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how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

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Old July 3rd, 2011 Jul 3, 2011 8:12:56 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

I am totally new to this and I would much appreciate your help and guidance.
I read and researched a lot but I couldn't find a definite answer to the question, "how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts? http://shop.themountain.me/products/Doberman-Face.html" if you hover over the image (takes a couple of seconds for the zoomed image to show), you will see the detail like the hair and the eyes, the different color shadows...


1) What prining method are they using to get that level of details?

2) The 3D effect of the image and the realism of it. Does the image have to be in 3D? If so, is there a special software used for that? any more information to address my lack of knowledge would be much appreciated.

3) How do they get the fade in effect? If this is done through the discharge process, could you please explain this in a bit more detail. I would like to understand how they get that continuity in colors from the image to the rest of the T-shirt

4) They are printing on black, does that not represent a challenge? if so, please explain why?

5) There is so much detail in the pictures printed, is there a minimum resolution required here? What printing method
would provide the highest level of detail.

I would very much appreciate any help and advice in how this printing process was achieved.

Many thanks,
OA
 
Old July 3rd, 2011 Jul 3, 2011 9:25:32 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

I believe that Mountain shirts are first tye-died and then screen printed. You may be able to call the company and get more info.
 
Old July 3rd, 2011 Jul 3, 2011 2:17:17 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

OA, this is a section for experienced printers and hopefully help when somebody has to print something ismilar to this and needs additional info . . .

Just as an FYI, this looks like a 4 color simulated process. Fades and colors are not a problem if you start with good art. This would have to be at least 200dpi at actual size. You would also need to have a very good separator to really make the image pop.

The only issue here is the size of the image. It is an oversized print and would have to be run on a specialized printer that is capable of producing such a large print. There aren't many of those around and the production is very expensive.

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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 1:00:24 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Thanks a lot for your help @bluemoon and @akar.
I am still a bit unsure, so I would appreciate if someone else can shed more light on this please. Thanks in advance
 
Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 2:55:51 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

OA:

This looks to me like just a four or five color simulated process sep. Pretty easy to do really if you have good source Photography. (Underbase white, Grey, Tan, maybe a brown, & a highlight white) You don't have to use many colors here because you can influence how the halftones print by just limiting the amount of underbase white used. For instance, for a darker grey the grey just doesn't have a white flashed underneath it. Same with the tan...which will look brown without an underbase on the black shirt.

Art is processed in Photoshop. All over printing is super common these days too, and many shops offer this. Most of the time the big issue is the width of the design, not necessarily the height. This image doesn't look too wide as the image isn't on the sleeves. Production time is going to be a tad longer on this one as the speed is determined by the stroke length.

There are tons of artists that can replicate this type of design (including me) very easily. Getting it printed isn't that tough either if you know where to look. It would be a more expensive than a normal size print, but not that bad really if you are ordering enough units.

Good luck,

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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 3:25:16 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akar
I believe that Mountain shirts are first tye-died and then screen printed.

i hope it didn't suffer during the process.
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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 3:50:33 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Pixie dust, Three Wolf Moon Magic, a wing and a prayer and tens of thousands of man/woman hours over a 20 year period...

I'm not going to give away any secrets about how we do things as we've built ourselves apart from the competition for the past 20 years by doing things differently. But to answer a few of your questions that are fairly common knowledge in the industry, we use Discharge Ink, PFD Shirts, Reactive Dye, most of our shirts (90% or so) are CMYKW(white).

Because we are a pre-print brand, it allows us to have an in house R&D department which is always pushing the envelope on print/separation techniques. Most of the time we aren't under the gun from a customer (as we release our catalog yearly), so this give us a lot of time to make each shirt amazing. Sometimes taking as many as 10 attempts to get the perfect blend and color coordination between print and shirt (but the average is 3 attempts). The drawback to great discharge printing is no 2 separations are ever the same, because the shirt color/saturation influences the separation in ways that plastisol printing does not. Our art department and our separators are all in house and everyone knows the process so the art is built for printing t-shirts easier.

I'm not going to answer a bunch of questions about how we prep art, dye the shirts, what different methods and brands of product we use, as it took us a long time to get here and the less competition the better

Here are a couple answers to your inquiries: The fade-in effect is a 250+ pixel feather in PS, you just need to tone the fade to the shirt color, or reduce the ink (You can do it as a spot, but usually we build it into the CMYKW process). This can be done with plastisol as well, by just mixing a clear base into the ink to mellow it out.

Not many our shirts are 3D art. The majority are not, we just have exceptional realist artists.

Black is not a challenge as long as the dye of the shirt is the correct kind (for discharge).

The nature of discharge printing allows for low dpi and no moire.

Help and advice on how this is achieved: You practice. You develop. You don't let other people tell you things are impossible and you never let your head printer be your head of R&D.

If you check out our site: http://shop.themountain.me/pages/Green.html it give a lot of info about our process/ green initiatives.

One of the main pluses that we have is a completely integrated operation. Art, Research, Development, Dyeing and Printing all under one roof.

Last edited by themountain; July 4th, 2011 at 04:11 PM.. Reason: addition
 
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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 3:56:57 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Thanks for the insight Michael and welcome to the forum.
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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 4:17:21 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCans
Thanks for the insight Michael and welcome to the forum.
You're welcome and thanks!
 
Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 4:35:34 PM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akar
I believe that Mountain shirts are first tye-died and then screen printed. You may be able to call the company and get more info.
No need to call, we dye in-house, we have a library of over 1000 colors. We just developed the first ozone filtration system in the USA for treating our water without chemical. Making us the greenest Dye-House in the USA if not the world. It purifies our manufacturing process waste water by removing color without the addition of chemical. The process and results are truly mind blowing.

Anyone out there with a dye house that wants to use this process or needs help setting up a system like this, please contact us and we can point you in the right direction. We found the industry to be very proprietary when talking about using ozone to clean the water of dye color and heavy metals and we pretty much had to figure it out ourselves over a 3 year period. If you are dyeing massive amounts of shirts 2 million + per year and using chemical bleaching agents to "clean" your water, the system pays for itself in 2-3 years. No more chemicals. Possibility to reuse water (massive savings in town water bills) and many other savings + possibility of kick back from fed/state governments with clean initiatives.

And yes, we screenprint after the dyeing process. We have 6 Autos.
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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 8:16:03 PM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Had a chance to look at your website designs ... some really great artwork. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to more posts from you.
 
Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 9:22:44 PM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

I think it is pretty safe to say that The Mountain does a lot of things better than anybody else w/ systems developed in-house. The fact that Michael has shared this much is pretty amazing. Their artists are awesome
 
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Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 10:01:00 PM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by themountain
No need to call, we dye in-house, we have a library of over 1000 colors. We just developed the first ozone filtration system in the USA for treating our water without chemical. Making us the greenest Dye-House in the USA if not the world. It purifies our manufacturing process waste water by removing color without the addition of chemical. The process and results are truly mind blowing.

Anyone out there with a dye house that wants to use this process or needs help setting up a system like this, please contact us and we can point you in the right direction. We found the industry to be very proprietary when talking about using ozone to clean the water of dye color and heavy metals and we pretty much had to figure it out ourselves over a 3 year period. If you are dyeing massive amounts of shirts 2 million + per year and using chemical bleaching agents to "clean" your water, the system pays for itself in 2-3 years. No more chemicals. Possibility to reuse water (massive savings in town water bills) and many other savings + possibility of kick back from fed/state governments with clean initiatives.

And yes, we screenprint after the dyeing process. We have 6 Autos.

Great prints! Do you sell your shirts wholesale or just retail?
 
Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 10:18:01 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gapipkin
Great prints! Do you sell your shirts wholesale or just retail?
We are primarily a wholesale company. We started in retail around 30 years ago and sold the stores in 2003 or so, to focus on wholesale. I started the print company to sell shirts to our stores and then as we grew and started selling to other customers instead of just our stores, the wholesale company quickly took over the retail company and we realized we were having much more fun making tees than running a retail company. Last year was our first year back in retail. We only sell online and only above our retail customers pricing (as to not upset them). We have 8 in-house brands: The Mountain®, Mountain Life®, Mountain Evolution™, Manimals™, Mountain Organic®, Skulbone, Wine is life®, Three Wolf Moon™ and we have 5 outside brands: Thomas Kinkade™, Loose Leashes™, Life is Crap®, The Back 40™ & Laughing Bear™.

We have over 800 designs on the line on 5 or 6 body styles and sell all over the world. We stock everything, so we usually have over 1 million shirts on the shelves at any time and we are currently at 97% stock levels, which we've only been able to accomplish over the past 2 years or so. Turning around product and customer satisfaction is very important to us, we can usually ship an order (wholesale or retail) in under 24 hours.

Why, you wanna buy some shirts?
 
Old July 4th, 2011 Jul 4, 2011 10:25:53 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: how the hell do The Mountain print these T-shirts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty44
Had a chance to look at your website designs ... some really great artwork. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to more posts from you.
Sandra,

If I get time, I'll post more. I have a few tricks and pointers I can share here and there. I've been doing it for over 20 years now

Thanks about our artists, I've been working with some of them for more than 15 years now. I have a nice tight team from all over the world, with a lot of creativity in their souls.

Here's a good trick. Nail polish works better than any of the blockout products we've used and it dries almost instantly with no washout issues after the fact. You may want to try some as it's a lot cheaper than blockout...

Last edited by themountain; July 4th, 2011 at 10:52 PM..
 
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