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Flock printing

Decorating garments with flock is a technique that has been practiced for decades and could be considered the first real “special effect” for garment decoration. Flock gained popularity in the 1950’s as a way to personalise bowling shirts with a team name emblazoned on the back and an individual bowler’s name located over the pocket.

Flocking is a printing process

in which short fibers of rayon, cotton, wool, or another natural or synthetic material are applied to an adhesive-coated surface. This adds a velvet or suede-like texture to the surface. Since the fibers can be dyed, flocking can also add color to a printed area. Flocks give distressed prints depth and added texture and are mainly used in typograpy. The flock gives letters and numbers a soft velvety feel, helping to enhance a garments quality and appearance.

The process of flocking

is fairly simple and easy. First, a suitable adhesive is applied to the garment’s surface to be flocked. The flock is then applied, penetrating the surface of the adhesive to create the desired effect.

Electrostatic flock applicators charge the flock particles which are then attracted to the grounded surface that is to be flocked. This application ensures that the fibres all end up standing at right angles to the surface resulting in a soft velvet finish.

The fibers used in the process

are known as flock. They can be applied to paper, plastic, metal, textiles, and even glass. The flocking process involves applying short monofilament fibres, usually nylon, rayon or polyester, directly on to a substrate that has been previously coated with an adhesive. The diameter of the individual flock strand is only a few thousandths of a centimeter and ranges in length from 0.25 – 5 mm. Adhesives that capture the fibres must have the same flexibility and resistance to wear as the substrate. The process uses special equipment that electrically charges the flock particles causing them to stand-up.

The fibres are then propelled

and anchored into the adhesive at right angles to the substrate. The application is both durable and permanent. Flock can be applied to glass, metal, plastic, paper or textiles. Flock design applications are also found on many items such as garments, greeting cards, trophies, promotional items, toys and book covers. Flock can be made from natural or synthetic materials such as cotton, rayon, nylon and polyester. There are two types of flock – milled and cut. Milled flock is produced from cotton or synthetic textile waste material. Because of the manufacturing process, milled flock is not uniform in length.

Flocking is a value-added

alternative decorating method for achieving that unusual look. It only costs slightly more that producing a standard screen print, and in conjunction with textiles, it is certainly less expensive than embroidery. This process uses dyed fibres of nylon that are charged with high- voltage and driven into the design. This process eliminates fibre shedding, which is common with most other flocked images.

Consumers are always looking

for something different and unusual. Suppliers seek the same thing – a special item or product that will increase their market share or generate new business. Developing something different is always a top priority and is the driving force behind the recent resurgence of printer interest in learning about flocking. Flocking will really set your apparel line apart from the rest.

Advantages of flocked surfaces

pleasant appearance
fibered grip
persistence against bounces and scratches
good sliding effect on even surfaces
many other specialized properties

Flock printing can create vibrant monochromatic and multichromatic designs. Designs can also layer colors for a three-dimensional appearance with a unique, tactile finish. It’s important to note however, that you cannot use color gradients in the same way as ink. Flock printing is best for printing individual colors throughout one design.

Add some dimension to your design!
Flocking is a unique heat transfer vinyl that gives your design an added dimension, giving it’s raised, soft, and textured suede/velvet feel.

From printable to cut-out, Flocking is cost-effective and can be heat transferred onto any headwear of your choice.

Other Spices

3D Embroidery
Combo Embroidery
Patches
Heat Press
Sublimation Printing
Screen Printing

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