Scarf Printing

One of the items I was most excited to design and print for Molly’s winter apparel sale was my very first scarf.

I’ve always loved cute printed jersey scarves, so I picked up a sample from American Apparel’s triblend scarf line & did some measurements and mockups for the preorder. This image is based off the October silkscreen of the month I did last year. I altered it slightly to fit the composition of the scarf & kept it a one-colour design.

The printing itself was pretty simple. Since I was starting with a basic one-colour print, I decided to print it quickly on a tabletop hinge press.

The toughest part is going to be keeping everything in registration. I made sure to put a thin layer of TexTac, which is my favourite smelly adhesive to use for long run textile printing. It’s a fluid medium that I scrape around using the side of an old subway card. Once it dries fully (I’ll speed it up with a hair dryer or use the time to spot check my screen for pinholes, it’s usually good to wipe it down with a clean cloth so it gets just a liiiitle bit of fuzz on it, or else it’s incredibly sticky and may risk leaving a residue on your first print. Or if you use it for thin paper printing, it can be strong enough to tear the paper as you’re pulling it up. But I like that it doesn’t seem to require as much reapplication as the spray adhesives do.

When I finish registration, I always pull up and then re-register the fabric, to see how far off things can get. Since the scarf has unfinished edges and naturally will require stretching to fit back into the registration tabs, you’re going to need a fairly wide margin of error. So if your design requires being perfectly centered, please bear in mind that it won’t be uniform every single time. Additionally, if you’re going to do a two colour scarf, you’ll want to use a proper t-shirt press just like with any other piece of apparel.

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Print time! There’s no special trick to it. It’s super quick and easy – I could print cotton jersey scarves all day long.

The *one* thing to look out for is how the fabric rolls. If you print on the wrong side (such as in this image), the scarf rolls under and will scroll up your image when you wear it. Print on the correct side, and while it’s going to roll up, it won’t completely obscure your image. Once I realized this, I flipped the side I was printing on and it was all good.

I have plans for a new Molly Crabapple double-sided scarf design for February! Keep an eye out for it.

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