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Auckland Fabric Printers - Screen printer

Paul Onion

On the craft of screen printing…

Screen printing is the process of pressing dyes through a stencilled mesh screen to create a printed design. It’s taking a plain piece of fabric and giving it life by showcasing a repeating design.

On the history of Auckland Fabric Printers…

Screen printing is what I know, what I’m passionate about. After working as a screen printer for many years the opportunity came about to become a partner at Auckland Fabric Printers. I run the day-to-day operations of the business and have two business partners: Dean Watt and Kelly Henderson. The printing facility has been at this sight under different ownership for over 20 years and is still going strong. 

On a typical day on the job…

Each day can be quite different as there is a large amount of prep work involved before a print job is ready to go into production so a day could involve colour matching, screen creation, making strike offs for customer approval, production runs or admin for our business – generally it’s a combination of all the above. It definitely keeps my days interesting!

On a highlight of the job of screen printer…

Seeing one of our print jobs in a movie back drop or worn by a celebrity is always cool. I love listening to new and existing customers about their designs, especially when they push boundaries.

On inspiration…

I get inspiration from my customers as I’m able to then offer advice on how to perfect their designs. 

On advice for those starting out as a business owner…

Do your homework on the industry, find a good loyal customer base, have good business partners and/or a mentor to bounce ideas off.  

On the inks we use…

We use pigment and opaque low-VOC inks to meet various colour fastness requirements. Our discharge prints on dark colours are the best to achieve a softer handle. Our pigments and opaque inks are produced off shore under tight environmental and quality control standards. We try to ensure our prints have the highest light and colour fastness properties available today.

On sustainability and fashion…

It’s a good thing, people should be aware of what they are wearing and where it comes from. We try our best to support local whenever we can.

On why it’s great to live in New Zealand…

Our diversity in people, culture and landscapes. I’m grateful for the independence being that we are our own islands. 

On supporting children’s health and donating to Starship…

Access to world class health care is very important and something we should continue to focus on as a country.  

www.aucklandfabricprinters.co.nz

Nom*D's 'Lil Monsta being printed at AFP in Otara, Auckland
The first printing step of Nom*D's 'Lil Monsta: red love hearts.
Zambesi's design on AFP's screen.