We’re always very happy to screen print for Represent, we’ve made no secret of that, but when we saw the image for the Machine Gun Kelly T shirts and hoodies collaboration, got to be honest, we were scared.
Scared because the T shirts had a massive scary Cobra on the front? Don’t be ridiculous (Well maybe a bit)
Scared because Represent T shirts and hoodies are really expensive to make, so if we screw up it’s a very bad day at the factory? Er, yes.
Scared because it’s a Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) collaboration, and that’s a pretty big thing? Well you would be, wouldn’t you
Represent x MGK and the real reason it was scary.
Admit it, the above is all likely to make your back door bang a bit in a high wind, but the real reason it was scary for us was, they needed to be printed using discharge inks!
Hopefully this means nothing to you, because you have a life, a proper job, and don’t live in a parallel universe – because you are not a screen printer and have nothing to do with the production of T shirts and hoodies. If you did go to the crossroads, do a deal with the Devil and take a wrong turn towards planet screen print however, you’ll understand that discharge inks, can be a bit of a bastard.
That big beautiful Cobra there, courtesy of the highly talented Mr M.Heaton, is a 9 colour screen print. It needs to be layered….
At a time….
Only discharge inks will give us the vibrancy of colour and softness we want for these T shirts and hoodies, this vintage look and soft feel is so important. But discharge ink is water based and wants to dry up and block the screens at every moment. Its colours can shift shade at high temperature as they react with the garment dye, and it is also quite aggressive in attacking the screen emulsion. Essentially, the whole design can collapse in front of your very eyes, into a massive mess. More of a squashed snail than a mighty Cobra. Cripes!
So you need to get all the separated artwork films bang on, spend hours making screens, spend hours lining all the screens up, hours mixing all the colours, and then, test one, pray that it looks amazing, and print them at a million miles an hour onto really expensive Represent T shirts and hoodies, and hope to God they’re perfect and that Machine Gun Kelly is happy.
Phew. We think they look ok. Actually, pretty good. And breathe.
It might seem strange then, but in a Screen Printer’s head it’s not the Represent x Machine Gun Kelly collaboration onto expensive T-shirts and hoodies that are the reasons for being scared, and it’s not a massive Cobra – it’s the ink!