We've all dreamed of being able to create a t-shirt, a jacket, a bag, a poster... with our favorite artist's illustration or our little cousin's drawing! While Cardiem is in the middle of creating its new "artist" collection (we'll tell you more very soon), here are some secrets about textile customization techniques so you can let your creativity run wild!
This is the most well-known technique, probably the one used by your soccer team to add your name to your jersey when you were a kid.
Flocking involves printing the desired design on a "flex roll," a plastic or polyurethane thermo-adhesive material. The printed part of the roll is then placed upon the textile object you want to personalize, and glued directly onto it using a heat press.
The advantage? It's fast, inexpensive and convenient. The downside? With flocking, it's difficult to use complex patterns in terms of shape or color. The flocked pattern is embossed, with a somewhat plasticky look. Something to consider...
We get right into a more sophisticated technique. There are two types of silkscreen printing:
- the direct one, which consists of using stencils (the "silkscreen printing screens") passing the printing ink onto the textile you want to be customized.
- the transfer one: same principle, but which uses first a transfer paper where the ink is passed, then a hot press to transfer the pattern on the desired textile.
These two variations offer a high quality customization, especially in terms of colors. But they are less suitable for marking complex patterns.
This is another marking technique that also uses ink transfer. The design is printed on a special paper with sublimation inks, and the design is then transferred with a heat press. This technique offers a high quality rendering, but at a fairly high cost, especially for small quantities.
Do you print folders, posters, or designs on paper? Digital printing on fabric works exactly the same way. The limits? The composition of the fabric, which must absolutely be cotton, and the sometimes limited choice of colors.
Forget the printer or the press and pick up your needle and thread. Textile embroidery allows for great precision and an almost infinite choice of colors. Most importantly, you can customize your fabric with a simple line or content-free shapes. The price of textile embroidery is higher, especially because of the time and complexity of the realization. But we like it a lot!
What about drawing?
There's such a thing as textile markers! So why wouldn't you try to become an artist for a few hours, get your most beautiful pencils, and start drawing?