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Hey guys,

I've been having a pretty consistent problem for the past few weeks.

I'm trying to print on darks with speedball white and it's coming out awful..what happens is that I apply the first coat, dry (with a heat gun) and then hit it with another layer of white.

The problem is that once it's cured (iron for 2 to 3 minutes) it looks fine but feels all stiff and if stretched ends up cracking.

To be honest I just bought this speedball stuff on a whim and wasn't expecting too much (used to use aerotex union) & I know I'm going to end up buying permaset supercover ink.

I just want to make sure it's nothing I'm doing wrong and that this is just the way it goes when you're printing on darks.

Also I know about the discharge process, I just can't afford one of those ovens right now..

thanks for the help in advance!

Julien
 

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I think its the ink, i started with that stuff in the beginning and had the same results...But it softens up after a wash and looks old and crackly, which actually works with some artwork.
 

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Plastisol Rules Do not Apply
Flashing works very well with plastisol, but the principles of printing an image on dark garments with water-based inks is vastly different compared to "100% solids" plastisol where nothing evaporates.

Water-based inks do not lend themselves to fill in the shirt holes with an ink deposit film because 80% of the ink (water & additives), evaporates and the wet film thickness shrinks and takes on the texture of shirt fabric.

High opacity water-base inks produce a matte, cloth like finish by coloring individual knit threads, not the air space between them by welding them together with a smooth film.

If you have cracking, you've tried to form a film, like plastisol, with an ink that doesn't stretch like plastisol.

You are also using an ink that is not that opaque. It is the eternal burden of textile printers to forever test every white ink looking for the best. OK, it's your first post - It won't be Speedball.

Experiment
Experiment with this by printing on a piece of paper (photocopy or butcher paper) and curing it like a transfer. Try a hair dryer, or your oven, or flash panel. Remember that when water-based ink dries, the solids left on the shirt will be less than 20% of the ink you actually printed. With plastisol, nothing evaporates, so there's no shrinkage.

100% wet ink deposit dries into a 20% final deposit

You can peel plastisol off the paper and it will stretch, water-based ink, not so much.

Plastisol printers are accustomed to the look of a plastisol print and don't understand the cloth-like look of a water-based print or under-base.

When a print that looks, feels, and breathes like cloth instead of plastic is desired, water-based will beat plastisol. Granted, there are plenty of soft-hand plastisol methods, but not for solid light colored areas on dark garments.

Water-Based Homework
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/screen-printing/t114704.html#post673597
 

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Speedball ink is junk and white is gonna be hard to get an opaque print with that stuff with any elasticity with so much water based pigment printed. Pick up a small quart of plastisol and test it. Plastisol is rubber based and will stretch with the fabric. You may want to pick up a pint or quart of white discharge waterbased such as matsui. You can pull it off with a heat gun but it just may not be constant and fail safe. Just smoke it with the heat gun without burning the shirt and you will be good. Printed a few hundred shirts out of my parents garage when I was 17 on a home made press when I first started. Good luck!
 
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