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chou.chou: Why Record Collectors Should Wear Screen Printed T Shirts

The feeling of wearing a screen printed design on your T shirt is very similar to listening to music on vinyl: analog techniques, as old as our grand grand grand parents, preserving the quality as it’s supposed to be, untouched by encoders, dpi’s, sample rates or RGBs’. Maybe this is the reason why the records inside our shop are living happily with the chou.chou T shirts for a while now. They actually share the same values, with minimal designs and vibrant colors.

Sahar Achouch, a young Romanian pattern designer, fell in love with the screen print while studying textile design at the Arts University. Immediatly after graduation, chou.chou (a name resembling her last name) was born. In 2017 came the first order from a friend: “a custom print as there is one dot between the faces, a dot that shouldn’t be there”, recalls Sahar.

Even if chou.chou is (for the moment) only a hobby (she works as a freelance pattern designer), Sahar spends on average 1-2 hours for every single T shirt. This is when everything goes as planned and there is no need for corrections or stain removing products, which can add at least 1 hour to the process. 

Take this and the years spent to master the screen printing technique and build her own custom site & stencils and then you’ll truly appreciate the value of the chou.chou craftsmanship.

We had a really nice chat with Sahar about herself and her passion and we also have a small surprise for you at the end of the interview ?

How did you come up with the name?
chou.chou comes from my name, which is Achouch, pronounced așuș. I guess it all started from one of my highschool teachers, who called me like this 🙂

The first T shirt you sold
This was back in the fall of 2017, I got super excited when I received my very first order from a friend. It was actually a custom print, there is s mall dot between the faces that shouldn’t be there haha

Are there any other personal projects you work on, beside chou.chou?
I am actually a full time freelancer, I design digital patterns, which can be found on instagram at @artboardwiththings

How long does it take to produce one single hand printed T shirt?
In one day where all gods are working with me and including the time spent with the printing, color setting and packaging, it takes 1 to 2 hours. Buuuut usually a head-in-the-clouds person like myself :)) spends between 3 and 4 hours, because removing stains and doing small corrections are inevitable.

Give us some details of all the printing process
It took me around one year to learn this technique to perfection. With all the information I had from the University years, it was not enough, I encountered countless problems, but in the end, after a lot of trials and erros, I am now skilled in building my own frames from scratch, from stiching the mesh on screens to stencil exposure. The colors that I am using are water based. I choose this type because they are eco friendly and easy to set after printing, using a hot iron.

Do you accept custom orders?
No, I don’t, this would require doing the whole process from zero. Preparing a new screen takes around two days and it’s really not worth it to use it one time. I would love to discover a different technique that would give me this option but I not really happy with the quality. Like the digital printed Tees…
This is actually the main reason I’ve chosen screen printing, as one of the oldest techniques out there and one of the best ones: the colors go deep into the fabric and they stay vibrant in time, even after many washes.

So, to get to know the amazing chou.chou screen printed universe, we challenged Sahar to address a few situations with her own design. Enjoy them, make sure you check the chou.chou Tees on and follow her on instagram 

A super long weekend chilling by the seaside. 

I lost my friends at the festival. 

Last man standing at the afterparty 

A dark dancefloor filled with strobes and basslines 

Tripping on the smoothest grooves in the middle of a forest festival.