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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I started printing for the first time today (outside of taking a 2 day class).

I printed a white design on a dark green shirt. I had the same shirt made at a local shop a few years ago. The ones I got from the local shop have a really thick coat of white and the white is really bright.

I spent hours and wasted a shirt load of shirt trying to duplicate it. Even putting multiple coats of white, but everything I did turned out like crap.

Finnaly I started experimenting with the flash. When I did a coat, then flashed for anywhere from 5-10 seconds, then printed a second coat of the on flashed first coat, it makes a huge difference. I took a 3X I still had from the batch the local shop did and I printed test prints all over it. I got a few to come almost indistinguishable from the shop's prints.

When I took the class, we didn't do anything like this. However we only printed on white shirts.

I plan to do almost all my prints on colored shirts. Is it normal to have to flash in between coats of the same color?

By the way. I'm using 110 mesh with Lawson High Opacity, Super Bright White


Kyle,
 

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Yes it is common to get a good coat on there sometimes....when we print black shirts with white ink we'll hit the white twice, flash and print white again...looks great! Experimenting is the best way to learn sometimes, we have a box of messed up shirts that we test print on until they have so much ink on them we can't find a blank spot then we pitch them. Good luck, you'll get it figured out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well now I have a box that I'll be using as test shirts. lol. Those damn pellons. Every time I print on a pellon it looks 100% perfect and then some. Then I'd print on a shirt and bam, crap. I eventually started making multiple test prints on the same shirt. I should have started that sooner, because I have a stack on shirts that all look crapy.

Thanks for the respons.

Yes it is common to get a good coat on there sometimes....when we print black shirts with white ink we'll hit the white twice, flash and print white again...looks great! Experimenting is the best way to learn sometimes, we have a box of messed up shirts that we test print on until they have so much ink on them we can't find a blank spot then we pitch them. Good luck, you'll get it figured out.
 

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yep those little smudges or don't get enough adhesive, pin holes whatever they give you good test shirts!
you can't flash a pellon.....remember that I tried it and set fire to it :) Some of our shirts get so much ink on them that we test on they are stiff as a board!!!
 

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Lisa, you can flash a pellon, otherwise they're sort of pointless. I use them to test multiple color print registration, as well as to keep a print of it for my wall and my records.
I have had to try a couple different kinds because some curled under the heat of the flash but I spoke with the distributor and they gave me a better kind, that did not curl. They should certainly not catch fire!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They have another 1 day class for printing on dark shirts, but it's only offered in St. Louis.

I've been curing my pellons, otherwise they ink gets everywhere. If I flash them for more than 30 seconds they start smoking big time. But 20-25 seconds and they are just fine and the ink appears to be cured.

What kind of 2 day class didn't teach you print/flash/print?

Those dud shirts come in handy as you experiment.. I have boxes of duds at my shop...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When your doing a multiple passes of the same color. How far off the platen do you want the screen.

I started out with the entire screen touching the platen and I'd get smeared ink, then when I'd go to the next shirt, there would be smeared ink on the screen that would get on the next shirt.

When I raised the screen it started working much better.

I'm using a simple 4/1 table top press from Logos (nothing fancy, though I put a platen with the neck cutout on it). But you can adjust the height of the screen with a wrench.
 

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As you saw, the amount of off-contact (the distance between screen and substrate) can make a big difference. Higher off-contact, like 1/8th inch, will lay down more ink but allow bleeding. 1/16th inch is often a good height. You want the screen to come back up off the shirt after the squeegee passes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did some shirts today. This time it was black on a red shirt. That is so much easier. One pass it looks perfect. With the white, I'd do three passes (before I started flashing) and it was still crap.

I have an extra platen that I'm going to use just for flash curing, that way I won't need to worry about it warping.
 

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Print white, flash, white. No need for multiple strokes before flashing. With 110 that should be thick enough. When flashing you don't need to cure the ink, it only need be dry to the touch, cure after final stroke.
 

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Make sure you have the right contact, right squeegee angle, and proper screen tension.

What kind of screens (wood, aluminum, retensionable) are you using?

You will also want a thick coating of emulsion on your screen.

And for using shirts for practicing, don't forget that you can also turn the shirt inside-out for a whole other shirt for printing on.
 

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could be you ink too....
or could be the garment itself....
on dark shirts - specially red and burgundy, I stay away from 50/50 cotton/poly
Make sure you are using the proper ink
a good white ink should be creamy and easy to print it thru a 110 to 140 mesh and white/flash/white should be more than enough. If you are not getting a nice white this way, then you need to re-visit everything starting from your screen.
 
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