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Big print coming up, in need of pointers

1217 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  brent
Okay, this is the most important print I've done thus far and I'm very concerned about getting it right. Some of the things I'm doing in this print I've never done before. It is four color, one discharge underbase, and three water-based colors on top of it. I have printed his same design before on just a few shirts using the discharge underbase and plastisol inks and I was not satisfied with the results. I have since decided to print all of my shirts with waterbased inks, and I like the way they look and feel a thousand times more. I've only done one color waterbased prints before, so I am breaking new ground there as well. I've never flashed a water based print before, is there anything different involved in it? Should I raise the flash unit higher? Flash for longer? Less amount of time? Matt at Westix said that I should flash after the discharge to make the colors stand out better. I believe I will flash again after the blue and white, before my black outline, since I have trapped it slightly. I am a little worried about how that trapping will affect water based inks. Has anyone ever tried? I may just flash between every color. Is that a bad idea? (not concerning time as a factor, just print quality.) It seems to me like it would improve print quality, as ink will not build up on the bottoms of screens and cause smudging. (as is a common occurrence when I print multi-colored plastisol prints without flashing) Any suggestions, anyone?
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I just realized that I should be much more specific about what I am printing this with. The underbase is Holden's discharge, then a layer of Matsui matte white mixed with matsui 301 white, then matsui 301 process blue, then matsui 301 spot black. I'm using a four color, four station manual press that unfortunately does not hold registration very well, so I already know I will have to adjust the registration four or five times during this print run.
Is there any reason that you couldn't eliminate the underbase by mixing the other inks with discharge base? Matsui makes a pre mix discharge white also. It would be easier to register, and trapping might not be much of an issue. Just another option.
The trapping is to give me a little bit of error room when working with a press that doesn't hold a tight registration. If this doesn't work out with doing water based inks on top of a discharge base, in the future I may use all separate discharge colors like you suggest.

Edit: Also, I couldn't eliminate the clear discharge because it is showing through in certain parts of the design.
Trapping with black WB matsui ink has never given me trouble.
FYI printing colors on top of Matsui white discharge can cause the colors to weaken, sometimes changing to a different color. This happened with rubine red for me on top of white discharge in a test print, became like a fuschia color.
Pigmenting discharge can be a pain in the butt to get right but then you can print wet-on-wet, which is nice and quick.
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