Fly Water Studios

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I no longer screen print "direct-to-garment" as I have found much better results using what we call, "screen print ink transfers".  That's a mouthful, but it's quite simple. Basically, traditional screen printing is the process of squeezing ink through a screen directly onto the garment. The wet ink design on the T shirt is then cooked at a controlled time and temperature, and that's what cures the ink from liquid to solid. What I'm doing different is having someone else print my designs, but instead of onto a T shirt, the design is printed onto a release paper. The ink is partly cured, then sent to me as a stack of transfers.  I then use a heat press to both heat up and press the design onto a T shirt. The ink is then fully cured and you have a perfect, plastisol print.  The benefits here are many.  First, the print will have a softer hand than traditional screen prints.  The ink sits more inside the fibers, where traditional inks sit up on top of the fibers with that rubbery feel.  Second, there's 0% waste for me, no chemicals down the drain, just paper to be recycled.  Third, it allows us more flexibility in our printing.  Let's say you order 72 shirts in both brown and charcoal.  But two months later you realize you're already running low on charcoal larges.  I'll often have some of those transfers left over, and whipping you up a small batch of charcoal large T shirts might only take me three days to turn around. There's no added set up charge for this until we run out of transfers.  A traditional screen printer is going to charge you a disproportional rate to whip up a small batch like that with their set up costs.