Removing Logos
March 6, 2004 2:09 PM   Subscribe

#1 daughter is trying to get silkscreened logos off some of her t shirts. Cool kid. . .doesn't like anything commercial.

She is trying duct tape and that is *sorta* working but I was wondering if there is a magic bullet when it comes to removing various silk screen inks.
posted by Danf to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
I use a strong pressurized water jet to remove silkscreen print from fabric but that is before it has dried and cured. I'm not sure if using a solvent is a good idea.
posted by azul at 2:16 PM on March 6, 2004

Not to be flip, but I always try WD-40 on these kinds of problems, right off the bat. 80% of the time it works, and when it doesn't, it seems pretty benign as solvents go.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:39 PM on March 6, 2004

If they're white, would bleach do anything? Is it worth a shot?

I think the whole thing about silkscreening is the fact that they're not supposed to come off. I have a feeling that if there's a product that does it, it's not worth the cost of just buying some new blank t-shirts. I've had custom silkscreen stuff made, and the whole selling point it they're better than iron-on transfer (which would just come off with heat)

I know that there are solvents people use to get paint stains off jeans, but it's strong stuff. Anything that's solvent-based would likely have to be strong enough to be dangerous to the very dye in the fabric. Anything less resiliant than jean-cotton might be at risk of dissolving.

I know you're not supposed to give "no" as an answer to these things, but I'm only suggesting "no" might be the answer to save time and money.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:40 PM on March 6, 2004

If she's not having much luck with removing the logos, another option is to slap something else on top of it. Maybe she would find this intriguing.
posted by Galvatron at 4:42 PM on March 6, 2004

I don't mean to be flip, but why doesn't she just buy T-Shirts with out logos?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:28 PM on March 6, 2004

S@L: I don't particularly like logo-wear either, and I've noticed it's surprisingly difficult to find clothes without logos or other little advertisements on them. Sometimes I have to make a choice between the color/style I like and having unmarked clothes. (And I'm pretty unrestricted as to what I can wear, where I can shop, etc., moreso than a kid might be.)
posted by hattifattener at 6:28 PM on March 6, 2004 [1 favorite]

new tagline. MetaFilter: I Don't Mean To Be Flip

anyway, MUJI is Japanese for "no logo"
posted by matteo at 6:34 PM on March 6, 2004 [1 favorite]

hattifattener: not to derail, but re: Steve's point:

I've always found that places like Kohl's and Marshall's- what people consider "lower-class" retail stores- often sell plain-color t-shirts. Last two trips I went there they had about 16 different colors of all sizes, and the shirts were only about 10 bucks a pop. I think the brand was "Delta" or something like that.

Another option, since she just wants solid color, is to buy white cotton shirts and dye them. $15 bucks for a three-pack and maybe four bucks more for good dye at your local art supply store- hence my previous question about the cost of dissolving logos from high-brand shirts.

For a final option, look up a custom shirt printer (for example Brunetto) and just ask if they can sell you the blank shirt with nothing on them- or failing that, where they get them. All of these options HAVE to be cheaper and easier than testing hazardous solvents.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:38 PM on March 6, 2004

if you guys have an h+m nearby, that might be helpful too -- the prices are pretty low on shirts with colors.

also, if she has a livejournal, there are tons of communities there that focus on reconstructing clothing, so she can make something totally new with it.
posted by sugarfish at 7:09 PM on March 6, 2004

XQUZYPHYR, even though I was not aware that Kohl's and Marshall's were "lower-class," that was exactly what I was talking about.

I'll admit I do some of my shopping at those types of stores, and have no problem finding clothing that does not make me a walking billboard.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:34 PM on March 7, 2004

Wow. Echos of Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" ...
posted by SpecialK at 12:48 PM on March 7, 2004

I'm reminded of some of the punk fans I knew in college who would take a t-shirt promoting a band they hated -- say, Pink Floyd -- and then use a big fat black marker to draw a circle around the logo and then draw a diagonal line through it. DIY but funny.

I applaud a kid who doesn't want to be plastered with business logos. Maybe eventually you could sign her up for a silkscreening class so she could make designs of her own?
posted by lisa g at 4:48 PM on March 7, 2004

When we were kids and didn't like the logos on something that, for some reason I can no longer remember, we had to wear, we'd just turn the shirts inside out. Or wear them backwards with a cardigan sweater. That said, if you can't change shirts, the next best thing to do is patches. You can silkscreen your own patches and just sew them on [if she's into unbranding, she's likely into sewing, or perhaps should learn]. The two-t-shirt trick also works where you take two shirts that have logos in different areas, cut out the logos, sew the shirts together and have one weird looking shirt.

All of these options will label your kid a freak at some level, so if she just wants blank t-shirts I'd have to second everyone else's ideas of just buying them elsewhere and not trying to unbrand shirts she already has. It's very simple to get blank shirts for a buck or two at the local Salvation Army or maybe she can even find something with a design that does appeal. If she wants to make a statement about logos, she can also use a wash-proof Sharpie marker to repurpose the logos into something more her style.
posted by jessamyn at 4:50 PM on March 7, 2004

Have you tried American Apparel? It is 100% sweatshop free and logo free. A bit more expensive, but the fabric is good and you just feel good that the people who made the shirts can actually afford them.
posted by plemeljr at 7:20 AM on March 8, 2004

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