Impressions - April 2015 - (Page 58)

talking SHOP Screen Printing Production Best Practices for Screen Printing on Caps Follow these tips for successful cap printing using the flat or curved methods. By James Ortolani, Contributing Writer w ith the return of warmer weather comes headwear season - and both are accompanied by a new profit opportunity for garment decorators. It's no secret that embroidery has captured the lion's share of the cap-decoration market for professional team sports, but screen printing on caps still is widely used for embellishing caps for local team sports, souvenir shops and promotional headwear. Screen printing on caps can be achieved by two basic methods: flat or curved printing. To date, decorators have made both methods work quite well, but each has its own unique set of challenges. Understanding both methods will help you decide which one is ideal for your shop. Flat-Cap Printing: Screen printing caps using the flat process is a common technique for T-shirt printers, since printing in this way seems to come naturally. The process involves a cap platen that's attached to the lower station of a manual T-shirt press. The cap is securely positioned on the platen with spray adhesive. The screen frame used for this method is wooden on three sides with a thin metal strip on the side that comes into contact with the bill of the cap. This allows it to stand up straight during the printing process. Another method for holding the cap to the platen is with a cap hold-down device, which is based on the design of a jacket hold-down and is made to clamp the cap on all sides during the printing process. This ensures it is held in place without the use of spray adhesive. Curved-Cap Printing: Some companies make equipment to screen print finished caps in their natural, curved shape. The most common curved cap-printing 58 Impressions | April/May 2015 Screen printing caps using the flat process is a common technique for T-shirt printers. With this process, a cap platen is attached to the lower station of a manual T-shirt press and the cap is positioned on the platen with spray adhesive. Image courtesy of Vastex Intl., Allentown, Pa. machine is built like a small carousel T-shirt printing press using curved screens instead of flat ones. This style of machine also features curved lower platens to hold a cap in its natural shape during the printing process. Also, a spring-loaded device is used to securely hold the cap in place while printing. The screens are made of thin steel that bends to meet the contour of the cap. ART & SCREENS Creating artwork for caps is a little more challenging than doing so for T-shirt printing due to the limited space available for a design. Plus, a curved surface sometimes can cause image distortion. For example, circles can become ovals after they have been printed on the front of a cap that has been laid flat, but then returns to its naturally curved shape. Graphic artists use a few tricks to compensate for this issue by distorting the original artwork to look normal when printed flat and then returned to a curve. Design your artwork the same way in which you would design for a T-shirt, although it is wise to limit the amount of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - April 2015

Impressions - April 2015
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Product Gallery
ISS Conferences
Lucrative Lids
Sporty and Spirited
Trending: Allover Printing
Rush Hour
Shop Spotlight
Embroidery Technique
Embroidery Production
Screen Printing Production
Screen Printing Technique
Digital Decorating
Online Directory
Ad Index

Impressions - April 2015