ImagesMagUK_June_2024 72 images JUNE2024 This is an introduction to the process known as discharge print, and also a look back into the murky past of my first days learning the skill that we call garment decoration. As a fresh-faced employee finding my way into the workplace I landed at a garment printer that only printed cut panels for large high street brands. M&S (Marks and Spencer) was famous in the UK for old ladies’ knickers, but it was also synonymous with quality and consistency. Long before the lure of cheap labour and off-shoring, the shirts on the high street were produced right here, in England – in fact, a large proportion were printed in West and South Yorkshire, assembled by a 2,000-plus strong team of expert seamstresses and finishers working in Dodworth in Barnsley. Anyone who is ‘mature enough’ to remember the garment manufacturer SR Gents can testify to the scale of the operation as panels were cut, distributed to decorators and reassembled to ensure all shades were matching, and that fronts, backs and sleeves were of the same ‘lay order’. While I was sat quietly in the corner eating the ham and cheese sarnies my mum had packed me off towork with, and convincing the workforce my name was really Anthony and not Tony, the screen print department was steadily printing panels at a rate of 3,000 pieces per day. The Sias Multipla D presses were throwing out cut pieces, printed to the highest specifications that man was aware of – aka ‘The M&S Standard’. This month, Tony takes a wander down memory lane to answer the question: how and why did discharge printing on garments come about in the UK? AskTony designed by Freepik This discharge print was created using Magnaprint Discharge LO (Low Odour) with 6% Activator AB from MagnaColours