Vinyl printing is generally limited to simple text and designs. A single-colour print is the norm but we can overlay different colours of vinyl to produce some clever effects. The artwork is required in a vector format which is produced in a software package such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw; this artwork format produces the design in lines as opposed to pixels as in a jpeg image.
Once the artwork has been cut, we then take away the unwanted vinyl, this process is called weeding and can be very time consuming and delicate if the design has fine detail. This is why Vinyl is only really good for lettering and simple one-colour designs.
Once the weeding has been done we are left with the design on its backing paper. We then transfer that onto the garment, this is done using an industrial heat press. This allows us to apply pressure and a temperature of 160c. Once this has been applied the backing paper is removed.
Vinyl comes in many different formats, such as metallic, fluorescent, flock and reflective colours. It can be as durable as screen printing – it can be washed up to 60c without any colour loss, so can be a good option for work clothing that needs hot washes. Vinyl gives a smooth even finish with crisp edges, but can look like it has been stuck on compared to screen printing which absorbs into the fabric.