Posts filed under ‘Printing Tips’

Special Effects Inks Based on Skill Level

Special Effects Inks (Printwear)

In a recent article published by Printwear Magazine, Kieth Stevens explains the use  of special effect inks based on one’s level of printing expertise.


Let’s talk about the different inks available for special effects. For the beginner, puff or suede inks can add a simple wow to an image. I also like to use a glow-in-the-dark ink, as it is one of the simplest inks to work with and it is very easy to use.

For the intermediate printer, try glitter or shimmer inks. Glitter prints come out best when you build up a thicker emulsion layer on the shirt side of the lowest mesh count screen required to pass the glitter. This allows the glitter ink to flow beneath the threads of the mesh and fill in the voids. Otherwise, it will look like a checkerboard. Also, try light-reflective inks. They are on the costly side but lend a cool effect when correctly used. Try it in an outline of a design for that extra something.

For the more advanced printer, try high-density inks or color-changing inks called photo chromatic inks. With high-density effects, make sure you use a high-quality ink. One thing that I frequently see when I’m working with customers who use a low quality, high-density ink is that the ink will start liquefying on-press. What I mean is, the ink starts out good and creamy but will drop in thickness as the print runs continuously; usually after about 100 prints or so. This is more noticeable on long runs and automatics.

Usually, a quality high-density ink starts out almost too thick, but as it is stirred, it becomes just printable. After a few print strokes, it should come out just right. Don’t try to save money on a project by using inferior inks. The money that is saved by the less expensive ink will surely cost more in the long run due to delays in the job from all the downtime trying to get the ink to work well.

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October 17, 2017 at 11:43 am 1 comment

What do I need to know about printing on athleisure garments?

7100Performance4This was a question posed by a Printwear Magazine reader, and here is Kieth Stevens’ response:

  1. Plastisol inks are usually stretchy by nature, but adding a little bit of stretch additive can greatly improve its stretch-ability. This is especially true for performance and athletic fabrics, which often contain a high percentage of Lycra. Adding excessive amounts of a stretch additive, however, could reduce the opacity of the ink, so it is important to only add about one to five percent.
  2. There are new inks on the market, such as performance inks, which have been specifically formulated for these next-generation performance fabrics. These inks have great stretch-ability and allow for lower curing temperatures (275 degrees F). The ability to cure at lower temperatures helps to control any potential dye migration issues. [Check out International Coatings’ 7100 Performance Pro™ Ink)

Some of these materials and material colors may require you to print an underbase for your athletic graphics. When printing vibrant colors on black or dark garments it is often necessary to print a white under-base first. This is due to the fact that many plastisol inks do not have the opacity to cover well on dark garments. White is printed first to provide a base for the colored ink to rest on. The under-base is flash cured before the remaining colors are printed.

It’s kind of like using a primer before adding the new color to your kitchen walls. The primer seals the surface which makes it nicer to paint on. Just as important as the ink itself, you also have to select the right screen.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been screen printing for over 37 years, teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

October 10, 2017 at 5:41 am 1 comment

Do I have to toss out my ink if it gets too thick?

Printwear Q (Ink viscosity)

This was a question posed by a Printwear reader, and this was Kieth Stevens’ response:

In most cases, it depends on why the ink has thickened. If the ink has thickened due to excessive heat, then yes, it may be unusable because the ink has already partially fused or cured.

If the ink has just gotten thicker with time, then curable reducer can be used to help save the ink. Note of caution: Use it sparingly! Too much reducer harms the opacity of the ink.

International Coatings carries the 1110 Curable Reducer as well as the 1099 Curable Low-Bleed Reducer.

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been screen printing for over 37 years, teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

 

September 25, 2017 at 2:43 pm 1 comment

How to Adjust Midtones on a Complicated Design

Galaxy

How do I adjust midtones on a complicated design so the print will look good? This was a question posed by a Printwear reader, and here is Kieth Stevens’ response:

Proper and consistent emulsion control is of the utmost importance in achieving good results on a complicated print. Make sure that the screen emulsion is correct, meaning there must be enough emulsion on the bottom of the screen (the side that touches the shirt) to control and contain the ink being deposited.

Think of the emulsion as a gasket; if you have a leak, then the ink will spread. This will cause the ink dots to begin to touch, commonly known as dot gain. Sometimes this can be difficult to control due to variables like the type of shirt fabric, but the better the ink containment, the better the results. This all boils down to the emulsion coverage on the screen.

 

International Coatings Blog | Forum for Screen Printing Tips, Ideas, Thoughts

Kieth Stevens is the Western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been screen printing for over 37 years, teaching screen printing for more than 10 years and is a regular contributor to International Coatings’ blogs. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

 

 

August 31, 2017 at 4:56 am 1 comment

How can I get started with screen-printing trucker caps or baseball caps?

There are some cap companies that offer a program where they will send you the unsewn front piece of the cap, so that it can be screen printed and sent back to them for finishing. If using this route, be sure to allow enough time for the fabrication of the caps after the printed fabric pieces have been sent.

For printing on finished caps, look for a specialized platen accessory that helps clamp the hat down during printing. Also, make sure to test whether the cap can be cured through the dryer at the temperature required to cure the ink.  For certain heat-sensitive cap materials, a low-cure additive may be necessary.

Another method is to screen-print transfers that you can then apply to the caps using a heat press machine specifically for caps.

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. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

July 27, 2017 at 5:06 am 1 comment

Image Washing Out After Exposure?

Be careful not to use excessive water pressure as this can also tear parts of unexposed emulsion.

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. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

July 20, 2017 at 9:57 am 1 comment

How do I properly clean the ink off my screens?

Try to remove as much of the ink as you can using a plastic scraper that is flat, but not sharp, to avoid ripping the screen. Many people now use eco-friendly solvents made from natural sources like soybean oil or orange oil, and some still use mineral spirits. Keep in mind that many of the natural type solvents often leave an oily residue. This can be removed with a stronger cleaning solvent and will help in avoiding any issues for the tape to adhere to the screen later on.

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. Kieth is also the recipient of the prestigious 2014 Golden Image Award Gold Winner, which is given out by SGIA (the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association.

International Coatings manufactures a complete line of Centris™ non-Phthalate screen printing inks, including a wide variety of whitesspecialty inksspecial effects inks,color matching systemsadditives and reducers.  In addition, International Coatings also manufactures a line of AXEON™ non-Phthalate, non-PVC special effects inks. For more information on our products, please visit our website at www.iccink.com.

July 7, 2017 at 5:20 am 1 comment

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