So in my infinite quest to conquer the art of printing on fabric, I decided to move back to plastisol. In October I did stretch some tiny, tiny screens and print small designs using plastisol, and it worked out well enough. I absolutely abhore the feel of that ink, but after battling with the fast-drying beast that is discharge ink, I decided it was better to stick with what I know than risk going through the frustation I had in August (in short, I was just ill prepared for the speed that one needs for discharge inks to prevent them from drying and I was printing outside on my deck with a crosswind that made things worse).
So! I took the key lineart for the design I had tried in August and printed it in white on some vintage bandanas I had acquired wholesale from an army surplus store. The design is 20"x20" with some aspects of it closer to the edge of the metal frame than they rightly should be. I don't have the weight or arm strength to get even pressure on the squeegee so I had conscripted my boyfriend to do all the squeegee pulling for me.
Everything was going great!
Which is, of course, the perfect point at which a story pivots to disaster. My flash cure dryer was a few degrees from the proper temperature when it tripped the circuit breaker. It did this with two outlets actually until we gave up on it. In July it had tripped the circuit breaker for half of my house, which isn't that big of a deal except that our house is the ping point through which people on Sauvie's Island get their internet and the internet service was affected. This is as close I can come to a formal apology to all those people who had to live like heathens without wifi for 10 hours.
Anyways, I had read online that you could cure plastisol in the oven. I distinctly remember thinking this was a great way to burn your house down, but with no formal reports of house fire fatalities I decided it was worth a shot. We packed 10 or 11 bandanas in the car between screens and frames so they didn't touch eachother and smear, then we drove very slowly back home.
The first rule of sticking fabric in the oven is DON'T let anything touch the sides. Unfortunately, I didn't know this for my first bandana, which caught fire and ended up in the sink. From then on I folded them very carefully so they were well contained within the baking sheet. I had to readjust the way it was folded so that every part of the design got baked for 45 sec. Sometimes I would put them in for longer if the ink was really think; white ink is notoriously hard to cure.
I'm proud to report that each bandana made it through the washer and dryer without fading!
RIP burned bandana, I wish you could join your brothers for sale on etsy and at all the holiday markets.