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Old 07-09-2013, 07:16 AM   #1
Glitter Queen
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Default Using large rubber stamps on shirts

Hi guys!
New here and somewhat new to stamping.
I am launching a clothing company later this year and I plan to be using rubber stamps to print my graphics.
I have done quite a bit of experimenting and practice, but I wanted to get your guys opinion.

For the larger designs (larger than 5 by 8") I will just be getting a sheet of rubber laser engraved and I will have to mount it to wood myself.

Here are my questions:

What is the best way to mount the rubber?

What is the best way to apply ink to large stamp? I was thinking using a sponge or possibly a large felt homemade pad but I am open to suggestions.


Here is a link to a project that is simliar to what I want to do but mine won't be quite so large.

t-shirt printing on Behance
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:28 AM   #2
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I have no experience mounting on wood so can't help there I'm afraid. I only use unmounted stamps and tend to use larger ones face up and press my paper to them but that's not really going to work with shirts!

For inking up, there's no reason you need anything special I don't think - just put your stamp face up and tap your pad all over it to get good coverage. You could use a brayer if you find you get more even coverage that way (but it's adding an extra operation since you have to ink up the brayer and then use it to ink up the stamp which might be an issue if you're doing a lot of shirts).

I suspect getting the right ink is going to be important for you. I usually use Versacraft by Tsukineko when I stamp on fabric - it's permanent when heat set and seems to stand up well to laundry. There's a good range of colours. Tsukineko launched Memento Luxe at winter CHA as a mixed media ink that's permanent on fabric when heat set. I haven't seen any reviews of that yet and haven't used it so I don't know how it performs. There may be inks available in more "commercial" quantities if you're going to be making a lot of shirts but I don't know how you'd go about locating those (try chatting to other makers if you get chance, I guess).

The other thing you'll need (you may well have thought about this already) is something to slip inside the shirt before you stamp. It will prevent bleed-through and I suspect that getting the right thing will mean you get better consistency of impressions, too.

Good luck with the new venture!
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelnorth View Post
I have no experience mounting on wood so can't help there I'm afraid. I only use unmounted stamps and tend to use larger ones face up and press my paper to them but that's not really going to work with shirts!

For inking up, there's no reason you need anything special I don't think - just put your stamp face up and tap your pad all over it to get good coverage. You could use a brayer if you find you get more even coverage that way (but it's adding an extra operation since you have to ink up the brayer and then use it to ink up the stamp which might be an issue if you're doing a lot of shirts).

I suspect getting the right ink is going to be important for you. I usually use Versacraft by Tsukineko when I stamp on fabric - it's permanent when heat set and seems to stand up well to laundry. There's a good range of colours. Tsukineko launched Memento Luxe at winter CHA as a mixed media ink that's permanent on fabric when heat set. I haven't seen any reviews of that yet and haven't used it so I don't know how it performs. There may be inks available in more "commercial" quantities if you're going to be making a lot of shirts but I don't know how you'd go about locating those (try chatting to other makers if you get chance, I guess).

The other thing you'll need (you may well have thought about this already) is something to slip inside the shirt before you stamp. It will prevent bleed-through and I suspect that getting the right thing will mean you get better consistency of impressions, too.

Good luck with the new venture!

Thanks!
This has been a long time in the making so I've done a lot of experimenting. To start I'm going to be using speedball waterbased fabric ink.

I have used versacraft for other applications and it works great...I'm just going to need large amounts of ink so it isn't practical.

For large stamps have you found it's hard to get good coverage?
The imperfect look is part of my branding but I do need a mostly solid impression.

None of the custom rubber stamp makers will make a mounted stamp as big as I need, they will only laser engrave a sheet of rubber which is why I'll have to figure out how to do it myself.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dotdotdot View Post
Thanks!
This has been a long time in the making so I've done a lot of experimenting. To start I'm going to be using speedball waterbased fabric ink.
I'd probably try a brayer in that case, I think you'll get decent coverage that way and it's a pretty fast way to apply ink without too much wastage (I suspect a sponge or felt would take up more of its own accord that wouldn't end up on the stamp, you'd just be washing it down the drain at the end of a session).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dotdotdot View Post
For large stamps have you found it's hard to get good coverage?
The imperfect look is part of my branding but I do need a mostly solid impression.
I think the key with a big stamp is to make sure you put good pressure all over and to have something slightly cushy as the surface you stamp onto. If you look at the pics in the sample you linked to, there's some sort of pad inside the shirt. It may be as simple as a bunch of sheets of paper, it's just a bit of "give" under the stamp. You'll probably find that pre-washed shirts are best, too (it gets rid of any dressing in the fibres and shrinks them up closer together so you've got a smoother stamping surface).

Let us know how you get on!
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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Think about contacting Aaron V.F. and see if he will share some wisdom. I'd also contact Dharma Trading. They have many tutorials and may have the answer as to dye/ink available in quantities for this use.
My limited experience with big stamps, but still smaller than you indicate, is that I get better impressions using a press. I'm using the Speedball Press B with great results. Does anyone use something similar but larger to address dotdotdot's needs?
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelnorth View Post
I'd probably try a brayer in that case, I think you'll get decent coverage that way and it's a pretty fast way to apply ink without too much wastage (I suspect a sponge or felt would take up more of its own accord that wouldn't end up on the stamp, you'd just be washing it down the drain at the end of a session).



I think the key with a big stamp is to make sure you put good pressure all over and to have something slightly cushy as the surface you stamp onto. If you look at the pics in the sample you linked to, there's some sort of pad inside the shirt. It may be as simple as a bunch of sheets of paper, it's just a bit of "give" under the stamp. You'll probably find that pre-washed shirts are best, too (it gets rid of any dressing in the fibres and shrinks them up closer together so you've got a smoother stamping surface).

Let us know how you get on!
Thanks!
In the photos for that behance project he just has a piece of plywood under the shirt.

The laser engraving doesn't leave a super high relief, so if I have something with give it might get ink from the area surrounding the image on the shirt.

I will obviously do some more experimenting when I have the stamps ordered, I just wanted to see if I could gain some insight in case there was anything obvious I was missing.
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