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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is opaque the feel of the paint or is opaque a method of printing? I though it was a pigmented discharge but I'm reading a lot about transfers so I don't know anymore.

I am having some major problems with getting some quality soft to the touch shirts. First, I had 25 opaques made for me. They look and feels great but its SUPER fuzzy after the first wash. So I did a test using DTG. . . using spread**** and it looks like it has already been through the wash a few times. DTG isn't high end enough for what I want to to do. So I tried water based screen printing. . . one wash and its SUPER fuzzy and looks 2 years old.

Right now I have a plastisol in the washing machine but all these samples are expensive and time consuming. I have 3 year old Old Navy shirt that are soft to the touch, have full vibrant colors and still look as good as a typical thick glob of paint screen print. I don't get it. I have shirts from independent line that have the quality / feel I want but I cant seem to find it. Any oppinions?
 

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Opaque must refer to the ink, there are opaque inks, process inks, discharge inks... but I've never heard a printed shirt called an opaque. Opaque just means not clear - you can't see through it.

What do you mean by fuzzy? The shirt is fuzzy or the print is fuzzy?

Are you printing them yourself? If not, are you using different printers or are you using the same printer for all these samples? Your description is vague but I can only guess that the printer is doing something wrong. You'll have to be more specific I think.
 

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Rick is right, Opaque refers to the fact that you can not see thru it. There are opaque transfers for dark shirts and their are opaque inks for printing on dark shirts. No matter the method whether it is screen printing, dtg or transfers, for them to go on dark shirts they must be opaque. It doesn't have anything to do with a type of printing so much as darks shirts need opacity no matter what the method.

With water based screen and dtg you will feel the shirt fabric as it doesnt have a plastic base to the ink like plastisol, and has a softer hand. If you are not liking the way the ink feels with these methods then plastisol might be what you are looking for, as you feel more just the ink and not the fabric thru it.
 

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Actually I see you're using Jakprints. I've read they have a good reputation. Not sure what the problems are exactly. Can you post a picture?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Nope all are from different places so I cant blame the printer for all of them.

Yes I used Jakprints soft hand discharge. After describing the feel I wanted the rep said opaque discharge was what i needed. But I printed all 25 on white American Apparel fine jersey tees. Based on what you are saying I don't know why he said that. Any way, fuzzy is a general term so like you suggested I added a photo.

The top shirt is from Old Navy. It feels as if there is NO paint at all on the shirt. I have washed it many times and it still looks great. The bottom is my print after one wash. It didnt even go in the dryer but it looks like the fabric is coming through the paint instead of having the color INTO the fabric. I used a lint remover to see if it was external fuzz but it did nothing.

Please click the image and zoom in to the full screen version. You can really see a huge difference in the fuzziness. You can literally see the fabric coming through the paint. My water based sample was printed by another company but it looks exactly the same way after one wash
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I just took the plastisol out of the wash and it looks great after one wash BUT I don't know how it will hold up over time. It seems like it will have problems after a few washes

Also, in further inspection of the two shirts in the picture I realized something. The Old Navy shirt's fuzz is the color of the dye. In other words, its like the dye of my water based and my discharge shirts don't fully penetrate the fabric which allows the original fabric color to show through the paint after washing. Zoom all the way in to this ON shirt pic and you can literally see the dyed fuzz. The color is deep. So it doesnt look fuzzy after washing
 

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I just took the plastisol out of the wash and it looks great after one wash BUT I don't know how it will hold up over time. It seems like it will have problems after a few washes
It shouldn't if it's printed properly - but then, the waterbased ink shouldn't have either. That said, I wouldn't expect a shirt to look that linty after washing either, so I'm not convinced the problem is the printing and not the shirt. It's always hard to tell from photos, but there are the two possible culprits rather than one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The shirt is American Apparel. I heard they were great for printing and they feel like Old Navy or any of those types of shirts.

The water based was printed on fabric that feels identical to the American Apparel but it is not name brand. So, I don't know. I was hoping I would get more input from people though. Please feel free to give your opinions. I would really appreciate it
 

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The shirt is American Apparel.
Which one of the three? :)

I heard they were great for printing and they feel like Old Navy or any of those types of shirts.
They are great for printing on, and they wash pretty well. A bit linty sometimes, but not extreme. So if the AA shirt is the one causing you problems, it's unlikely to be because of the shirt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The white shirt with blue / orange / pink / yellow inc is my design printed on American Apparel (discharge printed)

The cream shirt with red / yellow / green / brown is the Old Navy quality I am trying to achieve. That shirt feels like the AA shirt but the color has been preserved after many washes

I did't post a pic of the waterbased sample that is printed on the no name shirt because it looks basically the same as the one done on AA
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
its not exactly the feel i want but i have to say plastisol gets a bad wrap. It's holding up much better than my other shirts. my plasitsol and water based were done by the same company
 

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Looking at the photos, it looks like the print is fine on the discharge printed on you posted above.

The problem just seems to be fibrilation of the t-shirt. That is, t-shirt fibers coming through.

I don't think that's a problem with the printing, per se. More of a problem with the t-shirt fabric.

With plastisol ink, it sort of "traps" the fibers a bit more, so you probably won't see the same fibers coming through.

Check out this article for a more in depth explanation: U.S. Screen Print & Inkjet Technology | The Facts About Fibrillation
 

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Thanks, Rodney, great article, and now we have an actual vocabulary word for those pesky "lifting" fibers we talk about.
 

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iMan, plastisol ink sort of form a layer of plastic, however finely thin, over the shirt, so fibers can't come through it. Discharge inks work by removing the dye of the shirt and sometimes replacing it with another color, so there's no real layer of ink over the fibers, it's just the fibers, which can then get roughed up or poke out or whatever they may do with nothing to hold them back. Waterbased inks settle into the fabric more, at least the non-opaque ones, so the shirt can do similar fibrilation as it can with discharge.

You do not print white shirts with discharge ever. It doesn't make sense. For the same effect, you would just use an appropriate waterbased ink, which will have no hand on the shirt when done properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Rodney,
I might not have a solution but at least I can sound like I know what I am talking about when speaking to printers. "fuzzy" wasn't getting me anywhere. After reading this I mention fibrillation to a printer and he knew exactly what I was talking about. I will be getting some samples from him. Hopefully after a few wash test, I will be a happy camper
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh I didn't see your response last night stuart. It looks like we were posting at the same time. That makes sense though. Thanks
 
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