Posts tagged ‘screen printing’

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.

 

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September 25, 2017 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

Star Trek Day!

StarTrekDay

The first episode of The Original Series aired on September 8th, 1966, so Star Trek fans worldwide celebrate today as Star Trek day. Happy 51st Birthday, Star Trek!

Print courtesy of Y&R Fashion, Inc.

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 8, 2017 at 1:19 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

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

Screen Printing Startup Equipment

VastexComboStarting a screen printing business is an exciting venture, but like most startups, determining what you need can be an intimidating process, especially if you’re new to the industry. With more than 30 years of experience, here is John Levocz’ take (published in Printwear) on what equipment is needed to start a profitable screen printing business.

GETTING STARTED

You don’t have to be an artist to get started in screen printing. In fact, there’s a variety of companies that can provide stock art programs to help you create basic designs, which are printed onto a clear film. Start by researching these companies online and speaking with your equipment distributor to find the right program for you. Many laser and inkjet printers are available, so it’s helpful to review options with your distributor.

Choose a printer that gives you the densest black possible in your price range. This dense black on the clear film is used to create your screen. Remember, the blacker the print and the cleaner the film, the better. To create the screen, you need a screen frame along with an exposure unit or light source to burn the image from the film onto a screen coated with emulsion. As far as frames go, they run the gamut–from wood to retentive aluminum.

When it comes to light sources, three types are available to screen printers: multi-bulbs, single bulbs, and LED units. The multi-bulb fluorescent units use fluorescent tubes, which provide a specific light spectrum designed to work with screen printing emulsions. Do not make your own unit with the fluorescent lights from your home. It will not work well. In the case of a single bulb, it provides that same specific light spectrum to expose screens and generally holds finer detail. The newest technology is the LED exposure unit, which uses a multitude of LED lights to create the proper light spectrum.

For a screen printing startup, consider a multi-bulb fluorescent unit for its affordability and ability to hold reasonably good detail. Whichever unit you choose, make sure it has a vacuum to hold the film with the screen.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III or read it on Printwear.

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.

 

May 30, 2017 at 12:35 pm 5 comments

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