Special effects (but re-think glitter)

The thumbnail version:

  • Winter is the time to experiment in the shop with special effects.
  • There are a lot of special effect materials to use responsible, just not glitter.

The full version:

Winter is the time when things slow down for most Canadian textile printers, and right now COVID-19 is not making it any easier. But, on the upside, it’s a time to experiment in the shop with, for instance, special effects.

Glitter might look good on a Tee, but not so much in the ocean.

Realistically, special effects will never be your core activity, but it has the potential to add to both your reputation as a skilled shop and your bottom line. It does however require that you practice, experiment and become skillful at special effects printing. And what better time of the year to have some fun and invest a few hours in this than the slower winter season?

Popular special effects usually involve metallic finishes, high density prints, faux suede, reflective prints, and a number of other techniques and materials. One of those other materials has been glitter; but we need to re-consider that.

Recent research has shown how glitter is adding to the microplastic problem in the oceans as far away as the Arctic. At 1% It’s not a significant part of the overall microplastic problem but we have to start somewhere and glitter is one of the easiest to start with—just stop using it. There are plenty of other ideas and materials for creating special effects prints.

Call Stanley’s for the materials you’ll need to do special effects printing and add a new dimension to your shop’s skill set.