Two days left to qualify for this week’s drawing!

Quiz2016

There are two days left to participate in our quiz and qualify for the first week’s drawing!

Once a week, a screen printing related question will be posted. One winner per week will be randomly chosen out of the correct entries for a $10 Starbucks Gift card.  At the end of the summer, we will choose a winner from all the correct responses for a grand prize*. You are only allowed one entry per week. Good luck! Press HERE to be directed to the first quiz.

Have fun and good luck!  Be sure to fill in your name and email address so we can send you the gift card.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

*Grand Prize winner’s prize to consist of either a quart kit of our special effects or color matching system.

July 26, 2016 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

New Summer Quiz Series – Enter to Win!

Quiz2016

How Much Do You Know about Screen Printing?

It’s the return of our summer quiz series.  Once a week, a screen printing related question will be posted. One winner per week will be randomly chosen out of the correct entries for a $10 Starbucks Gift card.  At the end of the summer, we will choose a winner from all the correct responses for a grand prize*. You are only allowed one entry per week. Good luck! Press HERE to be directed to the first quiz.

Have fun and good luck!  Be sure to fill in your name and email address so we can send you the gift card.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

*Grand Prize winner’s prize to consist of either a quart kit of our special effects or color matching system.

July 21, 2016 at 5:05 am Leave a comment

The Secret to a Smooth Surface

Mat-DownScreen

Mat-Down Screen with “grease”

Ever wonder how that multi-color print can feel so soft?  One of the secrets the printer used may be an extra screen.  Here is Kieth Stevens with a tip, recently published in Impressions, on how it’s done:

Many printers use what is often called a “mat-down” screen to give their finished products a smooth or soft-hand feel.

This additional screen helps to mat down fibers in the garment and can help with fibrillation issues. Generally, a mat-down screen is used for printing on dark fabrics when a smooth or soft-hand print is desired, but it also can be used when printing on a white or light fabric to help with fibrillation issues.

For light fabrics, clear gel (such as the Sentri Clear 3816) can be used to mat down the fibers, and for dark fabrics, white ink is typically used as an underbase.

Here’s how it’s done:
– Coat a 160-mesh (or higher) screen with emulsion. Be sure the emulsion is smooth without any bubbles or blemishes and the tension of the screen is very tight. The resulting smoothness of the print will mirror the smoothness of the screen.
– Expose the screen (devoid of any image).
– Now, add the blank screen after the initial flash of the white or clear underbase, but before the next print screen. Extra off-contact will be required to help peel the screen away from the printed image.
– Use a hard squeegee.
– Next, add a dab of “grease” such as White Lithium Grease, an all-purpose lubricant, to the screen. The grease is used as lubrication so that the squeegee moves easily across the screen. Regular plastisol ink can be and is often used for lubrication; however, the grease will not harden over time as ink is likely to do when exposed to prolonged heat.

Now comes the “hard” part. For best results, mat-down printing must be done quickly after the flash, while the white is still in a gel state. Do not over-flash the white underbase, as this will otherwise increase the hardness of the ink, thus reducing the desired effect.

Be sure to practice the timing of the flash and mat-down screen printing. If not timed correctly, the ink can stick — either when it’s under- or over-cured.

Adding a mat-down screen creates a smooth ink surface and mats the fabric fibers down. This, in turn, can give an overall print an incredibly soft hand.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. For more information, visit iccink.com.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com

July 14, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

We Will Be Closed July 4th!

4TH OF JULY 2016

In observance of the U.S. Independence Day holiday, our offices will be closed on      Monday, July 4th, 2016.

We will return on Tuesday, July 5th.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

July 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm Leave a comment

The Future of Whites Revealed: Blaze Low Bleed White 7042™

Future of Whites

Following the successful launch of its Blaze Cotton White™ 7038, International Coatings is introducing Blaze Low Bleed White™ 7042.  This ink was developed in response to customer demands for a soft-hand, high performing, low bleed white ink.

Blaze Low Bleed White™ 7042 is an easy to print ink that works well on both manual and automatic presses.  It offers great bleed resistance, outstanding print performance, very fast flash, low after-flash tack, excellent opacity and a matte, super soft finish.  It is designed for maximum smoothness and opacity on poly/cotton fabrics. It is opaque, optically bright, very creamy and soft-bodied, with excellent matting characteristics. Its fast flashing characteristics allow for shorter dwell times and thus, faster production rates.

Recent beta tests at independent print companies delivered terrific results. In side-by-side print comparisons, the new Blaze Low Bleed White™ 7042 outperformed comparable competitors’ brands in coverage and printability.

For more information, contact International Coatings at 1 (800) 423-4103 (within the U.S. only) or 1 (562) 926-1010, or visit www.iccink.com, for more information.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

June 30, 2016 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

7600 Direct Print Ink & Mat-down Screen Use

 

Check out this instructional video from our ICCINK YouTube Channel. It demonstrates a print demo of International Coatings’ 7600 Direct Print Inks and also briefly shows a Mat-down screen in use to reduce fibrillation and create a softer hand.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

June 23, 2016 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

More Than Meets the Eye

SecretInkMaksComboSTORY_rdax_524x611

Left: the original print featuring white underbase without optical brighteners and a border print using a white ink with optical brighteners. Right: the same print under UV (black) light.

Ever wonder if there’s a way of distinguishing your printed garments from someone else’s? Kieth Stevens has experimented with several methods in the past and shared them in a recent article published in Impressions:

There are a few ways to create a security mark — something that isn’t obvious to the naked eye but can be pointed out or revealed when an authentication is required — on a screen-printed garment or image.

One method is to use clear ink that contains an invisible optical brightener (that “secret stuff” that makes your white shirt glow in nightclubs). These brightening agents make your whites whiter (now I sound like a detergent commercial). When printed on a garment, a clear optical brightener added to a base will only show when exposed to a black light. You can hide a company logo, or a secret code that identifies the garment or print, without revealing the mark to the general public. (Pretty cool, huh?)

SecretInkMark1

As an example, here is an impression using a simple key. You can of course have your logo imprinted instead.

Another option is to use a flattening screen after flashing a white underbase, making an impression to emboss or brand the ink and create a subtle image, something that almost no one would notice unless they were looking for it. This technique also could be used on purpose in a design for a standout detail. Place a thin object or logo stamp — such as a coin, key or other textured item — onto the white print immediately after flashing the white underbase. Then, use the flattening screen to emboss a subtle pattern from the object directly into the gelled ink. The pattern will still be visible after colors are printed on top of the underbase. For a more permanent placement of the mark, glue the object onto the back of the flattening screen.

To combine these methods, print a white under base using white ink that does not have optical brighteners. Then, print a pattern on top of this base using a different white, one containing optical brighteners (you also can reverse the order of the whites, printing the first one with optical brighteners then a second without). The resulting image should not be noticeable with the naked eye, but under a black light, the complete image should appear.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of non-phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whites, specialty inks, special effects inks, color matching systems, additives and reducers. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

June 16, 2016 at 5:00 am 1 comment

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