Tips and Tricks for Printing on Performance Fabrics
The term “performance fabric” refers to fabrics that are manufactured to be able to withstand wear and tear – and being simple to clean. Performance fabrics have been around for a long time, but when the fabric was known simply as polyester it had little cachet. However, with top-tier brands like Nike and Adidas, along with other sportswear companies, promoting these blends of garments their popularity quotient is way up.
In “Working with Performance Fabrics,” Charlie Taublieb of Taublieb Consulting will discuss the various inks available and techniques to successfully print on them. The many challenges to printing on performance fabrics include how to stop the ink color from sublimating and changing color when printed on dark colored garments. Fortunately, the ink companies have developed a wide range of inks to address this issue.
There are also choices as to the type of ink to be used. Polyester ink has been around for a long time and is the preferred ink of choice. It prints on a range of fabrics – from 100 percent cotton to 100 percent polyester. The downside of the polyester ink is the feel, which usually has a little roughness to it and doesn’t stretch very well.
Taublieb, who’s preferred choice is silicone ink, will discuss the similarities and differences between the manufacturers’ offerings.
He will also distill the option of working with sublimation instead of printing direct on performance fabrics. While sublimation is not as challenging as direct printing, it, too, has its issues – such as keeping colors bright, avoiding blurs, and ensuring color consistency.
Come to Room C141 Wednesday at 10:10am to learn the tips and tools necessary to printing on performance fabrics.