Earlier this month, I headed up to A&P Master Images in Utica, NY, for a two-day crash course in screen printing and embroidery. Though I've written about the decorated-apparel industry for nearly four years, I had never actually picked up a squeegee or hooped a garment before. Owners Howard and Amanda Potter agreed to help me fill those gaps in my education. I'll share my experience in the January issue of Wearables, as part of our Staffing Survival Guide.
Check out the slideshow below to see some highlights of my trip.
The showroom of A&P Master Images in Utica, NY.
A&P Master Images employees showed me how to hoop a garment using water-soluble topping and the proper backing, then load into an embroidery machine.
Embroidery involves a lot of double-checking, according to PJ Loomis, screen printing and embroidery manager at A&P Master Images. "There are a lot of different steps for something that's pretty simple," he says.
Hooping a garment for a simple left-chest placement is much harder than I expected. I had a cheat sheet and a hooping guide, but I still had to redo my work several times to ensure the hoop was on straight.
Choosing the proper embroidery backing for a garment is important. Employees at A&P Master Images watch videos created by Joyce Jagger, The Embroidery Coach, to help them get up to speed on the topic.
Sean Hogan, general manager at A&P Master Images, showed me how to load a T-shirt onto a platen and do a two-color screen print with a manual press.
Making sure a T-shirt is centered on the platen can be a challenge for newbies.
Karl Ermisch, of Marrone Photography, was on hand to document my crash course in screen printing and embroidery at A&P Master Images.