As screen printing has advanced, new fabrics and inks have increased in popularity and brought with them a number of different challenges. In this day and age, it’s more important than ever for screen printers to develop, test, record and implement conveyor dryer procedures to properly cure their prints.
As a screen printer, the last thing you want is an unhappy customer wanting to return items. In another blog post, we shared some tips on how to keep your plastisol prints from washing out. Those tips will go a long way towards keeping your prints vibrant and making them last, but there’s another issue you may run into: dye migration.
A screen printing shop can accumulate a lot of ink. Storing that ink can prove a challenge, and often shops will simply look for a quick and convenient spot in which to store their inks. It’s important to put more thought and consideration into your ink storage, however.
Athletic apparel, primarily team jerseys and workout gear, has long been the bread and butter of screen printing shops. With “performance” fabrics, favored for their lightweight feel and quick-drying properties, becoming more and more popular for weekend athletes and everyday wear, screen printers are seeing more and more requests for use of these fabrics.
In the screen printing world, a myth surrounds specialty inks. Screen printers often avoid puff, glow-in-the-dark, metallic and gel inks because they’re considered difficult to work with.
For newer screen printers, choosing the right screen mesh count often presents the most concern and confusion. Because of that, many newer screen printers – as well as some more seasoned ones – often use the same medium-grade mesh counts for all jobs. While a mid-range 160 mesh screen will get you far with your printing, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t learn about and experiment with different screen mesh counts for different projects.
Do you have a favorite t-shirt? You know, the soft cotton one with the soft handed, distressed print on the front? Everyone has one, and there’s a pretty good chance it was printed using water based ink. Customers love the soft feel and clean, smooth look of water based prints.
As a screen printer, every order you get is different. The design possibilities in screen printing are virtually limitless; some customers might not have a good idea of what they want their garment to look like, others can be very particular. A customer may request a specific printing process, fabric, ink type or color. You can meet most of these demands relatively easily. However, reproducing a specific color is often easier said than done.
One of the most common questions we hear among beginners in the screen printing world is “what ink should I use?” To find the answer, consider another question: “what are you looking to print?”. It’s not a matter of trying to find the “best” screen printing ink in the industry, but rather finding an ink that will give you the results you need. In order to figure out what ink will best suit your project, it’s important to understand the properties and applications of different screen printing inks.