The thing about custom decorating your clothes is that it is a way of portraying your personality and of showing your taste in art to the world out there. Now, why would anyone do that? Well, the reasons are many. Some earn a living with it, others use it to flaunt their creative sides, and yet others crave for it, simply for the sake of fashion. But, whether you are a fabric artist, a graphic designer, an illustrator, a typographer or simply a teenager in search of unique apparels, the method you choose must be effective. And, by the term 'effective,' we mean not only great results, but also a safe, green, techniques, like the discharge screen printing technology.
The many faces of serigraphy:
Now, serigraphy, or the art of inking apparels, has many faces, of which the plastisol method is the most common and widely accepted form. Because plastisol inks are readily available and easily applicable, it is also considered to be a cheap tshirts printing process. But, when it comes to quality results, the method fails big time. More than that, it is an offensive technique to the environmentalists because it uses toxic chemicals to process designs, never mind the opaque, plastic-like casts that result on apparels. What, then, would be a better option?
Fabric artists have come up with an alternative:
Just when we thought that soft-hand designs would never be possible with serigraphy, and also that we should seek embroidery services now, fabric artists have come up with a process called water base screen printing. The inks used in this process are all water-based. This means processing designs does not need toxic chemicals like that in the plastisol method. This is a big advantage for those who earn bread by decorating fabrics; at least now they will be safe from health harm. But, the bad news is, the water base method cannot dye dark colored fabrics. The inks do not show up without underbases and soft-hand designs cannot be achieved as a result.
What is the way out?
So, this is when people resort to discharge screen printing. The technique is green like the water base method. It uses the same inks and the same protocol. But, instead of applying the inks directly, this method takes out the color of the fabric first, with the help of a chemical bleach. No underbases are used and no toxic chemicals are needed for processing designs. It is pure application of ink, but with a little twist. And, it still is green. So, is it not an awesome technique, this serigraphy method?
With more and more people trying their hands on the textile decoration business, the demand for quality results has poured in. There are many incredible apparels out there with even more incredible designs printed on them. But, not all have been in inked with discharge screen printing, not all carry the glamor such methods impart on apparels. Yes, coming up with extraordinary designs on apparels is a daunting task, an overwhelming chore. But, with such amazing technology at our disposal, it is doable, and within our powers.
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