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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am currently starting a screen printing business with zero experience. I know sounds crazy but I do have a mentor who has a successful business. He has given me a list of things to buy and suggests I get on here and ask questions. We don’t live close by and I don’t want to blow up his phone so I’m hoping people on here can help me. Below are some of the questions I have. If you can help with any your Advise is much appreciated.

1. emulsion (what brand and where do you suggest to buy)

2. screens (how many and where to buy)

3. Software ( he said I will need a RIP software. Maybe Accurip? Any suggestions. Addition software that is a must?

4. Transparency paper (brand etc..)

-I have purchased the Epson ET-15000 for a printer.
-I purchased a wash booth
-I purchased a laptop that has 12gram and a strong processor. Any feedback on this(should I have done the all in one or a desktop)I have til the 16th to exchange the printer and laptop.

My mentor will be providing the dryer, and screen printing press.

is there anything I’m missing or absolutely should have to start this business? I have filed for a business license so that I can get accounts at vendors.

Oh, vendors? Any great ones?
 

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I am an embroiderer in Oregon. Between McMinnville and the coast. I have worked with a few folks out here that do screen printing. While I have no experience in that format, if your near me I can get you in touch with these folks.

John
 

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I'm in OryGun also ;)

Answers depend a bit on what exactly you plan to get up to.

  • Will you be using Plastisol or water based ink?
  • Printing on light-colored garments, darks, both, something else?
  • Single or multi-color art?
  • Objects that are solid colors or that include gradients/blends or even full-color like a photograph?
  • What's your business model? Printing garments for small companies and local sports teams, or printing and selling your own art?
Regardless, the following are fairly safe recommendations:
  • Transparency Film = Fixxons
  • Emulsion ... I like Saati PHU. It is fast, and being a PhotoPolymer emulsion it requires no Diazo (Diazo emulsion expires a month or so after mixing in the Diazo). What do you plan to use to expose your screens?
  • Screens = GoldUpUSA; Mesh tends to be tighter than low-end screens, but still at good price point.
Welcome aboard! (a boat being a very keen metaphor for what us in Oregon need at the moment).
 

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I'm in OryGun also ;)

Welcome aboard! (a boat being a very keen metaphor for what us in Oregon need at the moment).
Now that is nothing but truth, right there. About to go pull the cover off the 34' express cruiser and warm up the cabin and engines. just over 2" yesterday with 2" the night before. And another 1.75" last night with the NWS calling for another 2" plus for today. And the water table was at the surface and flowing before this system come ashore.

John
 

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Yup! :p

I suppose it's possible that our new member is from the dryer side of the state, but I've got running (and standing) water in my yard any time it rains much (there being no real storm water system in my part of Portland). Keeps the moss and frogs and such happy 🐸 🦆 🐳

Decades ago, my former father-in-law built a house out in the Sheridan area. My dad also used to live out that way ... though on a somewhat less than "voluntary" basis :eek:
 

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Yup! :p

I suppose it's possible that our new member is from the dryer side of the state, but I've got running (and standing) water in my yard any time it rains much (there being no real storm water system in my part of Portland). Keeps the moss and frogs and such happy 🐸 🦆 🐳

Decades ago, my former father-in-law built a house out in the Sheridan area. My dad also used to live out that way ... though on a somewhat less than "voluntary" basis :eek:
We have had water running for about a month now. Just bubbling up and running on the surface. I walked out into the garden the other day and sank up to my knees. It's been a crazy wet year for sure.

If you know the area, we are south of low IQ land where we all still have our teeth. Out in farm land between Sheridan and Dallas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm in OryGun also ;)

Answers depend a bit on what exactly you plan to get up to.

  • Will you be using Plastisol or water based ink?
  • Printing on light-colored garments, darks, both, something else?
  • Single or multi-color art?
  • Objects that are solid colors or that include gradients/blends or even full-color like a photograph?
  • What's your business model? Printing garments for small companies and local sports teams, or printing and selling your own art?
Regardless, the following are fairly safe recommendations:
  • Transparency Film = Fixxons
  • Emulsion ... I like Saati PHU. It is fast, and being a PhotoPolymer emulsion it requires no Diazo (Diazo emulsion expires a month or so after mixing in the Diazo). What do you plan to use to expose your screens?
  • Screens = GoldUpUSA; Mesh tends to be tighter than low-end screens, but still at good price point.
Welcome aboard! (a boat being a very keen metaphor for what us in Oregon need at the moment).
I'm in OryGun also ;)

Answers depend a bit on what exactly you plan to get up to.

  • Will you be using Plastisol or water based ink?
  • Printing on light-colored garments, darks, both, something else?
  • Single or multi-color art?
  • Objects that are solid colors or that include gradients/blends or even full-color like a photograph?
  • What's your business model? Printing garments for small companies and local sports teams, or printing and selling your own art?
Regardless, the following are fairly safe recommendations:
  • Transparency Film = Fixxons
  • Emulsion ... I like Saati PHU. It is fast, and being a PhotoPolymer emulsion it requires no Diazo (Diazo emulsion expires a month or so after mixing in the Diazo). What do you plan to use to expose your screens?
  • Screens = GoldUpUSA; Mesh tends to be tighter than low-end screens, but still at good price point.
Welcome aboard! (a boat being a very keen metaphor for what us in Oregon need at the moment).
Thank you for the info. Yes it’s super wet. Ok, so to answer your questions.
1. I don’t know what ink until he brings it over just yet.
2. I plan on printing on all colors of garments
3. I plan on doing jobs for businesses not branding my own stuff.
 

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Thank you for the info. Yes it’s super wet. Ok, so to answer your questions.
1. I don’t know what ink until he brings it over just yet.
2. I plan on printing on all colors of garments
3. I plan on doing jobs for businesses not branding my own stuff.
Okay, you don't need a ton of screens, as you can reclaim and reuse them for different clients and different projects that they have. Depends on if they will be frequently reordering the same designs, as then it could be worth keeping their art on the screen and ready to go, so you'd need to have more screens on hand.
 

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All my answers will be from my perspective of printing plastisol ink and using Corel Draw for art.

BTW, I did the same thing back in 2007. I bought out a lady's screen print business. My wife and I were already doing embroidery and some HTV with a heat press. I spent about 4 or 5 hours getting instruction from the lady I bought the business from. Everything else was trial and error, and of course YouTube! We went full time into this business in 2010 and never looked back.

Where to buy supplies: Someplace close. I use Atlas Screen Supply in Chicago. Great supply house with very good prices and it's a one day ship to me in Iowa. This is the THIRD supplier that I have had as a main go-to. You find what works. Your supplier will depend on what brand of ink you use and what color spectrum is available from the supplier. Fast shipping for needed supplies that you suddenly run out of is a nice benefit. I used to use Wilflex ink but now use International Coatings, which Atlas sells. I like the FlexCure line.
Ryonet (screenprinting.com) may be fairly close to you in Washington. They somewhat cater to newbees, but they also do a lot of proprietary stuff that lock you in to one supplier because you won't find it anywhere else. I also find them priced higher than most suppliers.

1. Emulsion. For plastisol ink, I like the Chromalime emulsion. I recommend something very stransparent like the green or orange emulsions. It makes seeing line-up-marks for multi-color jobs much easier. Chromalime requires no mixing and has a shelf life of about a year.

2. Screens. Depend greatly on the work you will do. Suggest 110 mesh for sports uniforms with heavy ink application, 155/160 mesh for most jobs, 230 mesh on t-shirts for 2nd coat of ink over an underbase (155 for underbase white), 230 are also great for simulated process with high detail halftone dots. To start out I would suggest 6 110 if you are doing heavy ink application, 36 155 and 12 230. You'll be washing out screens a lot but this will get you started. Washing out screens takes me about 40 minutes per dozen with a bulk tank for emulsion removal or about 60 minutes without the bulk tank. I remove tape and ink first, then emulsion, then haze remover. Franmar chemicals are great to use for all processes, but I use a different brand for bulk tank emulsion remover. I've bought screens from many vendors. Some are using very lightweight aluminum, and some are very slopy with their adhesive going into the screen area past the frame. Though a little more expensive, I've found SPSI to provide a good quality screen with descent worksmanship.

3. Software. Depends on what you know and what you want to learn. Adobe (Photoshop/Illustrator) is powerful with a long learning curve starting from scratch and a heavy investment. Corel Draw is a little easier to learn and much less expensive. Realistically it took about 9 months to get real comfortable doing what I do with CD. I used some instructional DVD's from Scott Fresener that were very helpful but probably not available anymore - and Scott just does PS now. "T-Shirt Graphics with Corel Draw 11" was the DVD set - I got it when I bought out a screen print business in 2007. You will need a RIP to get dense black ink on transparencies and to print half tones. But you can also buy powerful products like SimpleSeps from AdvancedTShirts.com that will separate to halftones in Corel Draw so you don't need an external RIP software for the printer. I do have FilmMaker RIP that I use to print transparencies and control the ink output for film.

4. I will second the Fixxons recommendation for films.

Garment vendors: SanMar, S&S Activewear are our main ones.

I wish you the best with your new business. Every day will be a learning experience. Don't get frustrated - just grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
All my answers will be from my perspective of printing plastisol ink and using Corel Draw for art.

BTW, I did the same thing back in 2007. I bought out a lady's screen print business. My wife and I were already doing embroidery and some HTV with a heat press. I spent about 4 or 5 hours getting instruction from the lady I bought the business from. Everything else was trial and error, and of course YouTube! We went full time into this business in 2010 and never looked back.

Where to buy supplies: Someplace close. I use Atlas Screen Supply in Chicago. Great supply house with very good prices and it's a one day ship to me in Iowa. This is the THIRD supplier that I have had as a main go-to. You find what works. Your supplier will depend on what brand of ink you use and what color spectrum is available from the supplier. Fast shipping for needed supplies that you suddenly run out of is a nice benefit. I used to use Wilflex ink but now use International Coatings, which Atlas sells. I like the FlexCure line.
Ryonet (screenprinting.com) may be fairly close to you in Washington. They somewhat cater to newbees, but they also do a lot of proprietary stuff that lock you in to one supplier because you won't find it anywhere else. I also find them priced higher than most suppliers.

1. Emulsion. For plastisol ink, I like the Chromalime emulsion. I recommend something very stransparent like the green or orange emulsions. It makes seeing line-up-marks for multi-color jobs much easier. Chromalime requires no mixing and has a shelf life of about a year.

2. Screens. Depend greatly on the work you will do. Suggest 110 mesh for sports uniforms with heavy ink application, 155/160 mesh for most jobs, 230 mesh on t-shirts for 2nd coat of ink over an underbase (155 for underbase white), 230 are also great for simulated process with high detail halftone dots. To start out I would suggest 6 110 if you are doing heavy ink application, 36 155 and 12 230. You'll be washing out screens a lot but this will get you started. Washing out screens takes me about 40 minutes per dozen with a bulk tank for emulsion removal or about 60 minutes without the bulk tank. I remove tape and ink first, then emulsion, then haze remover. Franmar chemicals are great to use for all processes, but I use a different brand for bulk tank emulsion remover. I've bought screens from many vendors. Some are using very lightweight aluminum, and some are very slopy with their adhesive going into the screen area past the frame. Though a little more expensive, I've found SPSI to provide a good quality screen with descent worksmanship.

3. Software. Depends on what you know and what you want to learn. Adobe (Photoshop/Illustrator) is powerful with a long learning curve starting from scratch and a heavy investment. Corel Draw is a little easier to learn and much less expensive. Realistically it took about 9 months to get real comfortable doing what I do with CD. I used some instructional DVD's from Scott Fresener that were very helpful but probably not available anymore - and Scott just does PS now. "T-Shirt Graphics with Corel Draw 11" was the DVD set - I got it when I bought out a screen print business in 2007. You will need a RIP to get dense black ink on transparencies and to print half tones. But you can also buy powerful products like SimpleSeps from AdvancedTShirts.com that will separate to halftones in Corel Draw so you don't need an external RIP software for the printer. I do have FilmMaker RIP that I use to print transparencies and control the ink output for film.

4. I will second the Fixxons recommendation for films.

Garment vendors: SanMar, S&S Activewear are our main ones.

I wish you the best with your new business. Every day will be a learning experience. Don't get frustrated - just grow.
Thank you so much for this thoughtful answer!
 
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