how much do you ad? What are the ratios? If you had time to answer that I'd love it.

Whenever I look for answer to my printing questions I'm only ever frustrated. And it had never occurred to me that folks might water the inks down. Intereessssting.

jentong said...

Hi Brady!

Sorry it took so long for me to reply, I never get notifications for comments and I don't know how to fix that.. :/

But basically to answer your question (to elaborate!)I've always been taught to water my paints down, actually. Specifically if you are printing on paper, you want your paint to be the consistency of melted ice cream. How much you water down depends on the individual pigment you are using, reds and sometimes yellows tend to be thin. Also, the transparency liquid is thick (and it's something I ALWAYS use) Basically the average ratio in my mixture is %10-%20 pigment, %70 transparency, and %10 water, plus the required spoonful of retarder and a dot of floetrl for every 15oz cup...

For printing on fabric, I am still learning. People I've talked to who print on shirts say not to water the ink down AT ALL. And that makes sense if the fabric you are printing on is completely smooth and you do several pulls at once. The bags in the photos that I printed on were rough in texture so for what I was doing I really should've watered my ink down a little (for the drawing separation) because my drawing printed out faded. I've been printing for over 5 years and I'm still figuring these things out!


BradyDale said...

Wow, I am only an egg.

I don't know what transparency liquid or floertl is, but I'm sure Google can answer that question for me. You know, I never use retarder because I always find I want it to dry faster, not slower, but maybe that is crazy.

It sounds like I have been using way, way too much pigment for my work and perhaps that's why I have been having such a rough time with registering sometimes. Interesting. I'm thinking I'll do a new print for the Philadelphia Zine Fest (or maybe a screenprinted mini-comic cover) so I will try to incorporate these ideas then.

P.S. Great to hang out with you a little at SPX!