Printing felt pennants...anyone actually do it?

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reactiongfx
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Printing felt pennants...anyone actually do it?

Postby reactiongfx » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:53 am

So I have a customer that is interested in having some pennants printed. Surprisingly, there is very little information online about this. I even contacted a manufacturer and while they said they are commonly screen printed, they had no additional useful info to offer as far as method. I primarily print with plastisol, but from what I have read in the limited info available, folks have had issues with them shriveling/curling up under the heat of the conveyor dryer. Manufacturer says they sublimate all the time at temps of 300+ with no problem, but I'm assuming that is because they have the even pressure of the heat press keeping it flat. Does ANYONE have any experience actually screen printing felt pennants and if so, how exactly did you do it?

While we're on the subject of pennants, what are they commonly made of? I know years ago the "felt" was actually made from real wool. Today is seems that the words "felt" and "wool" are used interchangeably, and "wool" doesn't necessarily mean it came from a sheep. The best website I can find for blanks is a place called Woolytown...but their "wool" pennants are made from "100% polyester wool." Huh?? I've found a handful of other places that advertise "vintage 70% wool/30% cotton" pennants, but they don't seem to sell wholesale blanks (only decorated pennants), and again, I'm just not sure if they mean real wool, like from a sheep. Does anyone have ANY experience with this?

Any input is appreciated!! Thanks!


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Re: Printing felt pennants...anyone actually do it?

Postby Catspit Productions » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:02 am

Interesting indeed. I have never printed pennants but I can tell you this. If they are 100% polyester then you can use a polyester white ink or black ink on them all day long without much issues. You can cure them at lower temps and not necessarily worry about wash safeness since they are not tee shirts and likely will never be washed. Black plastisol ink is easy to print with very low volumes of ink since it is so strong. You wouldn't need to do much other than that with black ink I think. But if you try to print a lower volume of ink on the "wool" fabric a bit with a low cure additive like nylobond or a polyester white, you should be able to print them. Or maybe you could simply use a water based textile ink and let them air dry without heat setting. As long as no one is washing the polyester pennants, then you should be able to figure it out. But water based inks usually heat set at a lower temp than plastisol cures at. Maybe 250 degrees F or so depending on the ink.

Other than that, I don't have much to add since I really never printed these things. Hopefully these ideas help you figure something out.
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
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reactiongfx
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Re: Printing felt pennants...anyone actually do it?

Postby reactiongfx » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:44 am

Thanks for the reply, Jonathan! Actually, my customer is looking for vintage style pennants (they're for a vintage motorcycle show) that are made from actual wool, so not polyester. I found one place that sells 70% "wool"/30% cotton pennants, but it's unclear if it's actual wool. I have a message in to them and waiting to hear back. Anyone know how actual sheep's wool reacts to plastisol and/or heat? Water-based ink is always an option and just let them air dry, but I'm concerned about the pennant soaking up the ink like a sponge and losing definition of the print. Plus, I won't lie, I've actually never printed with water-based ink...yet.

I'm really hoping someone who has actually done this can chime in and give me some tips. Otherwise, I guess the only way to know if I can do this is to buy a small quantity of pennants and give it a shot! Trial and error seems to be one of the more common ways we learn things in this industry!

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Re: Printing felt pennants...anyone actually do it?

Postby Catspit Productions » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:24 pm

You're very welcome. I have never actually screen printed plastisol inks on wool as far as I recall. But maybe someone will see this and help out.
Jonathan Monaco
Catspit Productions, LLC
Learn how to screen print tee shirts!

http://catspitscreenprintsupply.com/
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