Tips for getting a soft print on a dark shirt from Vudog [Submitted]

by Andy on September 19, 2012

Post image for Tips for getting a soft print on a dark shirt from Vudog [Submitted]

I just wanted to share some tips to people new on getting soft prints on dark shirts. On this “Born 2B Wild” shirt I used half tone underlay instead of solid under the red and light colors. A lot of people just use a solid underlay when not needed which just gives a plastic shield feel. Also I thinned out the white ink. On plastisol I tend to thin ink whenever possible. I also use a high mesh screen (305) to lay on a thinner layer whenever possible.This print was done with 5 screens on an automatic. When the print was done I heat pressed it. Be careful with the heat press to not go above the temp the print was cured at in the oven, that breaks down the ink and will shorten the print life. I use about 60 pounds of pressure. Heat pressing a shirt can make a big difference in softness. When I finished this shirt, the print was virtually undetectable and super soft to the touch. I washed this one a couple dozen times and its still like the day I printed it.

On this “Punk” shirt, because of its large size solid area, I decided to go with discharge ink. Discharge ink bleaches out the shirt dye and puts the new color in place. Its a pain in the ass to work with, especially on larger numbers. If you get a pin hole in the screen or slip with the ink, the shirt is wrecked cause you can’t zap off a bleached mark. But the end result is a print that you cannot feel, its awesome. On the other grey areas of this shirt I just used solid thinned white ink for the cheeks and levels of half tone for the ears and around the eyes. I only used 2 screen passes with this shirt on an automatic. Each screen is money, and the more you can reduce screens the better by making different colors with halftones. I didn’t need to heat press this one, you can’t feel the print at all after a wash.

Andy: I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that I don’t like the designs over at Vudog, but I do like Keith, the guy that runs the brand, and I appreciate him stopping by with a submission trying to help out other printers, even if some of it went over my head.


    No problem Andy. Yeah its simple new people just need to be proactive with their printer, if you’re not, you may just get a “plastic shield” print when you want a soft hand. I am present on the first run of a new print job to make sure it comes out the way I want. A quality driven shop is important also, I had to change shops when I found the first one I used didn’t produce the quality I wanted.

  • Alan

    Yep. His website and presentation has come a long way.

  • Douglas Henderson

    Halftone underlay! man good idea

  • Douglas Henderson

    What’s your opinion of single pull of white on black? By that I mean if I have white txt on black fabric and single pull the white paint so it’s kinda faded, does it look cheap or incorrect or will the effect look cool/ faded? Does any of the above make sense?


    Yeah, Douglas. Without going the discharge route or distressing your graphics, you can get the faded look with standard plastisol by using a high mesh screen like 305 and using thinning agent. You should be able to experiment to dial in the level of opaqueness and heathered fade you want. You can see where I used this at my site example at, the “Negative Sux” closeup is one (ears, nose and eyes) , and check out the full solid black underlay with white solid and halftone on top on the WTF closeup. Good luck man.

  • Lou’s Not Dead

    Lucky Tee FTW!

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