SGIA Expo 2010

The SGIA Expo 2010 started today!  And wow!  It is awesome!  This trade show is really huge.  It is hard to believe how big this convention is.  There are lots of screen printing industry vendors and a lot of vendors for other industries as well.  So far I talked to the guys at CCI, M&R, Revolt Graphics, GraphicElephants, Digital Knight Heat Press, and Ryonet of course!  I have a couple of training sessions tomorrow that I am looking forward to.  Plus the Keynote Breakfast is tomorrow.  Lots more to learn and to tell you about!

Cleaning, Burning, and Printing

We had a very productive weekend.  We have three shirt orders that came in on Thursday and were able to get all three ready to print! Immediately on Friday I ordered the shirts from Shirtspace.com that we needed to get the orders moving!

The first two orders are for the National Honor Society at Northwest Career and Technical Academy.  They want shirts to sell as a fundraiser and want a girls style shirt and a boys style shirt.  While working with NHS over the past couple of weeks we came up with two very cool designs that I think are going to sell really well.  And, fortunately for us, we had a couple of shirts on hand and were able to print up sample shirts this weekend so they can start a pre-sell on the shirts.  This is beneficial for both of us because they can get their fundraising going, and if they sell more than they ordered, we can get more shirts ordered and printed for them!  It is really a win-win. 

The third order that we got on Thursday was for the Northwest Career and Technical Academy Rock Band Club.  They came up with their own image that we tailored more for their school and they love it!  This is an exciting order for us because we don’t have any ties to this club so this is more of a blind order.  We are very happy to get their business and were fortunate to have the foresight to do a test run on the design this weekend.  This design is printed on a black shirt, but some of the detail is very fine and I was concerned about how I would do with the Ryopaque White Ink on a 230 mesh with fine detail.  But, it worked great!  I don’t have pictures for this one yet because we didn’t do a full print, but just tested the white.  Those pictures will be up when we get the rest of the shirts in later in the week. 

So this weekend we spent most of Saturday rearranging our shop setup, removing emulsion from screens, cleaning the screens, then putting emulsion back on, burning images, and then finally, my favorite part, printing!  I am so glad that we have these jobs already setup.  Now I am just looking forward to my shirts to arrive from ShirtSpace.com!

Onesies

About 2 months ago a friend of ours asked if we could screen print onesies for him as gifts.  He is in the Air Force and each time someone has a baby in his squadron they give a onesie with the squadron logo on it to the new parents.  Our friend didn’t know who put this logo on for them in the past, but knew that we printed shirts so he asked us!  He sent us pictures of the onesies that had made in the past and I realized they were not screen printed but the image was put on with heat transfer.  Luckily for us we have our Digital Knight Heat Press and I just had to find the right heat transfer product to use. So we took the job.

Finding the right product to use may sound easy enough, but this process was quite grueling.  I started off with some heat transfer products I have used in the past when I made photo quilts. But with the products I used in the past were primarily made for ink jet printers and were not very good quality compared to the laser papers.  But the laser papers I tried left either a heavy film or the image was washed out.  So I just kept researching until I found Pro Word, Inc.  I found a product called Trim Free Laser Paper

This paper is pretty cool!  You print your image from your laser printer onto the paper.  After you heat press the image onto the garment, only the print comes off onto the garment.  I could not believe what I was reading!    What a neat product!  I ordered enough to get the onesie job done then waited for it arrive.  When the Trim Free  paper finally arrived, I took them to my local printer to have them printed. I couldn’t use my laser printer at home because it is an HP, and of course, the paper cannot be used in an HP printer.  But I thought this was not a big deal because our local printer has a Canon laser copier.  When I took the job there, they won’t copy on to heat transfer paper anymore after someone ruined their printer.  So I went to the next copy store.  And the same problem occurred there. 

Finally, Kyle and I talked about what to do to get this job done.  He suggested that we buy another laser printer.  This was not an expense that I was expecting, but I needed  to get the job done.  We did some research and found a printer that would work.  As luck would have it, we went to purchase the printer at Office Max and it was on sale! YEAH!  We brought the printer home, hooked it up, and printed the Trim Free paper  with the squadron logo.  Then the big test came when we pressed the design onto the onesies.  And they came out great!  I was very pleased with the paper, the quality of the color, and the whole look of the design on the garment.  When we delivered the onesies yesterday, our friend was very pleased!  Me too!

And the best part for me is that we had another friend already ask us if we can print on onsies!  Yes.  Yes, we can print on onsies!