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Why is my white ink dragging?

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Old September 11th, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 11:19:01 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is my white ink dragging?

Hi,

I've been screen printing for a couple of months now but can't seem to get white ink on dark garments down properly.

When I screen print with white ink I get some sort of drag and smudging the direction the squeegee goes.

Photo1 and Photo2 displays the drag I get.

Photo3 is another problem I get with white ink - I'm not sure if you can tell by the picture but its not smooth, its very rough, I think it could be the fibers, but then again I'm not to sure.


Thanks,
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File Type: jpg photo1.jpg (55.0 KB, 181 views)
File Type: jpg photo2.jpg (71.5 KB, 165 views)
File Type: jpg photo3.jpg (46.6 KB, 154 views)

Last edited by tylerscreenprint; September 11th, 2014 at 11:30 AM..
 
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Old September 11th, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 11:37:50 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

The black shirts are Gildan 5000
The red shirt is a Gildan 2000

For all the shirts I used:

Mesh - 160
Ink - Triangle 1701 phoenix white

I flood, push, and do clear pass, then flash the shirt.

Then I do another flood, push, and another clear pass
 
Old September 11th, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 12:51:19 PM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

Try less pressure on your flood stroke? Don't use enough pressure to push the screen down at all, just lightly enough to run the ink across the screen without pressing the squeegee down. It should be easy after your white ink softens up a bit.
 
 
Old September 11th, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 2:31:13 PM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

Loose screens?
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Old September 11th, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 2:45:44 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

If I had to guess I would think inconsistent squeegee angle.
 
Old September 11th, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 5:07:57 PM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

I agree with too much pressure on your flood stroke - this used to happen to me. When it does, be sure to clean the back of the screen.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 8:55:02 AM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

1: Enough tack on the platen?

2: Ink on the underside of screen? Which could POSSIBLY be because of...

3: Not enough off contact? or...

4: Not flashing long enough?

I've found that if your shirt is tacked down well enough, and the first pass is flashed correctly, you can print with a LOT of pressure and and you won't get blurring.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 9:49:16 AM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerscreenprint
Hi,

I've been screen printing for a couple of months now but can't seem to get white ink on dark garments down properly.

When I screen print with white ink I get some sort of drag and smudging the direction the squeegee goes.

Photo1 and Photo2 displays the drag I get.

Photo3 is another problem I get with white ink - I'm not sure if you can tell by the picture but its not smooth, its very rough, I think it could be the fibers, but then again I'm not to sure.


Thanks,
Low tension screens can cause this.Having thick white ink can contribute to this. If you don't have good tension and are having to use too much pressure, it will pull your mesh in the direction of your stroke. Not having a sharp squeegee blade. Take you finger and rub it agaisnt the edge of the blade and a sharp blade will grab your finger some. Take a look at films and make sure you have crisp lines. Off contact is also critical. Like others have said, watch your angle.

When putting on your shirt make sure your wiping in the same direction of your print stroke. This will help lay the fibers down.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 10:11:23 AM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

If you look at the photos the prints he posted it certainly looks to ME that there is a bunch of ink globbed on there and it's bumpy. That would lead me to believe that either the off contact is way too low, or there is not enough tack on the platen, causing the shirt to lift. Which could possibly lead to the smearing and creating a build up on the back of the screen.

It COULD be loose mesh. But I doubt it unless it's just flapping in the wind loose. Even if the mesh is slightly less than optimally tensioned, you can cheat it by raising the off contact slightly.

Before you run out and make a brand new screen, or buy new squeegees. I would recommend first cleanig your screen, and really wipe down the shirt side well. Then make sure you have enough tack on the platen to hold the shirt down, and if that doesn't help, raise the off contact a bit and evaluate the results.

If that doesn't fix it, then at least you've eliminated those simple to diagnose variables before you move on to more complicated ones.

Last edited by porkchopharry; September 14th, 2014 at 10:18 AM..
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 10:29:41 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

I can take a properly tension screen and have zero off contact and it wont look like the above pictures. Pressure is probably to blame. I bet he's fighting the consistency of his white ink.

Are you having problems with any other colors?

Even his third picture leads to this. If he's having to drive down his whites, he won't have a soft hand feel. It will pull the fibers up.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 10:43:42 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

What mesh count are you using?
What is the temp of the white ink when you are usung it?
Are your plattens heated up?
Are you thoroughly mixing the ink before you use it?
Any one of these or a combination can cause the problems you are having!
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 10:43:54 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

When you have a high tensioned screen, or better yet, a shur-loc or a roller, you're supposed to have minimal off contact. When you have a low tensioned screen you can cheat it by raising the off contact.

Besides that, I would bet that there is not enough tack on the platen. WHich is why I recommened cleaning the screen and 1) make sure there is plenty of tack on the platen FIRST, then 2) check the off contact before going onto something else.

In all the time I've printed the only way I have ever seen bumpy, lumpy prints like this it has been because of the ink not clearing the mesh. Because of....not enough tack, or not enough off contact. Which leads to a build up on the screen back and smearing.

With the correct amount of tack, and off contact, you can MASH the ink THROUGH the shirt and onto the platen and rarely see blurring like that.

Screen printing is like everything else when it comes to troubleshooting. You check the easy things first. Then move onto the more complicated variables.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 11:01:36 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

Look at the pictures again. In the direction of his push or pull "vertical line" is where the problem is happening. Opposite "horizontal line" looks a lot better. I can take shirt and lay it on a pallet with no tack with proper pressure and ink consistency and it will come out right. Too much PRESSURE will lead to all kind of problems.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 11:32:48 AM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

Sigh....I'm looking AT the photos. I see globby, bumpy plastisol prints. I see ghosting and smearing prints.

I'm reading the OP's comments: #3 I'm getting rough prints.

I certainly am glad that YOU can put a shirt on a platen, with absolutely no tack or off contact and your precise squeegee pressure will result in a perfect print. I'm willing to wager though that the OP cannot.

You win if you want.

To the OP once you've tried adjusting your stroke pressure, mixing your ink, dancing under the moon, standing on one leg while printing. Maybe try the simple experiment of adding a bit more tack to your pallet and adjusting your off contact slightly.
 
Old September 14th, 2014 Sep 14, 2014 11:58:24 AM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why is my white ink dragging?

With a properly tension screen, ink consistency, Sharpened blade, off contact, and angle it should take about the same amount of pressure that it takes to check your off contact laying your ink down. If any of the above is not correct your first instinct in the beginning is more pressure, which will in return start to cause you problems.

How can image 1 and 2 look completely different than 3 with the same setup. The only variables that likely changed is PRESSURE and ANGLE. Driving in your ink will also drive up the fibers in return can contribute to a rough hand feel, especially with white.
 






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