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Hi guys,

I'm new to screen printing and I'm just buying the necessary supplies so that I can start up production! Right now, I'm trying to understand ink bleeding through screens in relation to viscosity of ink and mesh count. I plan on using 160 mesh screens at the start just because it's more versatile for beginners (or so that's what I have heard). I'm just trying to make sure I understand how to stop ink from bleeding through. I'll be using Speedball emulsion and will add the Diazo emulsion sensitizer to it.

Here's the inks I'm thinking of buying (the Aqua Standard Permaset inks):

I plan on printing on light tan and white cotton shirts just to clarify. I just want to make sure everything looks correct and that I'm not making any big mistakes, haha! I appreciate any help that I get!
 

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160 will work okay with dark water base inks, and is what I started with.

As a new printer, your print stroke will probably leave much to be desired ;), so take that first shirt you screw-up and practice printing all over it, inside and out.

A common issue at first is not clearing all of the ink from the image area with each stroke. There is a saving-move, or crutch, to fix this. After your wet stroke of laying down ink, follow that up with a dry stroke to ensure all of the ink got cleared from the open mesh of the image. This lays any remaining ink down smoothly into the fabric. Else, any blobs of ink left in the image area can get sucked onto the surface of the shirt when you lift the screen.

Permaset Aqua is the best, in my opinion. Even their Standard inks have a bit more body/thickness than typical ink, which makes for easy handling. Runnier inks, like Green Galaxy (and most others), like to ooze around on the screen and are probably best printed with a 200.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
160 will work okay with dark water base inks, and is what I started with.

As a new printer, your print stroke will probably leave much to be desired ;), so take that first shirt you screw-up and practice printing all over it, inside and out.

A common issue at first is not clearing all of the ink from the image area with each stroke. There is a saving-move, or crutch, to fix this. After your wet stroke of laying down ink, follow that up with a dry stroke to ensure all of the ink got cleared from the open mesh of the image. This lays any remaining ink down smoothly into the fabric. Else, any blobs of ink left in the image area can get sucked onto the surface of the shirt when you lift the screen.

Permaset Aqua is the best, in my opinion. Even their Standard inks have a bit more body/thickness than typical ink, which makes for easy handling. Runnier inks, like Green Galaxy (and most others), like to ooze around on the screen and are probably best printed with a 200.
Can you explain what you mean by dry stroke and how to properly flood the screen? Or perhaps there’s a youtube video you could link me to? Thanks so much!
 

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I plan on using 160 mesh screens at the start just because it's more versatile for beginners (or so that's what I have heard).
When using thicker inks, 110 is probably the easiest screen mesh for newbies, but 160 will do if you add a little bit of water.

Can you explain what you mean by dry stroke and how to properly flood the screen? Or perhaps there’s a youtube video you could link me to?
Flooding is basically spreading the ink over the design when the screen is off the garment.
Not always necessary, but helpful when printing water-based inks.

YouTube videos aren't very helpful because most people print the wrong way (in my opinion).
You just have to use your head, and match the ink to the screen you are using.
It's easy to tell. If you have to use a lot of pressure the ink is too thick.
 

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Can you explain what you mean by dry stroke and how to properly flood the screen? Or perhaps there’s a youtube video you could link me to? Thanks so much!
By Dry Stroke I just mean making another pass with the squeegee without first flooding the screen. The intent being to compensate for a poor Wet Stroke that didn't clear all the ink from the open mesh, a "clean-up" stroke.

Of course, yes, you want to keep the image area flooded with ink, else the residual ink film will quickly dry in the mesh. But get your clean-up / dry-stroke in first if you are having issues properly clearing the mesh on the wet stroke (which newer users almost always have).

Nothing special about flooding. It is just smearing ink over the image area.
 
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