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+   T-Shirt Forums > T-Shirt Industry Information > Screen Printing > Water Based Ink Screen Printing
Discuss water base and discharge screen printing inks and curing methods. Share tips on getting the best results with the different ink manufacturers.



My design is cursed

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Old 1 Week Ago Jun 18, 2017 2:38:37 PM -   #16 (permalink)
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Default Solved! (mostly)

What it took:
  1. Thin the #$%^ out of the ink.
  2. Skew the squeegee to the left, rather than to the right.
  3. Followup the wet stroke with a dry stroke.

Wet It
This particular color has a strange feel and appearance when wet. I have always suspected that it has some unusual component as a pigment or in the base--something that looks opalescent as you stir it. Point being, I was afraid to add much water to it, so only made timid moves in that direction in the past. This time I took a sample and got it good and wet. Even diluted, it feels stickier than other SuperCover colors, but it helps enough.

Skew It
By default, I skew the squeegee to the right so as to avoid a straight-on impact with the side-to-side mesh fibers or elements of the design. However, that actually makes impacts worse with some elements in this design, in particular one right at the start of the image, so skewing to the left helps with this design. It occurs to me that one could accidentally make a design for which there was no good direction in which to skew the squeegee ... something to ponder when designing, perhaps.

Stroke It
When I was first getting the hang of printing opaque waterbase, I did a followup dry stroke to ensure that the screen was 100% clear and that the ink was pressed down into the shirt fibers. Somewhere along the way, my feel/technique got better and I didn't need that extra step to get a good print. Perhaps some would say that the dry stroke is always a good idea. At the minimum, it is a tool to remember to deploy on difficult prints/inks.


Post Mortem
All that said, the thick, undiluted ink has always printed perfectly, without a dry stroke or any bother, on other designs, and I'm still a bit puzzled why that is so. As to the problems when I tried a different ink with the cursed design ... I still had the squeegee skewed to the right, so it was grabbing onto the design, and by this point I was also keyed-up and trying too hard--and pushing TOO hard, which only made the grabbing issue worse.
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Old 1 Week Ago Jun 19, 2017 7:28:38 AM -   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: My design is cursed

It could be the fabric that is the issue even though it is cotton. There might be something unique about it. A blocker could help.
 
Old 1 Week Ago Jun 19, 2017 8:21:16 AM -   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: My design is cursed

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedColor
It could be the fabric that is the issue even though it is cotton. There might be something unique about it. A blocker could help.
Nope. Same shirts print fine with the same ink but different designs. Also happens across different brands.

In any case, issue is mostly resolved, as noted in post #16.

Thanks everyone for playing, My Design is Cursed!
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Old 1 Week Ago Jun 19, 2017 11:00:15 PM -   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Solved! (mostly)

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoXid
Skew It
By default, I skew the squeegee to the right so as to avoid a straight-on impact with the side-to-side mesh fibers or elements of the design. However, that actually makes impacts worse with some elements in this design, in particular one right at the start of the image, so skewing to the left helps with this design. It occurs to me that one could accidentally make a design for which there was no good direction in which to skew the squeegee ... something to ponder when designing, perhaps.
I don't skew my stroke at all, can you talk a little more about this?
 
Old 1 Week Ago Jun 20, 2017 12:41:39 PM -   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Solved! (mostly)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WGiant
I don't skew my stroke at all, can you talk a little more about this?
I first read about it in terms of holding the squeegee at a different angle than the side-to-side threads of the mesh. The squeegee catching the mesh is probably more of an issue with coarse meshes, larger areas of open mesh, and inks that don't provide much lubrication. I haven't noticed this being much of a problem.

However, where an area of open mesh ends at a relatively large horizontal line of emulsion, the squeegee can catch on the edge of the emulsion and suddenly stumble and dig in. Just one bad stroke like that can push ink all the way through the fabric.

One doesn't have to skew the squeegee much off of parallel with the "obstruction" to avoid this. But with many designs it does not seem to be an issue in the first place.
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