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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a similar question and did a search in the forums and found this.. but no one answered him, so I thought I would cut and paste the same Q cuz I need and answer for myself

Thanks

"Firstly, I printed some shirts, single color, and left them to air dry for over 24 hours. I then used an Iron on the print for say 2-3 minutes.
Ive now washed the shirt several times, and it still looks as good as the first time, but ive noticed when i do a stretch test, the ink seperates with the fibres on the shirt, then returns to its place when I let go. So the question is, is the ink cured enough?"

ok.. here's my own questions

Air drying(insert days/time) Vs. Heat drying (hair dryer vs. heating iron w/ paper Vs. 250 degrees F)

Whats the difference in final result??
 

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What brand ink are you using? Some inks require a temperature higher than 250 degrees. Other inks are made for the hobbyist market and is structured to accept a home heating iron.

Waterbased inks will stretch differently than plastisol. Just because the ink separates when you stretch waterbased does not mean it is not fully cured. Waterbased ink soaks into the fabric more than plastisol so that is why you are seeing the separation.
 

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Well, if you are getting good wearability out of what you are doing now, I see no reason to change. Again, the separation you spoke of is normal.

Regarding your question on air drying; Blick recommends heat setting, so I am sure you will get a longer lasting print if you heat set. Forget about hair dryers, they don't get hot enough. Use either an iron or for fasterwork, a Home Depot heat gun ($30).

The other difference between air dry and heat dry is time! You don't want to have to tell a customer their shirt is finished, you are just waiting a couple of days for it to dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yes. I was curious about the clithes iron method.. dont'cha need to use a piece of paper between the shirt and iron? I would think that the ink would melt onto the iron and rub all over the shirt

special type of paper or will any do?
 

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yes. I was curious about the clithes iron method.. dont'cha need to use a piece of paper between the shirt and iron? I would think that the ink would melt onto the iron and rub all over the shirt

special type of paper or will any do?
Waterbased ink does not melt. You could use paper or foil to help prevent scorching.
 

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I have been told that air drying is not enough; you must heat cure or you will have ink washing out when the garment is washed. It will not start to cure until the water has evaporated, so it takes longer to cure in the dryer than plastisol ink. If you air dry it first it will cure much faster.
 

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There are additives/catalysts to add to some waterbased, which cures the ink while it dries with no need to heat set. I looked at an ink the other day, can't remember which one, but it stated it will fully cure after 7 days. That's ok if you are printing stock but not good if it's an order you need out in a few days.
 

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Air drying(insert days/time) Vs. Heat drying (hair dryer vs. heating iron w/ paper Vs. 250 degrees F)

Whats the difference in final result??
In general the difference is that the second will be cured (if you do it properly), and the first won't be. So the first will fade, and the second won't.
 

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dont'cha need to use a piece of paper between the shirt and iron?
No.

Put it this way: the ink needs to get to a certain temperature to cure. If you put paper over it, then at best it will take longer, and at worst it will prevent a proper cure. You don't want to protect the shirt from heat, because then it's not getting the heat it needs. If the iron is too hot, turn it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No.

Put it this way: the ink needs to get to a certain temperature to cure. If you put paper over it, then at best it will take longer, and at worst it will prevent a proper cure. You don't want to protect the shirt from heat, because then it's not getting the heat it needs. If the iron is too hot, turn it down.

Solmu, thank you for the info. I will cure my next batch of shirts without using a cloth inbetween. Although, it seemed that I was still able to apply a great deal of heat using a cloth, but nevertheless, I've yet to see the final result after washing.

BTW, my first print run came out great! Much success this weekend! It seems that I had a pretty good grasp of the variables that popped up (Which I will talk about in a later post)
 

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I will cure my next batch of shirts without using a cloth inbetween. Although, it seemed that I was still able to apply a great deal of heat using a cloth
To be honest, I doubt it would make much difference. If you're more comfortable doing it that way, do it. It shouldn't stop you from getting a proper cure.

After you've been ironing feel the back of the shirt: it's (very) hot to the touch. The heat transfers through the cloth easily enough over time. It's just not necessary is all.

BTW, my first print run came out great! Much success this weekend!
Congratulations.
 
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