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Decoration Glossary

Imprinting

Clear Soft-Hand Ink: clear ink that has no pigment but creates a darker, tonal look when applied to a garment. It also features a uniquely soft hand. Best results occur on color-wash and medium color garments. Not recommended for white, navy, dark brown, or black garments.

Color Separation: separating a multicolor design into its primary colors of yellow, cyan, magenta, and black. Individual screens for each color then are prepared, with each color applied where needed to recreate the full-color design. 

Distress: to make something appear worn. A variety of distressing techniques can be applied to artwork resulting in different looks. 

Four-Color Process: The process of reproducing a full-color design from the original artwork to the screen printed surface. Special process-color inks, which are transparent, are used.

Glitter Ink: colored ink with small flecks of glitter. 

Metallic Ink: powdered metals, such as aluminum and bronze, processed with ink to give appearance of gold or silver. Has a smooth finish.

Opacity: the quality or ability of an ink to keep light from penetrating. To completely cover a substrate, thereby fully hiding the color of the garment underneath. 

Process Colors: primary printing colors of magenta, cyan, yellow and black that are printed one over another to produce different hues in a multicolor print. The inks used are transparent, exhibiting very low opacity.

Screen Printing: the process of printing by squeezing ink through screens allowing color to pass through open areas to create a design. Multi-colored designs are achieved using one screen for each color in the design. 

Shimmer Ink: a very fine glitter ink with a powdered shimmering appearance. Used. See “color separation.” 

Suede Ink: inks with a soft textured suede-like hand. 

Water-Based Ink: inks that have a water base, as opposed to a petroleum or plastisol base. 


Embroidery

Appliqué: decoration or trimming cut from one fabric piece and stitched to another to add dimension or for design techniques.

Embroidery: decoration consisting of needlework created using a special machine that is programmed to stitch a design combining texture, pattern and color. 

Sequin Embroidery: a technique in which sequins are embroidered directly onto the item.


Digital Printing

Digital Printing: a 4-color process of printing directly from a computer file onto a garment. Provides a soft finish where the printing feels almost like it is dyed into the garment. Works on white and very light garments only.


Laser Etching

Laser Etching: a process that uses laser technology to etch or burn a mark on a fabric surface. This is mostly accomplished on fleece blankets, but can be done on certain other garments. 


Color Transfer

Heat Transfer: the process of transferring a design from a specially treated paper to a garment using high temperatures and a special heat press. Transfers allow for a full color detailed design.

Specialty Threads: threads designed for effects such as shine, glitter, iridescence or thickness. The thread soften are made from synthetic materials including rayon, mercerized cotton, metallics and textured nylon.


Appliqué

Appliqué: decoration or trimming cut from one fabric piece and stitched to another to add dimension or for design techniques.


Sequin

Sequin: a technique in which sequins are embroidered directly onto the item.


Combination

Combination: several different techniques are used to decorate the item. This could be an imprinted sleeve on a sweatshirt and an embroidery on the chest. It may also combine several techniques on one design such as digital printing an appliqué and then embroidering the appliqué on an item.

 

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