About Us

We are a small family-owned business located in Durham North Carolina and became a start-up LLC on 27 April 2021 (company number in NC 2179736). Our name Gabrelli Abendstern refers to our partnership (Mary Ann =Gabrelli and Hans = Abendstern). We share our interest in the arts and popular visual culture. Mary has been at the head of Illustrated Apparel in Sanford for 25 years. She has had a long career in silk screen printing until she settled in Durham in 2018. Hans has been teaching Art & Markets at Duke University.

During her years at Illustrated Apparel, Mary Ann became aware that long-term exposure to products and chemicals, which silk screen printers commonly use, can cause serious health problems. Also, many processes are not environmentally safe.

This is how the idea was born to start a new type of print and design business, one that tries to avoid harmful products such as plastisol inks with phthalates. Plastisol is essentially liquid plastic that can produce all kinds of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals which end up as harmful by-products of the printing process and we try to avoid these. Plastisol is often used because it’s easier to use and cure, especially when compared to water-based inks.

Our preferred approach is to print with water-based inks, which are less harmful and toxic. Curing is a little trickier and requires more experience and specialized equipment. This includes a digital printer and a forced air conveyor dryer, which we had custom built for us to cure our prints in an environmentally conscious manner by reducing its power consumption (and carbon footprint) with more than 50%. Also, in our selection of textile we prefer a quality textile product and add to it our environmentally friendly print finish, irrespective of whether you would like to design you own or prefer to buy one of our designs. We can handle both small and bulk orders in a timely manner and look forward to your business.