Decorating with direct digital print

Digitally printed fabric patch

We were contacted by the folks at The Moxie Institute with regard to Tiffany Shlain’s newest project, “The Future Starts Here”, a mini-series on AOL-on. They wanted a jacket for their team and supporters, the decoration needed to be a full-color imprint to accommodate the film’s brand, and they wanted it to appear quite small on the garment. And, they wanted the garment to be black.

Screen print and embroidery were out of the question unless we could make significant modifications to the brand. We could have used one of those plastic-y heat transfers, but we don’t love the way those look or feel.

One of our favorite local decorators just got a new direct digital print machine. Typically, those machines are used for printing directly onto garments, but since they wanted a black garment that wouldn’t be possible. How about a fabric patch?

Close up of patch

After multiple iterations of the set up, and a couple false starts on the actual production, we figured out a final version at just 5.25″ x 1.25″, applied with a satin stitch embroidery all around. That little motor cycle guy is just under .5″ high. Looks pretty good, huh?

Now that we know this works, we’re going to dig in a bit more to find out if we can direct print on laser-cut patches. Imagine what you could do with a laser cut patch, applied to a garment, with some over-embroidery. Could be pretty cool….