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Discussion Starter #1
Two weeks into my screen printing life, I'm still trying to figure out the trick to printing the lightweight AA tees. The print comes out fine on the test squares, but these suckers have a tendancy to:

a) Not set up on the platen centered as easily as heavier tees

b) pull off the tack from time to time, especially when printing with white.

AA tees are very popular, but I figure I'd rather skimp a little on shirt quality in return for a better print. I've always like Alstyle, and probably will look for a heavier tee (but not BeefyT heavy) that is easier to work with.

Any suggestions?
 

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I'm printing hanes (heavier shirt) for my line, but I always print on AA for my own shirts and I notice the prints come out better on them. I figure it's just due to their more tightly woven fabric, they have a lot less fuzziness to them.

Centering is a bit more difficult only because most of mine don't have centerlines on them. I've had both hanes and AA pull away from the tack with white ink. Its is much thicker so you may want to thin it down, thats what I had to do anyway. Also another member on this board does a "cleanup" pass which you push away from you with little pressure and no ink, this seems to help the ink from sticking less.
 

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dennymclain said:
Two weeks into my screen printing life, I'm still trying to figure out the trick to printing the lightweight AA tees. The print comes out fine on the test squares, but these suckers have a tendancy to:

a) Not set up on the platen centered as easily as heavier tees

b) pull off the tack from time to time, especially when printing with white.

AA tees are very popular, but I figure I'd rather skimp a little on shirt quality in return for a better print. I've always like Alstyle, and probably will look for a heavier tee (but not BeefyT heavy) that is easier to work with.

Any suggestions?
You might try a higher mesh count with the thinner Tees to cut back the amount of ink deposited.... the thinner Tees on a low mesh count are more likely to have ink pressed all the way thru them.... with all that ink on the shirt it is more likely to stick and also makes for an uncomfortable shirt for the wearer.... If your using 110 (I only assume this because it is what most people start with) then try upping it to the 150's or 180's on the thin Tee's
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've noticed that the way I set up my table top press, my squeege angle was being compromised. I wasn't pressing at close to a 90 degree angle, and my stroke was aa little slow. With a better angle, and a quicker stroke, things are looking better.

My initial concern was that the test squares looked great. Then again, test squares don't stretch nor have any fuzz on them. I didn't want to place too much tack on the board, either.

Re: Squirts. I'll assume most white inks are designed for 80 mesh or lower, being as thick as they are. I thinned out the white a little and it helped a lot. I suppose the ink was cleanly clearing the 110 mesh, and that might have been part of the problem.

Also, can somebody elaborate on a "clean up" pass?:D
 

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The reason the American Apparel shirts are harder to make look good have a lot to do with the fact that they achieve their sweet, soft feel by using ringspun cotton in a weave that is very lightweight and very open. It sounds odd, but that softer feel actually makes for a more difficult and rough print surface. As a general rule, heavyweight ts (6.1oz) will provide a better canvas to hold detail and smooth surfaces. AA shirts are at the other end of the spectrum. Squirts is also correct that the mesh count can be a factor too, but we find the image quality and the spray tack issue is there regardless of mesh counts or automatic vs. manual printing.

If you are flash curing be sure your platens don't get too hot. That will really shorten the effective time your spray tack will work.

Daxman
 
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