Vintage soft-hand screen printing is a popular method for creating trendy, retail-looking garments. The nostalgic aspect makes it perfect for corporate anniversaries, throw-back campaigns and company stores. Here’s how it’s done in 5 easy steps.

1. For vintage soft-hand printing, Vantage mixes a soft-base additive to plastisol ink to “lighten” it. This process makes inks more translucent and less opaque when applied to the garment.

2. A vintage filter is applied to the artwork to lessen the amount of ink that is passed onto the garment and to add a degree of distressing to the look of the logo. To achieve different levels of distressing, additional filters may be applied to the art.

3. Prints are done without the use of an underlay to add to the weathered look of the design. Because an underlay is not used on either light or dark garments, exact color matching cannot be achieved. When PMS matches are critical to a customer, a distressed art filter can be applied to a logo and printed with standard plastisol inks.

4. The softer the garment, the softer the print. The hand of the final print is influenced by the hand of the garment with lightweight, soft tees providing the optimal canvas. We recommend our Color Wash T-Shirt in a  short or long sleeve version or the Gildan Softstyle® T-Shirt available in both men’s and ladies’ t-shirt sizes.

5. Because garment color will also affect the final print color, art proofs used in the order approval process are adjusted to account for ink variations. Multiple color set-ups may also be required if an order has multiple garment colors.

Deco Tip: For specialty techniques, such as vintage soft-hand printing, an actual spec sample approval is an important step to manage expectations and ensure overall client satisfaction. You can see more screen printing examples in our deco gallery.

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