Xhora Mouth has now got its own screen printing specialists in Mulwane and Ntombizakhe. Question – who needs to have garments printed in East London, Johannesburg or Cape Town when it came be done in Xhora Mouth? The two young entrepreneurs recently set up a screen printing enterprise in the Xhora Mouth area.
The Bulungula screen printers were trained by professional screen printers John and James (of Afritude in Coffee Bay). The plan was that the screen printing training exercise would be a week’s task. However Mulwane and Ntombizakhe learnt the skill so fast that the training was literally completed in two days. By the third day of training, they were doing it like seasoned professionals and the trainers allowed them to print the real garments.
The screen printers jumped into the deep end of business when they got a contract to print over 500 garments for the Community Worker Programme. For Mulwane and Ntombizakhe, printing 100 garments (back and front) is only a day’s work. In the meantime they are working on designs to be printed on t-shirts that will be sold at the Siyakhula Shop and other tourist attraction areas.
So how do they do it?
Step 1 – Get the Siyakhula Sewing Group to make the garments: Step 2 – Package the garments and take them to the printing studio: Step 3 – Get all your screen printing equipment in place and in good shape: Step 4 – Place the garment onto the printing anvil: Step 5: Put the screen over the garment and evenly apply the ink onto the print zone: Step 6 – Lift the screen and inspect the work for errors: Step 7: Take the screen off and dry the garment with a dryer; and Step 8 – Dry your completed work on a drying rack.
The tale of the lack of electricity in the Xhora Mouth area is a well documented one and it is the reason why the screen printing process had to be done in Coffee Bay. Screen printing requires the use of a hot iron and a high-temperature drying mechanism, and both these cannot be operated on small solar power systems…let alone fire-wood heated irons.