How do I make a print look vintage?
The purpose of a vintage print is to recreate what an older, aged print would look like. The print itself looks faded, well-worn. It has texture. The shirt appears through the print.
You can create a vintage print by adding texture to the design before you print it.
When you’re dealing with vintage prints, the shirt material will impact your final design’s look and feel. Regular cotton shirts will be rougher and create a print that is not as smooth. Ring spun or triblends will create a better visual and a softer feel.
The texture of the shirt will also influence the final print outcome. Heathered shirts will show a colored texture through the print, making it appear more vintage. Solid-color shirts also create a vintage look, but heathered shirts will show through the ink layer more. Josh uses two Allmade shirts: one solid black, one heathered blue.
You will also want to use a screen with a high mesh count. A screen with 230 mesh or higher will do the trick. It allows less ink to pass onto the shirt. The thinner the ink deposit is, the less opaque the print will be, further creating that vintage look.
To learn more about the process, watch this video.