Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Technology Behind Making Your Own Custom Tank Tops

The demand for custom tank tops has greatly increased in the recent past. People like to customize tank tops to show appurtenances for fraternities/sororities, vacation groups, sports clubs or other unique groups.

Many companies offer the technology and capabilities for customers to create custom tank tops. But only few are able to streamline their operations to offer customizable tank tops at cheap and affordable prices to their customers. In essence, it comes down to technology.

In this Technology Revolution post, we share some the unique technologies that are needed to support the business models behind custom tank tops and apparel.

The Software Behind Custom Tank Tops

The first step in making custom tank tops involves the use of image editing software. This software is used in creating logos, custom prints and layouts that to be integrated onto the tank tops.

This design software also allows the end-user to choose their favorite color combination. There are two main forms of graphic files used in designing custom tank tops: vector and raster files.

Raster files use the dot pattern that is similar to the screen pixels. When designing the tops, raster files can have varied resolutions that determine image clarity. On the other hand, vector files use plotted points. The size of plotted points is not in any way dependent on the resolution of the image. This means that these files can be easily scaled without distorting the image.

The Hardware Behind Custom Tank Tops

The hardware and the software used to make your custom tank tops is normally integrated. After submission of the design by the end-user, the hardware synthesizes the information and then starts creating the tank top. This process is known as custom screen printing. It involves the use of ink in transferring a pattern, design, print, logo or image onto the tank top's fabric.

The design can be first set on a stencil applied on the fabric’s surface. This screen consists of a piece of mesh stretched over a frame. Pre-press process is a very important process that happens before the beginning of custom tank top printing. This is a preparation process that involves the frame together with the screen.

The process involves spreading emulsion across the mesh in a shape that matches the desired image. A pallet tape is used to coat the substrate to protect ink from leaking. The tape is then used to line the screen as well as the frame. The last stage of this process involves the blocking of pin-holes that may be present in the emulsion.

The next step involves placing the screen atop a substrate and then wiping ink on the screen to produce an impression that only goes through the design part of the stencil. The stencil can be modified to match the desired size of the top that one needs to print. The stencil is created using different art tools like blades and scalpels. Areas where printing is not required are blocked using blotting pens. After printing, the ink is then dried up.

There are three common types of printing presses that are used in making custom tank tops: rotary, flat bed, and the cylinder. The most However, the most used printing press is rotary. Some presses are manual while others are automatic. An automatic press is more efficient and can produce up to 1800 tops per hour. The type of the press to use depends on the need of the user and the quantities they want to produce.

Pretty extensive stuff, right? Whether you're on the business-end or consumer-end, there's a lot that goes into creating custom tank tops. We hope this article has enlightened you accordingly!

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