Learn 2 Essential Steps to Print Quality T Shirts

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Pantone Color Matching

The look of your design is the essential first step to print quality t shirts.  Great looking prints have sharp detail and vivid color.  Much thought needs to be invested in choosing the perfect pairing between ink and shirt color.  Sites like Colour Lovers and Color Combos can be helpful resources in choosing the right colors.  Your color success will also be aided by a set of Pantone® Formula Guides. Our mixologists always utilize the Pantone book to produce accurate color matches our clients love.  Pantone® Formula guides can be purchased from Amazon for about $125.

While the price sounds steep, Pantone® Formula Guides should be in the toolbox of every designer.  Your computer’s screen won’t be an accurate color representation of the end product.  There is no substitution for the accuracy of the Pantone book.  In addition most clothing manufactures like American Apparel offer the Pantone colors of their fabrics.  This is a helpful tool in pairing ink and shirt color.  As designers we spend so much time crafting our art, we shouldn’t gloss over such an important detail.

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Print Quality T Shirts with Supeluxe Water Based™ Ink

With perfectly mixed colors our focus shifts to the feel of the print.  We all have our favorite t-shirt that feels incredible.  More than likely the shirt started out with a soft print or, after many years and a few hundred washes, has become soft.

With Superluxe Water Based or Superluxe Discharge inks we can achieve this soft hand from day one.  Superluxe Water Based ink can be likened to a dye whereas plastisol can be likened to a sticker.  Superluxe Water Based ink penetrates the fibers of the garment resulting in a new shirt that feels as smooth like your favorite vintage tee.  In addition to the soft feel, water base ink doesn’t seal the fabric like standard plastisol so your shirt will breathe, keeping you cool. If you’re not ready to convert to Superluxe Water Based inks, our options with plastisol become:

  • Thin it out to make it print like a Superluxe Water Based ink
  • Print it as-is then wash the t-shirt a few hundred times
  • Print with Superluxe Water Based inks anyway, sit back while you gush over the shirt’s quality, then tell you it’s water based.

We choose Superluxe Water Based 9 out of 10 times.  The end result is a soft print with crisp lines that is sure to become your customers favorite tee.

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