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Japanese Tools Australia

The JTA Hand-Printed Tee

3 Reviews
Regular price
$67.00 AUD
Regular price
Sale price
$67.00 AUD
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You're right! This is not a tool, but an item of clothing. This is a first for us, so we'd like to explain the process and some of it's limitations.

Our 100% cotton tees are hand block-printed by artist Zephyr Larkin in Sydney. We think they look great, and we think they feel great. We are very happy with them. We think you will be, too! Selling a shirt is a first for us, so we'd like to explain the unique process at play here, and some of it's inherent limitations.

Our print run is strictly limited to 100 shirts only. The shirts are already signed, sealed and delivered to Zephyr, which means we can't adjust the quantities of any sizes. If you'd like a shirt, please pick one up sooner rather than later, as some sizes have very limited availability. All shirts will be mailed in early February 2022.

We have chosen tan as the colour for this print run because we like it. No other colours are available.

Zephyr is printing throughout January, and your shirt will be delivered to you in February. Sorry, the price above does not include postage. However, if you order anything else with your shirt, we will happily split the order at no extra postage cost (*inside Australia).

Okay, so, a bit more information...

If you have seen our video on our printmaking set, you have already met the hands of our mate Zephyr - artist, block-carver, printer and all round rad dude.

When we made that video we asked Zephyr what he really loves to print, and the answer was instant - T-shirts. Zephyr designs, carves and prints awesome T-shirts. Well we couldn't leave that well enough alone, could we?

Zephyr sketched up a very cool design featuring a few of our favourite tools. To us it looks a bit mid-century with the feel of an old movie poster. This fantastic design emblazons the back of the shirt, while a black version of the JTA wood-grain rising sun sits on the front left chest.

Zephyr carved it out painstakingly on a lino block. Boy is it nice to watch a good block carver take care of detail. Through a series of proofs he refined it continuously.

To print a run, each shirt requires the back block to be freshly and evenly inked. It is then laid on the shirt's back, matted and run back and forth through the press before being racked out to dry. After a couple of days' dry time, the block for the front is inked up and the process is repeated

As such, each shirt needs to be printed twice. Twice! Quick-and-easy digital printing this is not - nor is it screen printing. Block printing takes time and produces beautiful detail in an extremely long-lived print, and also has that beautiful hand-made quality that we enjoy so much.

Finding a shirt that we thought did justice to Zephyr's work wasn't quick either, and we went through three well known brands before deciding we were happy with AS Colour's preshrunk 100% cotton 220GSM Classic tee.

If you thought all t-shirts were born the same, we would like to humbly suggest that this isn't the case - especially when you need your shirt to take a crisp black block print and stand up the rigours of the JTA sharpening bench.

We've been wearing shirts with this design around the workshop since Zephyr printed us a test run (they're now JTA 'uniform') and we love them. They only ever go in a cold machine wash, and we suggest washing yours by itself the first time it goes through the machine for peace of mind, though we have never had any issues with the ink transferring.