Our Printing Process

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IMAGE COLLECTION INSPIRATION:
The signature nostalgic artwork displayed on each product – primarily, government-backed posters from World War I (WWI), World War II (WWII) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is part of what makes America Jane Mercantile unique to the marketplace. Inspired by an article about a fallen American soldier, coupled with my passion for fashion and an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, I set out to rediscover the historic and surprisingly timely sentiments of posters from the past, to bring them to today’s consumers through fresh new goods. Many of these messages focus on resource conservation and patriotism that are true to a modern “back to basics” movement.

The results of my research? After months of sifting through vintage shops, dusty ephemera, and stacks of national annuals, I have compiled an unprecedented and refined collection of little-known historic posters and promotional imagery that appeal to a modern audience. American Jane shoppers can choose from more than 200 strong images in 13 categories offering something for everyone – including Conservation/Rationing, Nature/Recreation and Patriotic Messages – and apply them to any of America Jane’s eco-friendly products. America Jane Mercantile maintains a current copyright for the selection and arrangement of all images used.

TRANSFER PROCESS: 
All America Jane Mercantile products use a direct to garment heat transfer process. Each transfer is created in my studio on an Epson Stylus Pro 4800 printer using the highest quality archival pigment inks. Each transfer image is then applied by hand to one product at a time, and pressed, one product at a time, using a commercial heat press. This high temperature and high pressure method embeds the ink into the fabric resulting in a long lasting image that withstands washing for a lifetime of use.

THERMAL PAPER:
When using a heat transfer method- your end result is only as good as the thermal paper you use. Many lesser priced products on the market use cheap and inexpensive transfer papers (purchased in retail craft stores) that result in a shiny hard image that cracks after washing. AJM use a revolutionary new paper that was created to combine the look and feel of screen printing and provide superior wash ability. It has a soft hand that actually improves with washing without color loss or image cracking or crazing. In addition, the base paper for their thermal transfers is Green-e certified. Green-e is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions in the retail market. The paper uses no formaldehyde and no detectable levels of heavy metals or lead. This transfer paper is not available in stores.

INK FACTS:
The inks used are specially formulated to withstand the high temperatures used in the heat transfer process. The yellow and black colors stay true after printing and do not take on a “green hue” or shift color as is the case with traditional inks when heated to high temperatures. Using these high quality inks results in colors that are true to the original artwork printed on the products.

FABRICS:
Why Recycled Cotton?
Recycled Cotton is made from pre-consumer cotton “table waste” clippings that would otherwise be dumped in landfills. Currently there are over six billion pounds of pre-consumer cotton table waste being dumped in United States landfills alone each year!

Recycled Cotton is manufactured with no wet finishing or dying and uses no chemicals or liquids of any kind in its processing. Using it helps eliminate the harsh dyes, pesticides, energy, water and human labor required for conventionally grown cotton. Recycled Cotton is really the best choice in eco-friendly fabrics!

What is special about Organic Cotton?
Organic cotton is cotton grown without pesticides from plants which are not genetically modified. Side-effects of conventional production that are avoided in organic growing methods include:

*High levels of agrochemicals are used in the production of non-organic, conventional cotton. Cotton production uses more chemicals per unit area than any other crop and accounts in total for 16% of the world’s pesticides.

*The chemicals used in the processing of cotton pollute the air and surface waters.

*Residual chemicals may irritate consumers’ skin.

What is Unbleached Cotton?
Many people believe cotton is naturally white. But it is not. Most cotton in commercial use today has been bleached white using Chlorine Bleach. Bleach can be harmful to you and the environment. Even after several washings, chlorine bleach may still be left in the fibers of the cotton and therefore contaminate your environment. Unbleached cotton is NOT bleached. Because there is no bleach used, the Unbleached Cotton Fabric highlights cotton’s natural color and creamy texture. When bleach comes in contact with cotton it breaks down the fibers, this causes the fabric to be less absorbent. Once again Unbleached Cotton prevails- having no bleach means the fabric is more absorbent and gets even softer after washing. After cleaning with these unbleached cloths, simply throw them in the wash for years of reuse!