The end of the semester is a challenging and stressful time for both students, teachers, and administrators alike. It can be a very creative and productive time for most, but sometimes, it can be a frustrating as there might not be any immediate result to all that work.
Screen printing t-shirts can be a therapeutic, creative outlet where I get to work with my hands and make something tangible. Here are some shirts I’ve printed at the end of spring semester in anticipation of summer!
With summer coming, I convinced the proprietress of Kilo Bravo that she should stock some t-shirts for their thirsty and overheated customers. The t-shirts are Gildan Soft Style, which is a blend of 65% polyester and 35% ring-spun cotton. She chose shirts in Heather Military Green, for the military theme that “Kilo Bravo” evokes (although it also stands in for her initials).
The print is a single-color, white discharge ink that I thought would not be very bold because of the polyester fabric, but I was wrong. They really pop! In retrospect, I would have used clear discharge in hopes of getting the natural fabric color that would evoke the military color even more. Print and learn.
On sale at Kilo Bravo, 180 N. 10th St, Brooklyn, NY
Easily one of the most “adult” logos I’ve ever printed, Balls Deep is a softball team founded by one of my oldest softball friends. As you can imagine, the logo has raised some eyebrows over the years, and some players have gone as far as quit the team rather than wear the shirt.
This particular shirt is printed on American Apparel’s Fine Jersey all-cotton t-shirt in red. This t-shirt model is such a stalwart of the industry that you most certainly have one in your closet, if not wearing one at the moment. The print is nothing more than Holden’s water-based black ink.
The manager of this softball team, sponsored by Bar Matchless in Brooklyn, has a favorite t-shirt. Printed for the Oregon Humane Society, she wanted to use that t-shirt for her team because it is so comfortable. She showed it to me, and I saw that it was an American Apparel Tri-Blend t-shirt in Tri-Athletic Blue. Wanting to do something different that the usual white print, she had me print the front logo and the back jersey numbers in water-based orange ink.
I even printed a couple for myself on Tultex poly-cotton shirts in a similar color.
The Tultex shirts look fine, but as I examine the shirt, I notice that the weave looks a little pixelated.
Nonetheless, for what both shirts lack in “pop,” they both make up in lightweight and soft-feel. It’s perfect for summer softball.
Having surrendered managing the Robots years ago, the current manager wanted to get jerseys made, instead of my usual t-shirt offerings. The jerseys haven’t materialized yet, but I made a t-shirt version of what I think he made for our team.
The t-shirt is nothing special, just a Gildan Soft Style 100% ring-spun cotton in black. But the print is discharge ink with red pigment.
Were I to do a full run, I would print on American Apparel’s sheer jersey “Summer Shirt” in black. That is, by far, the most comfortable all-cotton shirt I’ve ever worn. However, because they cost three times as much as this Gildan—and because they only ship from the Los Angeles–area mill, I would only offer it as a premium product for a sizable run.
The Archive used to be a coffee shop and video store in the 2000s. Located off the Morgan Avenue L-train station and used to be considered a “far, far away,” the Archive also used to sponsor a softball team in our league: the Bears.
The Bears are still around, even if the Archive is long gone, and they wanted to print a new version of their shirt.
This shirt is another Gildan Soft Style t-shirt in dark chocolate. The print is a water-based opaque yellow color that has a soft hand without the extra chemical process of discharge.
On a whim, I printed a couple of copies of the stalwart Librarians t-shirt. Unlike our usual shirt, I printed the shirts on an off-white shirt in black ink.
I’ll debut the shirt at our season opening double-header and, perhaps, maybe even take a few orders for a lighter alternative to our current black t-shirts.