5 Steps to a Vintage Looking Screen Print

Soft-hand screen printing creates a vintage look with special ink additives.

1. CREATE A FRESH BLAST FROM THE PAST by going vintage with on-trend garments like T-shirts. Soft-hand screen printing is a popular method for creating trendy, retail-looking vintage garments. The nostalgic effect makes it perfect for corporate anniversaries, throwback campaigns and company stores.

2. USE AN ADDITIVE for vintage soft-hand printing, Vantage Apparel mixes a soft-base additive to plastisol ink to lighten it. This process makes inks more translucent and less opaque when applied to the garment.

TIP: Specialty techniques like vintage soft-hand printing require extra care and attentive communication with clients. Make sure your samples reflect actual finished results for optimal customer satisfaction.

3. ADJUST THE EFFECT WITH A VINTAGE FILTER Applied to the artwork, the amount of ink that passes onto the garment is calibrated to create a distressed look for the art. Try additional filters to create different levels of a distressed finished look.

4. SKIP THE UNDERLAY Creating a weathered look to the design is easy because underlays aren’t needed for either light or dark garments. Color matching isn’t an exact science, and you don’t need it to create a vintage look. A distressed art filter can be used with standard plastisol inks.

5. A SOFTER GARMENT CREATES A SOFTER PRINT. Soft tees are the best canvas. Because garment colors affect final print colors, adjust ink variations to account for art proofs during the approval process. Multiple color setups may also be needed for orders with multiple garment colors.