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Hello from Manchester, New Screen printer

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Hello All,

thanks to everybody who posts those questions you dont want to ask!! Been using this forum a lot!

Been setting up now for 8 weeks feels like a year, making and exposing my own screens, some disasters but passed those, started printing yesterday and making lots of mistakes!! but reminding my self its a learning process! ha!:)

So today Im hitting the forums to deal with fibrilation and plastisol inks.

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What do you need to know about plastisol inks? Or are you searching through the forums for answers...
Printing big white logo on Black Gildan GD02 ,

Used white plastisol ink

I printed and then flashed for 15 secs and then printed a second coat and flashed and then a third coat and cured under the flash unit for 20 secs??

used lots of ink and still got a rough feel to my print with fibres sticking up?

Wondering if I should iron the t-shirt first on the platten? or Iron the t shirt after printing to flatten image?

Okay, I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions and then we can go from here depending on your answers.

What mesh count for the screen?

What white ink are you using?

What durometer squeegee blade?

What kind of press are you using? Is the shirtboard aluminum or MDF (wood)?

There are special "Flex-i-Pads" you can put on top of the shirtboard when printing white ink for a smoother coat of white.

Also on a side note, I think 3 hits of white is A LOT of ink.

But let me know what you're working with and we might be able to narrow down the issue.
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Thanks for response

The white ink Im using is what the guy who sold me the carousel gave me? I know, not the best start, just know that it is plastisol and unsure of brand?

Im printing through a 43t mesh onto a wooden platten that has a melamine surface on.

The squeege is fairly stiff with a nice sharp edge , about 1/2" thick (what is durometer?)

thanks for your help, I realise my answers arent going to help a great deal?:eek:
Durometer is the term for thickness of the squeegee blade. If you're saying it's thick it's probably green or blue.

Generally (it varies supplier to supplier) but where I get my squeegee blade the colors go red (soft), yellow or green (medium), green or blue (hard).

The square edge is the standard type and 1/2" thickness is also standard. Some squeegees have pointed edges but that's nothing we need to worry about right now.

43T is about 110 mesh count, which is fine for printing white ink, but if you have an 86 mesh or (34T) screen available, it might be helpful for easier printing getting the white ink through.

Since you're unsure of the ink, it could end up being that. If theres no way to see a label on it or anything like that, it could be old or just, cheap ink. Have you tried mixing it up with a paintstick before putting it into the screen? It helps to work up the ink a bit cause it should get creamier.

Also squeegee pressure and how fast or slow you pull the ink across can be an issue. Are you flooding before you print (flooding is when you lightly pull the white ink to cover the area of your print, without actually putting any ink on the shirt yet) and then squeegee the ink through the screen. This helps a lot if you're not already doing that.

If you're pulling to slow you may be putting too much ink down. Also, the fact that you're using a thick blade might be an issue. If you have a softer blade (red blade preferred) I would try that, and just do a print flash print and see how it looks.

Lastly, when you lift the screen off the shirt is the ink sticking to the shirt?
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It looks like a few things then,

The squeegee is definitely hard , and I do pull quite slow, trying to get an even coat,

When I back flood the screen some parts miss? (my technique and angle maybe)

on some passes the ink stays in the mesh and lifts the shirt when I raise the screen.

I am going to order some softer squeegee blade and a branded ink and see if that helps and then try only two coats with a flash inbetween.

How fast is your up stroke after flooding your screen?
Depends on the image but I never drag the sqeegee. It's always quick and consistant pressure across the screen.

If you're going to get a white, get Wilflex Bright Tiger. It's in my opinion the best white for cotton shirts and basic usage. It's also really creamy when it's mixed up with a paint stick before printing. If you're ever doing 50/50 or polyester shirts get Wilflex PolyWhite or Underbase Gray (when doing multiple colors).

If you miss areas when you flood it's not crucial but it is always good to have a nice even flood.
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Hi Jimmy, good luck with it all, I don't know much about screen printing as I am not in a position to start at the moment. Hope it all goes well.

Where in Manchester are you?
Fellow Mancs!!! hello!! im in Heywood... (used to live in Oldham)
I only joined recently, looking into setting up myself (clothing). I screenprinted at Uni. I am finding it difficult to source a good exposure unit and flash cure unit... i found good equipment but its in usa!? so shipping etc will be an added cost. Can i ask, did you get your equipment local ?
Hi Michelle,

have a look at images-magazine.com and printwearandpromotion.co.uk for info if you have not already. They both have a free monthly magazine with tons of info. There is another but I can't remember the name right now.
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