She Said–Postcards From the Pacific–Day Nine–April 18, 2012

APRIL 18, 2012–DAY 9

A.MWe were planning on leaving early the next morning, so we cleaned out the car and packed up.  It took us most of the morning to get the car all vacuumed out, and all the laundry cleaned and folded, and all of the suitcases repacked, and all the backpacks reorganized, and everything tucked away so that our kiddos feet would have a place to rest.  We had just finished up when Dad W. mentioned that he was going to need a lift to Ted’s workplace as his truck was still there.  The Hunni was going to give him a lift over, then Dad W. could drive the truck back.  I had always wanted to go see a screen printer, and I thought that the kiddos should also want to see a screen printing business, so I told them all to get in the car.

I had silk screened about eight t-shirts in highschool art class, so I wondered how similar it would be to my art class screening.

We entered Classic Impressions and met with Ted brother who kindly gave us a tour.

This was Ted’s office.  He loved antiques, especially Coca-Cola memorabilia and Gas Station signs.

I wish I had been to Classic Impressions when Ted could have given the tour.

Our next stop was at the graphic artist’s office.

Here is where an order gets computer generated into artwork.

Each color needs a separate transparent sheet.

And this is the mammoth printer that prints out each separate sheet of artwork.  Our Ypsi Doll shirts have over nine different colors, so I was very interested in the silk screening process.

The artwork is laid on this machine with a silk screen coated in light sensitive material on top of the artwork.

The artwork is then transferred to the screen.

The correct paint colors are mixed. . .

. . .using a VERY thick paint that doesn’t dry. . .

even if the lid is left off.  Of course, Eloise somehow drug her sweatshirt sleeve through a can of this special paint.  (Her sweatshirt was tied around her waist.)  One of the workers saw her do it and immediately whisked away her sweatshirt.  At the end of the tour, it was returned to her with the paint magically removed.  It smelled a bit like the dry cleaners, but I was thrilled to have the sweatshirt clean again.  THANKS SO MUCH!!

This is one of the machines that prints T-shirts.  It is amazing to watch.  We also got to see the steps in slow motion.

Do these numbers look familiar?  Doesn’t every jersey in the United States use these letters?  My son is Number 6 this year.  Last year he was Number 12–only nobody said “twelve”.  All the coaches said, “One-Two”.  It took me the longest time to figure out what they were talking about!  I thought it was their play number.  This year our play numbers all have three number identifies, such as, “Give me a 8-8-7.”  Or “Number 7-6-2”  My question is, “If I gave our household chores numbers, would it seem to the kiddos like they were playing a sport?”  I will have to give it a try.

–Back to screen printing jersey numbers.  First the jersey is adjusted on the arm.

Then the screen is lowered, and that thick, goopy paint is pulled then pushed across the screen.

The arm is then swung around so that the T-shirt is under a heater that sets the ink.

In order for this jersey number to get this stark and crisp, it had to be silk screened and heat set three times.  At first, I couldn’t understand how the worker could line up the screen back onto the jersey in the exact same location.  After an explanation, I finally realized that the machine is made so that the silk screen arm can ONLY go down in one location.  There are metal “V”-like things that receive the arm and therefore, the silk screen comes down in the exact same location every time.

Once your screen printing order is finished, the screens can either be stored for future use or power washed for another order.  I also learned silk is no longer used on the screen, but a synthetic material.  However, Synthetic Material Screening doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, so they still say, “silk screening.”

Classic Impressions also monograms T-shirts.  Here are several machines at work.

Besides T-shirts, they also do embroidery work on caps.

Here is a hunting cap being embroidered.

Here are all the spools of thread being used on that hunting cap.

And here is a close-up of a Baseball Cap Embroidery Machine.  AMAZING equipment!!

Once your order is complete, it is checked and rechecked, then put in a box. . .

. . .and shipped to you.  Or your company.  Or your store.  Or your team.  Or where ever you wish.

Now this does not conclude your tour.

Not without a Ted Story.

Told to My Hunni.

“Once upon a time there was a college fraternity that placed an order.  The order was completed according to the fraternity’s specifications and delivered.  How-so-ever, this college fraternity wanted some free T-shirts, so they complained about the colors.  Ted double checked the order with a printed T-shirt and the colors were correct.  Then they complained about the artwork.  Ted double checked the artwork, and it was correct.  Then they complained about the price.  Ted showed them a signed copy of the order.  Then this college fraternity told Ted that they weren’t going to pay.  Now they had picked the wrong guy to mess with.  So this is what Ted told them.  “Okay.  Don’t pay.  You don’t have to.  But if you don’t pay THE ENTIRE AMOUNT!, I am going to print up 100 more of your same T-shirt and hand them out to all the bums, druggies, and ugly people hanging around downtown Seattle.  They will all be wearing your fraternity letters.”  The college fraternity paid the entire amount.

NOW! this concludes your tour.

Now this is the hard part.  Grandpa drove Ted’s truck home, and that is when it hit both The Hunni and me that he was gone.

But not forever,


Ted trusted in CHRIST’s work on the cross to save him from his sins, so he is in heaven.

And I am heaven bound as well.

Trust you are too.


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10 Responses to She Said–Postcards From the Pacific–Day Nine–April 18, 2012

  1. Dad and Mom Whit says:

    Thanks for the tour. I’ve never seen this operation and have wanted to. Yes, Ted is gone from us, but such memories we have. “We sorrow not as those who have no hope”. He is sorely missed.


  2. Lisa Buchanan says:

    I had to laugh at the coaches saying 1-2! Trent is 1-4. Rarely do I hear 14. Why? No one knows. Thanks for the tour!


  3. Bel McCoy says:

    Thanks for explaining a bit about shirt printing…. never did realize it was such a big business!!! The embroidery machines are amazing …once threaded it is almost automatic…


    • whitsendmom says:

      The machines are amazing! You should hear the “ratt-a-tat-tat” they made–not really loud, just working quickly.


  4. Jomama says:

    Love this post. Never heard that story about collecting from the frat…. but can’t say I am surprised. He was creative! I agree about the truck …
    Love you guys!


  5. Kelly K says:



    • whitsendmom says:

      They process thousands of shirts every day. Everytime I see a T-shirt in Walmart now, I just have to pick it up and look it over. I have a new respect for how the image got on the shirt.


  6. That is really neat. I’ve never thought about how silk screening is done.
    Kind of interesting the different things that bring a death home. . . until we all get HOME. See you there 🙂


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