Focus on Special Effects- FLOCKING
Day two of our focus on the educational reference piece The Standard No. 5: Special Effects from Sappi. Each day, we'll give you detailed information along with tips to make each special effect work for you. Today's focus...
Special Printing Technique: FLOCKING
Flocking is a fascinating printing process - think about grade school when you laid down a puddle or stream of Elmer's Glue, added glitter, shook it and - tadah! The process creates a real sense of textile touch to a sheet of paper. A velvety, flock can be applied to practically to any paper surface. The above Abominable Snowman (in its printed version) is covered in a white short flock with four color process on just his face, hands and toes. But what is flocking? The process involves applying a fiber directly to a paper that has been coated with an adhesive. The fibers are applied and the paper is then vibrated which ensures packed, uniform adhesion to a particular area or shape. Flocking can also be applied electrostatic-ally and is the cleanest method. This is not a new process. In the middle ages, fiber dust was attached to sticky surfaces. In the 70's, flocking was a popular decorative method on t-shirts. By the 90's, flocking's popularity faded away and few printers used it. But, over the last several years, inquiries into the process has created a demand for this different and unusual technique. Here are some technical tips:
- Flocking fibers come in large variety of custom and PMS colors.
- More than one color can be used but they need to be at least 1/8" apart.
- Pigment can be added to the adhesive to create a even more uniform color surface.
- More technical tips here.
Sappi, Standard No. 5: Special Effects is printed on various finishes of McCoy, an environmentally responsible premium coated sheet.