Screen Printing Tip of the Week: Avoid Unwanted Images on Prints, Part 2

August 6, 2013 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Not having enough off-contact or working with a loose mesh may cause the ink to pool...

Not having enough off-contact or working with a loose mesh may cause the ink to pool…

Picking up on how to Avoid Unwanted Images on Prints, here’s Part 2 of Kieth’s discussion as presented in Impressions Magazine.

There are a variety of factors that can impact a print, resulting in an unwanted line, mark or ghost. Here are some to consider:

: It’s important to dehaze and degrease a screen to ensure the mesh is clean before reusing it to print a new design. “Ghost images” from a previous design can show up on a new print if the screen is not properly dehazed.

Off-contact and tight mesh
: These two factors go hand-in-hand when it comes to printing. A tight mesh makes printing easier because it widens the mesh openings and eliminates factors for mistakes. It is important to set the off-contact so that the screen scrolls away easily and smoothly throughout the stroking process.
Not having enough off-contact or working with a loose mesh may cause the ink to “pool” when the mesh stays in contact with the substrate for too long. This may leave a “halo” effect on the design.

Periodic screen replacement: No matter how often you tighten your screen, it will need to be replaced at some point. When the screen has been so overused that the lines or threads of the mesh itself are distorted, printed designs also can become distorted when printed.

Keeping these factors in check will not only prevent unwanted images, but also boost productivity and increase quality results and profits.

...resulting in an unwanted image

…resulting in an unwanted image

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 and read the company’s blog at– See more at:–6154.shtml#sthash.U996zbLB.dpuf

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of phthalate-compliant 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


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