Your distressed, aged designs look more authentic when printed with a lighter hand and more transparent inks. The result is a low contrast print with a bit of the shirt colour showing through.

5 Steps to Achieve a Vintage Look:

1. Go Vintage

Soft-hand screen printing is a popular method for creating trendy, retail-looking vintage garments. The nostalgic effect makes it perfect for corporate anniversaries, throwback campaigns and company stores.

2. Use an Additive

For vintage soft-hand printing, Vantage Apparel mixes a soft-base additive to plastisol ink to lighten it. This process makes inks more translucent and less opaque when applied to the garment.

3. Use Filters (Less Passes)

Applied to the artwork, the amount of ink that passes onto the garment is calibrated to create a distressed look for the art. Try additional filters to create different levels of a distressed finished look.

4. Skip the Underlay

Creating a weathered look to the design is easy because underlays aren’t needed for either light or dark garments. Colour matching isn’t an exact science, and you don’t need it to create a vintage look. A distressed art filter can be used with standard plastisol inks.

5. Use a Soft Garment

Soft tees are the best canvas. Because garment colours affect final print colours, adjust ink variations to account for art proofs during the approval process. Multiple colour setups may also be needed for orders with multiple garment colours.

Things to know:

Fabric: No restrictions
Heat Sensitivity:
Cotton – high
Blends – high
Polyester – high
Recommended: Using a heathered shirt or thinner fabric.
Keep in mind: Vintage printing has low colour match accuracy as it is not opaque and you can see the values of the shirt in the ink