Posts tagged ‘#JohnLevocz’

Screen Printing Startup Equipment, Part III

1818 on SHHD Auto StandThis is Part III and the last part of John Levocz’ article on what equipment a start-up printer would need.  Read Part I or Part II on our blog or read the entire article in Printwear magazine.

OTHER EQUIPMENT

There are also nonessential but helpful equipment and ancillary pieces for your new business, such as a homemade or purchased washout booth. Normal water and high-pressure water are used to clean screens. If you use the same booth to wash emulsion and ink from screens, keep it clean. If you make a homemade unit, add back-lighting to view emulsion washout for proper detail. A pressure washer is a nice addition to your washout booth for removing emulsion from screens.

Another helpful piece of equipment is some type of heat temperature reader. this can either be temperature tapes, a heat gun, or a thermoprobe. The heat tapes are the least expensive of the three, but heat guns have dropped in price and are now available at a variety of of building supply stores and tool centers. Because curing is such an important factor to screen printing, it’s essential to monitor the process daily and on different types of garments.

I also recommend a spotting gun. This tool removes cured ink spots that always seem to magically on the finished garment, which usually comes from ink on fingers that touch the shirt. This spotting gun allows you to remove the ink without damaging the shirt.

While the above is not an exhaustive list of necessary startup equipment, it gives you a good idea of the most important items to focus on when starting a screen printing business.

John Levocz, International Coatings’ Northeast regional sales director, has been in the screen printing industry for more than 30 years and has broad experience in graphics and textile printing. John is a contributor to International Coatings’ blogs and holds print seminars all over the country.

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.

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June 20, 2017 at 5:31 am 1 comment

Screen Printing Startup Equipment, Part II

M&RComboHere is Part II of John Levocz’ article, published on Printwear, on what printers need for a start-up (Read Part I on our blog):

CHOOSE A PRINTER

There are many types and styles of manual printers in the market place, but they’re ultimately all designed to complete the same process. Some print better than others, but the job at hand is to enable a printer to print sing;e or multiple-color designs onto garments quickly, efficiently, and in registration.

Look for a printer that’s expandable. This could be a printer that expands from a single color to four colors or four colors to six colors. It’s less costly to expand this way as opposed to buying new equipment because you outgrew what you originally purchased. Given the designs and types of garments that are printed today, start with a four-color printer with four stations for loading, flashing, and cool downs. Also, consider a printer with micro-registration for a quicker and easier job setup.

Buying a printer is like buying a car. Visit your distributor’s showroom if possible and take a test drive. Do the micros move smoothly? Does the press spin freely with minimum effort? Remember, if all goes well, you’ll use it all day. As for the references of other decorators who use this equipment. If possible, call them to get their opinion. As long as you’re not in direct competition, most are willing to answer a few questions regarding the press they purchased.

FLASH CURE UNIT

Along with the printer, you need a flash-cure unit. This equipment enables you to flash your under base, so you can print on dark garments and specialty pieces. A flash cure unit is an essential piece of equipment in your shop. These units operate at high temperatures to gel the ink before moving to another screen, especially on designs that cannot be printed wet-on-wet.

Considering the high operating temperature, an automatic-style flash is a good option. This type of flash stays over the garment and moves away after a specified time to eliminate burned shirts and, even worse, burned platens on your press that would have to be replaced. In my experience, I can almost guarantee that if you opt to not get an automatic flash, you will get distracted and burn shirts and platens.

DRYERS

After the printing is complete, the garment now needs to be cured or dried. Standard plastisol inks require 325 degrees F at specified times for a proper cure. You can have the best artwork and nicest design, but if the ink washes off the first time your customer cleans the shirt, you won’t be in business long. Proper curing is an important part of screen printing and should not be overlooked.

For a startup business, I recommend an electric infrared conveyor drying system. These dryers convert infrared energy to heat to cure the printed garments. As with presses, many dryers are expandable in length, so the dryer can grow with your business. If you saved some money in other areas look for a 36 belt width. This allows for a press on each side of the dryer as your business grows. And with all the different types of material printers are asked to decorate these days, good airflow is a must. This airflow helps eliminate scorching and shrinkage and solidly cures the decorated garment.

John Levocz, International Coatings’ Northeast regional sales director, has been in the screen printing industry for more than 30 years and has broad experience in graphics and textile printing. John is a contributor to International Coatings’ blogs and holds print seminars all over the country.

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.

June 13, 2017 at 5:24 am 3 comments

Mother’s Day Decorating: Screen-Printing Ideas

Mother's Day 2017

In a recent article posted by Printwear Magazine, John Levocz gives us some interesting screen printing tips and ideas for preparing designs this Mother’s Day.

 

For Mother’s Day prints think outside of the box and use specialty inks to create designs that shine. Moms love bling.

Glitter inks

Remember to print glitter inks through coarser mesh counts to let the glitter flake pop. Check with your ink manufacturer for the recommended mesh count. I recommend a 24 mesh count for the best results.

Shimmer inks

Shimmer inks use a finer metallic particle and can be printed through higher mesh counts (86–120 count) to create a shimmer look.

Remember when printing glitter or shimmer inks to adjust your dryer to achieve full cure temperatures. The metallic flake in glitter and shimmer inks will reflect the heat away from the garment. Usually, a slower belt speed will do the trick. Remember to test before going into production.

Reflective inks

Reflective prints also give designs pop during low light conditions when hit by a bright light. Check with your ink manufacturer for proper mesh counts and curing temperatures as a variety of different reflective inks are currently on the market.

Gel-gloss inks

Overprint gels are another way to enhance standard prints by adding shine or a wet look to a print. Most gels can be printed through an 110 mesh count screen. Remember to reach the recommended full cure for optimum clarity of the finished gel print.

Foil adhesives

Using foil will help you create a shiny design in an almost endless color pattern. Most foil adhesives are printed through a 74–110 mesh count depending on the design.

All of the above inks and methods can be used in creating designs for shirts as well as hats, cotton gardening gloves, cloth calendars, and aprons for Mom’s special day. By using your imagination, you can create endless designs on a variety of substrates.

John Levocz, International Coatings’ Northeast regional sales director, has been in the screen printing industry for more than 30 years and has broad experience in graphics and textile printing. John is a contributor to International Coatings’ blogs and holds print seminars all over the country.

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 www.iccink.com.

May 10, 2017 at 2:29 pm 2 comments

ISS Atlantic City Starts This Week

ISS17_AC_637X375

Come join us at the ISS Atlantic City Show starting this Thursday, March 23rd – Saturday, March 25th at the Atlantic City Convention Center. John Levocz will be in attendance, so be sure to connect with him there.

Don’t miss our latest products showcased at our distributor partners’ booths:

Davis International, Booth 1437

Nazdar Source One, Booth 729

See you there!

March 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm 1 comment


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