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Hey everyone,
Thank you for stopping by. My fiancé and I just opened a screen printing shop in Florida. We have essentially the whole screen printing process down, however we are running into issues with our ability to make stencils that are good quality.
My opinion is our exposure unit, and I need recommendations on what exposure units you are using in your shops. I would prefer vacuum, but I would also need to be affordable at best.
Also, if anyone has any recommendations on how to curb humidity that would be awesome too. Has anyone tried Chromalime, part of Chromaline's line of emulsion, as an emulsion? Does it work better in higher humidity climates? Or does anyone recommend a better brand for high humidity shops? Also, we use water-based ink if that changes anything. I know Chromaline is for plastisol inks, but I'm not having any issues with stencil breakdown by using the water based inks with it, so I don't mind breaking the plastisol vs water based ink emulsion "rule". I would like to avoid mixing any emulsions, I want a photopolymer that is already pre-mixed if possible.
Thank you so much for any help!!! Much love for the community. I have been on here thousands of times since we opened, you guys are the best!
 

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I highly recommend a vacuum exposure unit to ensure contact with your stencil and screen, first of all. I don't know what kind of exposure unit you have, but that might be a place to start. As far as humidity control goes, I'm not sure what to do about that (I print in Colorado at over 7,000') but I'd imagine investing in dehumidifiers would help a lot, and make sure your dark room is closed off from the rest of the shop so you can control that environment more easily. If it doesn't have it's own framed in room you might want to put up a few walls and a door to create a better environment. I use Kiwocol Poly-plus SWR emulsion. It's more expensive, and doesn't come pre-mixed, but it makes a solid stencil that is less tacky when air dried than faster exposing/pre-mixed emulsions. The downside is that the exposure time is a lot longer, but offers unparalleled quality and fine lines that other emulsions have never done for me personally. Happy printing! I hope something here helps, and feel free to ask if you any questions or need clarification.
 
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