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I'm trying to start a business just recently laid off from a screen printing company were I was doing screen printing on cd's now I'm looking to get into t-shirt can any anyone tell me the difference also is it possible to operate a company out of your home given you know the wash booth, darkroom please help

Jim
Nashville
 

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Lots of people start up out of their home. You can use your bathroom as your washout and darkroom. Or even washout outside when it is dark out. Smaller presses fit easily into a small bedroom or basement.
 

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You will need to use lower mesh screens, different emulsion than what your probably used to and plastisol ink.

Mesh counts for t-shirt printing run from about 86 to about 200. Most t-shirt printers use a dual cure emulsion, although direct film is OK too. Just more expensive. The biggest difference will probably the switch to plastisol inks. Plastisol inks do not air dry, but are "cured" by heat. Printing t-shirts often require an extra "flash" step you do not normally do when printing flat goods.

I think the biggest issue when printing at a home shop is the wash-out booth. Be aware that it is NOT recommended to wash emulsion down the drain if you have a septic. It's not toxic, but it will mess-up the bacteria. If you live in an urban area with sewage treatment, you should be OK.

Also, some ordinances do not allow you to have a home business. Some do not allow "manufacturing" in a residential area. Some, do not allow "store front" style businesses.

Before you invest too much, check first what you are allowed to do from your home.

Good luck,
Mike
 

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all of the above is true, however plastisol inks are not necessary. what i would reccomend, because it is usually cheaper and always more environmentally friendly, is to use a water-based ink that works with fabric, should be on the label. If your going big you'll naturally need vehicle and dyes, but you can also just work out of a jar. if you do, i would reccomend putting in 3, no more no less, drops of pure glycerine to stop the ink from clogging the mesh.
 

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but you can also just work out of a jar. if you do, i would reccomend putting in 3, no more no less, drops of pure glycerine to stop the ink from clogging the mesh.
Hey Spaf - i am very interested about this glycerine thing. I am just starting my home based printing biz and have been test printing this week and last. I am using waterbased permaset inks for fabric printing. Paper inks are fine for drying as they are so thin, but the supercover inks dry so quickly its really been annoying me as the mesh is always clogging.

Do i put the glycerine straight into the jar of ink? (im using 300ml size) And where do you buy glycerine, and what does it do.

I have heard of ink retarder but i don't know if permaset do this - does glycerine have the same effect?

Oh yes - i 'upgraded' my washout booth - totally cheapskatey but genius, my boyfriend came up with it yesterday and its so much less backbreaking then bending over the bath to wash screens.

All you need is a big storage box that fits your screen
-A sharpie to mark the size of the toilet on the plastic box
-Drill to drill holes in the box, so water drains straight into the bowl
-Shower hose with long reach
-A toilet to put the washout box over

Voila! works like a dream and no spillage anywhere!!
 

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use a spray bottle with water, just give it a little mist spray. Also flood your screen after printing..it helps. There is a spray you can use to clear the screen during printing.I just clear the screen of ink and give it 2 hard presses...normally works.
 

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The glycerine is a little trick I've been experimenting with, and it works like magic. You can buy pure glycerine in nearly any pharmacy or healthfood store, and it's fairly cheap. You mentioned problems with your supercover inks; glycerine should fix that right up. 300ml is the perfect size, just put in exactly three drops (directly into the jar)and stir. Glycerine, in my experience works better then retarder, which is far more expensive, but also kind of touchy, it only works really well with opaques and metallics, but even then it still has small problems. The glycerine gums your ink up bit so that it doesnt dry super fast, like it is now, but also makes the ink slide through the screen more easily, thus no more sticking to the screen, and less time trying to clean them.
 

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use a spray bottle with water, just give it a little mist spray. Also flood your screen after printing..it helps. There is a spray you can use to clear the screen during printing.I just clear the screen of ink and give it 2 hard presses...normally works.
Thanks Paulie, i will try the water spray thing and look into stuff i can use to clear the screen during printing, i tried with screen cleaner but it went everywhere. Thanks
 
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