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    Viva Magenta: A Screen Print Celebrating Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2023

    Learn how the MagnaColours team used multiple special effects inks from the MagnaPrint range to create a special edition screen print celebrating 2023’s Pantone Colour of the Year – Viva Magenta.

Garment decorators, screen printers, and followers of colour trends may well be aware of Pantone’s annual colour of the year initiative. Since the year 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has declared a colour of the year, chosen after much debate and discussion, to reflect consumer orientated trends in colour, fashion, and design.

This is no different for 2023, with the colour of the year Viva Magenta 18-750 announced in December 2022. According to Pantone, this shade is “rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength”. It’s certainly a bold, vibrant, and punchy colour, and one that the MagnaColours team could envisage lending itself well to water-based screen-printing inks.

For this step-by-step guide, we used multiple inks and special effects to create a screen print that celebrated this rich shade of magenta, whilst showcasing the different surface textures that can achieved by combining inks into the same design.

1. Ink Selection

For this print we wanted to bring in multiple textures and effects from different MagnaPrint ink ranges. We selected inks that would work well on press together including our AquaFlex V2 range (including a neutral underbase and three top colours), the metallic ink Bling, our Multichrome Red ink for a two-tone, pearlescent effect, and Suede Foam NF for some high-build, suede effect texture.

2. Artwork and Screen Mesh

To allow the Viva Magenta shade to really sing throughout the design, we created an abstract vector artwork based around the recognisable Pantone colour swatch motif. Separating the design for screens based on the aforementioned ink systems, we could select the required mesh counts for each print area. In total, the design required seven screens using a mixture of 43T/110 and 62T/158 mesh counts.

3. Colour Matching and Ink Mixing

The colour reference Viva Magenta 18-1750 is what’s known as TCX colour within the Pantone matching system (PMS). This essentially means that the colour reference is taken from a textile swatch, i.e. TCX = Textile Cotton eXtended). Our mixing system, MagnaMix, is colour matched to a different set of references – coated spot colour. This meant that we needed to use the Pantone Connect app to provide the closest match for our colours preloaded to the MagnaMix database – 7636 C.

Once confirmed we were able to generate recipes for each of the inks that needed to closely replicate the Viva Magenta. We added the required quantities of MagnaPrint Eco Pigments to each of our ink bases and mixed thoroughly.

4. Screens and Press Set-Up

When setting up the screens on your press, we recommend making sure that there is around 3-5mm of off-contact distance between the screen mesh and the garment. For this design we used medium 60-90-60 shore rectangular squeegees and set the blade angle to 15° (10-15° is ideal). Following your underbase, the screen order in the machine should go from smallest to largest print areas and white should always be placed as the last screen to pick-up.

5. Printing 

The inks used for this print generally have a higher solids content and as such are designed to printed using a double stroke. When printing, the first stroke applies the main ink deposit on to the fabric, while the second stroke smooths the surface. The ink should always be applied to the surface of the fabric, not driven into the fibres. When printing using an automatic machine, use medium speed and light to medium pressure.

6. Curing

It’s now time to send the garments down your dryer. We used an M&R MiniSprint 2000 dryer at 150°C (302°F) for 2 minutes. Depending on the size of your dryer you may need to adjust your process the dwell time.

7. Finished Print

The finished prints on black cotton garments showcase the different ink systems and provide different levels of texture and contrast even though the Viva Magenta colour features on the design multiple times.

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