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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So today I did some practice prints using Green Galaxy Comet white water based ink on Gildan G500/5000 100% cotton navy blue shirts. On two shirts I did print/flash/print, and on three shirts I did p/f/p/f/p. I did a quick flash on each of them before taking each off the platen.

I cured using a heat press using low to almost medium pressure. I have been testing different cure times the past couple days.
Today, temp is between 315-325 F and I pressed for 45 secs, let the steam out, 60 seconds, let the steam out real quick, then final 60 seconds. I tried this longer amount of curing because I noticed that 330 F and 45/45/45 secs or less time resulted in a "squeeky" feeling when rubbed. At today's cure time, they felt better to me. After curing and cooling them, I did an aggressive stretch test on each and they were all fine as far as I could tell.

Then after a few hours, I machine washed them in cold water and dried on medium heat.

The 2 shirts that i had only done p/f/p on showed several cracks each and they were mostly on thin parts of texts...for example, the middle line of the letter "H" had one crack.

Based on the time that I cured them for I assume they are not undercured. Could two be overcured and since the other 3 had more ink layers, they didnt get overcured and brittle? Or is this normal behavior?

Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much!
 

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I'm fairly new to water based printing, and had this issue as well. I'm using the same ink. What seems to work for me (so far so good anyway) is to mix the ink really well in the can, then spray 5 or six sprays of water onto it once you glob it onto the screen and mix it around with the squeegee. It changes consistency and doesn't look like it will mix, but it does. I try to use a part of the screen that doesn't have a design, but you can probably do the same thing in a small container. Anyway, think of it like reducer for water based ink. Except it's crucial that the ink penetrated the fibers of the shirt and doesn't just sit on top. In my limited experience, it just sits on the fabric no matter how hard I push it if I don't water it down first.

Also, Google the G. William Hood one stroke white method. It definitely helps. I also heard some suggest zero off contact. I tried it with good results, but I'm not sure if there's any benefit.

Hope that helps a little.
 
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