From Concept and Trends to Repeat Pattern:
The very first phase of our digital prints start with a ton of research and experimentation. There are many websites and online graphic designers that allow you to purchase the rights to their designs or can help you understand trends. Racysuits looks through websites like Shutterstock and Patternbank for inspiration and repeat patterns.
Before purchasing the rights to a particular design we play with the design in Photoshop. Using a mockup of our ski suit design in Photoshop helps us understand how the print would look on our one piece ski suits. Sometimes we can’t find what we are looking for so we hire a graphic designer to create our dream prints. This is more costly and takes more time but can get you the best results.
After we finalize our prints and purchase the copyright for commercial use we decide on fabric. You can print on so many different blends of fabric these days! We choose to print on a Polyester-Spandex blend because we need 4-way performance stretch material AND the polyester holds up to the heat during the sublimation printing process and keeps its true colors longer than other fabrics. We also select fabric with the shiny finish rather than matte so that our prints get that extra pop! If you want to see the variety of fabrics that can be printed on you can check out websites like Spoon Flower or Sportek for ideas.
The fabric we select is shipped to our printing facility in New Jersey, TexPrint USA.
From Fabric and Design to Digital Sublimation Printing:
We make a special trip to Paterson, New Jersey (once the textile capital of the world) to visit TexPrint USA where our custom prints are made. The team at TexPrint USA let us watch and learn the process of digital sublimation printing.
TexPrint USA is a family run American textile company that has over 45 years of industry experience. Their facility is dedicated to being conscious of our environment, all of their used materials are either repurposed or recycled to cut down their carbon footprint.
The designs are transferred from pre-printed transfer paper onto fabric by contact heat – basically a big oven. The dyes are absorbed by fabric during this heat transfer. Heat transfer, also known as sublimation printing, is a great way to produce high clarity, well defined designs.
Our fabric is now ready and is being shipped to our cut and sew factory where the suits are assembled.