Dogwood Season 2019 - A Behind The Scenes Look
Every year in Knoxville, Spring makes a dramatic entrance when the white and pink Dogwood blossoms all suddenly appear overnight. Inspired by the beautiful trees, Knoxville has all but entirely re-named Spring and we are glad to announce that Winter has finally made an exit and Dogwood Season is now in full bloom. The new life all around us is reflected in the energy of the city - this year marks 58 years of the annual Dogwood Arts Festival, which features an art market, concerts, art shows, and of course the famous Dogwood trails. It’s a busy, bustling, fun time to live here.
As has become tradition, Nothing Too Fancy pays homage to the Dogwoods in the best way we know how - we made a t-shirt! For several years now, artist and designer Beau Bowers has designed our Dogwood Season shirts and this year is no exception. We’re especially excited about this one because just like the flowers that inspired it, it’s the proper color of Spring: PINK.
We thought you might enjoy a little behind the scenes look at the making of this shirt. All of our tees are locally printed at the Nothing Too Fancy Print Shop using water-based inks. The first step to screen printing a great t-shirt is a solid design. Thanks to Beau, we’ve got that one covered here. That design is separated into layers (each representative of one ink color) and each of those layers are then printed onto transparent film, which looks like this:
This design includes three ink colors: pink, white, and green. When you stack the film together, the final design can be seen in black and clear, but we’re just getting started!
Next, the film is burned onto screens - one screen for each layer. Screens are coated with emulsion and we use an exposure unit which uses UV light to burn the design in, and when the emulsion is washed away, we’re left with negative space on the screen where you see black on the film. This allows ink to pass through the screen only where we want it to.
Now we have three screens: one for pink, one for white, and one for green. The screens are installed on our automatic press, and ink is poured into each screen.
Now it’s time for shirts! Each t-shirt is carefully loaded by hand onto pallets on the automatic press. As the shirts pass under each screen, a squeegee pulls the ink across the screen, allowing ink to pass through the screen only where that particular color should appear on the final shirt.
After the first screen, the shirt only has the green part of the design. Between screens, there are flash units that flash the shirt with heat and light to rapidly dry the ink enough that it’s not affected by the pressure of the next screen and ink color.
Each shirt continues around the press, passing under screens and flash units. Next is pink, and then finally white.
After a shirt has passed under each screen and flash unit, the shirts are removed (again, by hand) from their pallets and placed onto the dryer conveyor belt. Shirts are moved through the large dryer so the ink will cure (this is what keeps the ink from coming off in your washing machine!) and the shirts are complete. Next they're boxed up and taken to our store location for folding, tagging, and awaiting their new home with you!
We hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes tour, and that you love this shirt as much as we do! This shirt is available for purchasehere on our site or at our store on Union Ave. Thanks so much for following along - wishing you and yours a happy and flower filled Dogwood Season!
THERE’S ALWAYS MORE TO COME SOON - FOLLOW ALONG ON OUR INSTAGRAM (@NOTHINGTOOFANCYKNOXVILLE, #NOTHINGTOOFANCY) AND FACEBOOK. STOP IN AND SEE US ON UNION AVENUE IF YOU’RE IN TOWN - AND IF NOT, NO WORRIES, YOU CAN ORDER YOUR FAVORITE T-SHIRT RIGHT HERE ON OUR WEBSITE. AS ALWAYS, THANKS FOR KEEPING IT LOCAL, Y’ALL!
BLOG AND PHOTOS BY SHELBY SPARKS OF NOTHING TOO FANCY.