Inside Tumblewalla Studios - The Magic Behind Our Design's November 13 2015, 0 Comments

The screen printing process is more then what it might appear when looking at the final product, and for sure a lot messier! We wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at what all goes into creating each piece that we proudly produce at Tumblewalla. 

First you must develop the silk screens: 

After we finalize the digital design, it is made into a silk screen just for Tumblewalla. Each part of the design that requires a different color must have its own silk screen.

Picking the colors: 

Picking the colors isn't all fun and games, although our little helper was having fun looking at the many options. Getting the right color to portray our designs in the way we imagine is the ultimate goal. So testing and retesting is a crucial step for Tumblewalla. You can see how many colors we tested for Downward Baby in the cover photo above till we got it perfect! 

Setting up the machine: 

This crazy looking 8-armed machine must be set to specific settings to make our design print the way we want. Things like number of paint coat's, time under the flash dryer (set at 1,000 degrees!!), the height the rubber squeegee gets set to, and where the screen gets placed on the machine. All these factors must be just right for our design to look perfect! 

Getting the paint ready: 

For Downward Baby, we use 4 different colors, so we have 4 different silk screens each on a different arm of the machine spreading color for each separate area (offta!). Each paint is stirred and placed with its correct screen. Pictured is one of the colors used in Downward Baby.

Aligning the screen with the design: 

Once the machine is set up with paint, we run alignment test's to make sure each portion of the design aligns with one another. We test using bulls-eye marker's in each corner of the screen and checking on the actual design. 

Setting up for the real print:  

Now that the design is aligned and the paint is ready to go, we prepare by getting each one-piece ready to go (unsnapping the bottom and making sure all sizes are together so placement is correct). That's the last big step in prep before printing, now its time for the real thing! 

Printing: 

Now the real fun begins! It begins by placing a blank one-piece on each of the 8 machine arms, and then the machine runs through the preset steps. For Downward Baby this starts with the blue for the body, then a flash heat dry at 1,000 degrees, the brown for the hair, the tan for the skin, and lastly the grey details. From there each wet item is placed in a moving oven to dry and set the print. They come out the other end pipping hot and ready to go! Pictured is the one-piece that I helped in printing coming out of the oven. 

So thats the process of screen printing our designs! We are proud of each and every piece that comes off the printer, and hope you love them as much as we do. 

 

Best Wishes,

Lindsay Karner 

Play Activist and Retail Lead, Tumblewalla