Renegade Prep #2: Clothing Tags

Screen printing is not my forte – so when making clothing tags I always aim for minimalism – which beyond craft fairs means nada, nothing – zero tags. This must be an artist’s worst nightmare – it’s like not signing your painting, not copyrighting your album, not acknowledging the maker. And for a show as large as Renegade, this was not something I could just let slip by. So about a month ago the great new hang tag experiment began.

I started with several simple designs, hoping that one of the four would cut the cake with my Facebook Fans. After the vote numbers 1 & 4 received the most ‘likes,’ so I made the executive decision that 4 would make the cut!

After making some minor adjustments to this design I rode my bike to a copy shop in Evanston with David in tow to get the image printed onto a transparency. Then, after a quick pit stop at Dick Blick, we returned home to coat, dry, and expose the screen. The next morning we gave it a pull only to find that my lines were too fine and the font too small which resulted in a blotchy, messy screen – !

Thinking that I am doomed to have an unprofessional, shotty clothing tag, I gave in to frustration and ditched the project until this past weekend. Refreshed and ready to try again I composed a new tag, resurrecting the picture frame idea and using a much much larger font size. Despite David’s plea for me to use a solid font, I created the tag with Sketch Rockwell – my new obsession! I love the classic sarif design combined with the cross hatched line work that fills the shape. I printed it promptly after clicking ‘save’ and we hit the road again on our bikes to get a new transperency.

After stripping the original screen and allowing it to dry, David re-coated and exposed the new image. Once he let it dry overnight he gave it a thorough rinse and was pleased with the results. I was soooo eager to give it a try but didn’t want to make an inky mess without having fabric on hand to pull the tags if the screen proved good. After riding around the city in search of fray-free cotton, I gave up and hit my staple – Salvation Army. I gathered hand fulls of gray cotton tees and to the amazement of staff got it all into my teeny milk crate bike basket.

After a yummy chickpea/spinach dip lunch I gave the screen a pull – and it looked amazing! I was anxious to see how it would turn out since all my previous tagging attempts went awry – but this one proved positive!!! I love the look of the white ink on the gray cotton and can’t wait to start sewing it to the backs of my creations.

Another item off the Renegade Prep Checklist!

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