PearPrint create bright and fresh designs drawing on the natural world as a source of inspiration. And produce a range of baby clothing, childrens t-shirts and fabric bags all hand printed in Aberystwyth, West Wales. The garments and fabrics are ethically produced and printed with environmentally friendly inks with excellent washability. Amanda Partridge is behind the venture and here she describes her process:-
I use a really ‘low-tech’ method of printing involving a hand held silk screen, rubber squeegee and stencils made from paper. There are many limitations to this process which is why it is not commercially used, but I enjoy the immediacy that needing little equipment allows and never tire of the clean lines that the paper can produce. I also enjoy the challenge of working around the constraints.
I develop a design and separate it out into two, three or sometimes four carefully chosen colours. As with any screenprinting a different stencil is required for each colour printed, which I cut with a fine, sharp stencil knife from a medium weight paper. I then place a screen stretched with a fine fabric mesh (originally silk but these days usually polyester) on top of the paper. Ink especially formulated for screenprinting is spread on to the mesh and pressed through with a rubber squeegee. The paper stencil adheres to and is supported by the mesh screen and the ink is forced through all the holes that have been cut into the paper. Many prints can then be made.
Subsequent stencils in different colours are then keyed on to the first colour to build up the whole design. This can be tricky, it is a rather inexact process, but I have always found this to add to the hand printed nature of the item (unless it is too ‘off’ and then it gets sold as a second!) Every finished print will have slight variations.
Screenprinting and designing is what I love to do but what I print on to is very carefully considered. Cotton is a beautiful natural fibre and we rely on the poorer parts of the world to produce it for us. It is important to me to support and promote ethically made fabric and garments. Organically grown cotton as well as being less toxic for people to work with has the added bonus of being kinder to the environment. The fabrics that I choose feel lovely to handle and work with and absorb the ink well to support a crisp print.
My aim is to produce fun, practical and comfortable things that you can enjoy using in your everyday life. I hope my customers can enjoy using the pieces that I produce as much as I have done working with the materials.
Thank you for your interest and I'd be delighted to answer any queries you might have about my products or processes, just message me!