Adding dimension to any graphic design can completely enhance the visual appearance of the graphic and make it more desirable. When preparing art that will be used with an embossed graphic, it is important to take a moment to understand how the artwork needs to be constructed in order to be able to truly capture the value that an embossed image can bring to the overall design.
If the chosen graphic image is one that has fine-line detail and high definition, then the artist needs to take this into consideration when deciding where the puff or embossed segments of the design will be incorporated, as a puff image with fine-line high definition will not show the loft effect in its best light. Also, the puffed fine-line image will not have the stretch and tensile strength to hold together because the puff line only will cover a tiny part of the fabric, which in turn will not allow for the transfer to be robust enough to withstand repeated stretch and washing procedures.
Usually the silkscreen mesh diameter is increased (lower mesh counts) to allow for a heavier deposit of the puff ink to be printed. Of course, much depends on the requirement from the artist for the height and finish of the puff. As a rule of thumb, the more puff ink that is applied to the transfer paper the higher the puffed image.
When the artist has a need to add a special effect, like a suede or leather faux finish, to the transfer graphic, the puff image is usually only a raised form or shape, as a high-loft puff image would spoil the faux effect.
The puff and embossed graphic image trend shows no sign of slowing down as it is a much used and highly sought after effect.
Chris Pluck, business development director for Insta Graphic Systems, has been in the imprinted textile industry for more than 30 years. He has a background in screen printing and offset lithography technologies, and was instrumental in establishing inventive heat-fusible printing products and print application methods.
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