Are you referring to the little strands of ink that extend away from the print or the lack of opacity of the print?
The lack of opacity of the ink. :-(Are you referring to the little strands of ink that extend away from the print or the lack of opacity of the print?
Gotcha.1. Use platen adhesive, to keep the shirt in place.
2. Set the off contact (gap between mesh and shirt) to 2-3mm.
3. Flood with the screen lifted.
4. Don't use too much pressure on the print stroke.
Last night I tried using 2 quarters for the off contact yet my shirt still stuck to my screen and yielded the same result. I'm beyond frustrated.2-3mm is one tenth of an inch.
For the pressure part... The mesh has to firmly touch the shirt when the squeegee passes over it. So I guess that will be 1.5 to 2 out of 10.
If you're using standard plastisol, you should be ok spot drying in place. If you're using a water based ink, Im not sure how that would work since I don't have any real experience with that. A paint stripping heat gun will also work for sport drying. It takes longer and you can run the risk of burning your garment if you hold it too close or don't keep the gun moving around but it works. I have another question but please don't be offend. I can't really tell from your press set up picture, but it almost looks like a table top. Are you just laying the shirt on there and trying to print it, or are you able to separate the front from the back so only the side bring printed is on top of the platten?
1. OK. So just a quarter should suffice basically?You can try print-flash-print, using a heat gun to gel the ink. However, plastisol is not like wall paint, and you should be betting a better coverage on the first layer.
1. Too much off contact is not good. You need to use 1/10.
2. You should be using110 mesh for white, especially as a beginner.
3. Do at least 2 print strokes. On the first shirt you may even have to do 3.
4. Flood and print, flood and print, and then look at the result. If not good, do one more at a lower speed, and maybe less pressure. You need to find the right balance. Remember to always flood with the screen lifted.
5. Repeat until you get a good coverage. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it has to be better than what you are getting now.
6. Then you can try doing a flash cure and print a second layer.
I'm still confused on how to remedy the part of my shirt getting stuck to the screen. I feel like once it has to peel off in any little way, when I lower the screen again to do the 2nd print stroke, it'll wind up being ghosted. Then I'll lose at least 20 minutes to having to clean the screen and start again. Any suggestions?
Well, I am about to print 100+ shirts ;-). I already have a brand that does extremely well to say I'm only starting out. I'm only recently trying to produce the apparel myself vs. having a third party printer charge me for labor, etc. But that's beside the point.1. As I told you before, the t-shirt must be firmly stuck to the platen/table, so the mesh cannot pull the fabric up. The force keeping the fabric down has to be higher than the pulling force of the mesh with the ink. This way the fabric will pull the ink out of the mesh.
2. The 1/4 is way too much. you need 1/10. That's just a bit more than a Nickel in thickness.
Don't use the thinner unless you absolutely have to. You souldn't need it for 110 mesh and fresh ink.
Trying to learn with a bad setup is the problem here. You have too many things that can, and probably do go wrong here.
I'd try and practice on some cheap fabric if I was you. Just until you get the idea. Lint free cleaning tissue should work well but it's not black. It is also what you should be using to clean you screen when it smudges your print. It takes seconds, not 20 minutes.
Also don't put too much ink on the screen. It looks as if you are about to print 100 shirts.
1. For some reason, the way you said that made a few things click.
I re-arranged my station to where I could move my flash dryer over my platen to print flash print. Once I did that, my shirts now look 100 times better! Whites looking nice and opaque now. I learned a huge lesson about not skipping steps. But thanks everyone for answering my noob questions. It really made the difference. Cheers!