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Yeah, so I've been printing for a while, I only do single color shirts and only use one screen.
So far I've printed logos in white, black, and grey ink on dark shirts. My problem is, the white ink will start to fade on some shirts, or just flake off. kind of like if someone was picking at it, and it kind of crusts off.
The ink i have is Traingle brand ink (I beleive). One thing I noticed is that the grey and white ink are of a thicker consistency than my black ink. The black one has a kinda of wetter consistency, kind of gelly-ish. The white one however looks thicker. kind of like cake frosting (lol).
So when i print a white logo on black, I usually have to do two passes, but all of the image isnt completely filled, so I heat gun it and do like one more pass. This usually get's the whole image inked, but I guess it lays on kind of thick. but if I only do one pass to avoid over-inking, only partial amounts of the image will appear.
Could the problem be the mesh count of the screens? I only use 110 count, I would like to try a higher one, especially if that is the problem. Or could it be my technique of passing twice, drying, and passing once more? ore maybe the brand of ink?
keep in mind, the shirts Ive printed with black ink are fine. they're not too thick (the ink), don't fade or chip off, and have a smooth seamless feeling when you touch the logo on the shirt. the white shirts have almost a crusty feeling to them.
any feeback would be gnarsome. thanks in advance.

p.s. I'll try to post pictures soon of some of the shirts with white logos.

-omar
 

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Omar I've been practicing printing and have had similar problems as you have...here's what I've found:

1. Yes white ink is thicker than black ink. I bought some ink reducer to thin it down a little bit. The ink was causing the shirt to momentarily stick to the screen, but now that I've thinned it out I don't have that problem as much.

2. The ink flaking off can either be undercuring or overcuring. Do you have a temperature gun? I purchased one for 90 bucks online and it has helped me out a lot. My ink cures at 300 degrees, but keep in mind it only reads the top layer of ink so if you have a thick deposit you may want to wait a few more seconds for the bottom layer to cure. Also you said you're using a heat gun. You just need to make sure the entire layer of ink is cured. Sometimes the outer edges of my prints will flake after washing because the outer part of my curing unit doesn't get as hot.

3. 110 should be fine for white ink since it is so thick. If you're only getting partial parts of the image to appear you want to make sure you're applying even pressure with the squeegee when you pass over the screen.

4. Dark inks on light shirts will usually always be softer because you don't have to lay as much ink down for it to show up.

So you may want to look into getting some ink reducer....Triangle should be able to supply it. I use Union ink and they have a chemical that does the same thing. Works great so far, I just got it two days ago and it helped my white prints out.
 

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cool Jason, thanks for all the advice. I really think it's the thickness of the ink, i bet that reducer chemical is what i need. i'll def. look into it.but yeah I could improve on my squeege-ing technique as well.
 

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ok, now let me remember some random information from all of my years in art school...i'm guessing that this rule (if i even remembered it correctly) can apply to inks the same way it applies to paints.

light colored inks have a low viscosity due in part to the lack of pigments. the higher the pigment count, the higher the viscosity, and the more fluid your ink will be. knowing that, you have to adjust accordingly:

as far as you getting patchy deposits, like was mentioned above, evenly distribute your pressure. maybe your squeegee is the wrong size for the design. when working with thick inks, i like to alternate my ink deposits in my passes. the first pass i will lightly run the squeegee over the image so there is A LOT of ink, the next one i apply a lot of pressure to scrape off the excess and to sink it into the fibers. i do that once more and it usually works really well.

to me, it seems like a bad idea to flash the ink and then do another pass. it doesn't have fibers to absorb into or latch onto, so it just kinda sits on the surface. just like how you're not supposed to pour wet concrete onto concrete that's already cured.
 

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zagadka said:
ok, now let me remember some random information from all of my years in art school...i'm guessing that this rule (if i even remembered it correctly) can apply to inks the same way it applies to paints.

light colored inks have a low viscosity due in part to the lack of pigments. the higher the pigment count, the higher the viscosity, and the more fluid your ink will be. knowing that, you have to adjust accordingly:

as far as you getting patchy deposits, like was mentioned above, evenly distribute your pressure. maybe your squeegee is the wrong size for the design. when working with thick inks, i like to alternate my ink deposits in my passes. the first pass i will lightly run the squeegee over the image so there is A LOT of ink, the next one i apply a lot of pressure to scrape off the excess and to sink it into the fibers. i do that once more and it usually works really well.

to me, it seems like a bad idea to flash the ink and then do another pass. it doesn't have fibers to absorb into or latch onto, so it just kinda sits on the surface. just like how you're not supposed to pour wet concrete onto concrete that's already cured.
Interesting, I'll have to try that technique. With white ink I also get a lot of shirt fibers sticking up through the ink. Is that also just because it is too thick?
 

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I think I just might do a run of non white ink designs (aka black lol) just to spare the trouble. I have such an easy time with dark inks on light shirts, i'll just stick to that until I learn more and expirement more with white ink. thanks for tips though
 

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zagadka said:
to me, it seems like a bad idea to flash the ink and then do another pass. it doesn't have fibers to absorb into or latch onto, so it just kinda sits on the surface. just like how you're not supposed to pour wet concrete onto concrete that's already cured.
You are close ...you guys are dancing all around it but your close....

Your almost correct about it having nothing to latch onto but thats only if you flash past the gel stage if your actually curing the first print then the seond print will flake off quickly.....however if the first print is just gelled then the second applied over it the Plastic Molecules will still lock together during full curing.... Thats sounds like the most probable cause of the problem your having....
If not and you are not getting the first print to hot....then the most likely thing that will cause it to flake during washing is that final cure tempature wasnt reached.... Good Luck with it..... Chuck
 

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Squirts said:
You are close ...you guys are dancing all around it but your close....

Your almost correct about it having nothing to latch onto but thats only if you flash past the gel stage if your actually curing the first print then the seond print will flake off quickly.....however if the first print is just gelled then the second applied over it the Plastic Molecules will still lock together during full curing.... Thats sounds like the most probable cause of the problem your having....
If not and you are not getting the first print to hot....then the most likely thing that will cause it to flake during washing is that final cure tempature wasnt reached.... Good Luck with it..... Chuck
This would be my guess too, good call Chuck!

As for the printing, when you print the first layer of white ink, you need to gel it, like Chuck said. This is around 200 degrees. Once it's gelled, the second layer can adhere to it properly. If you end up curing it (about 320 degrees depending on your ink), then you have created a "barrier" that the top coat won't adhere to properly.

With a double pass of white ink, you have a thicker deposit too, so simply getting it to 320 degrees may also not be enough to cure it because it has to reach 320 degrees underneath the ink. Some people will buy the heat strips and place one under the print to make sure they have the correct curing time. The strips are pretty expensive, but you can always cut them in 1/2 (lengthwise) or 1/3's or even 1/4's to make them last. I used to do it, now I use my Raynor gun until the right time is set for curing.
 

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MinusBlindfold said:
So when i print a white logo on black, I usually have to do two passes, but all of the image isnt completely filled, so I heat gun it and do like one more pass. This usually get's the whole image inked, but I guess it lays on kind of thick. but if I only do one pass to avoid over-inking, only partial amounts of the image will appear.

-omar
Sorry I missed this part on my first reply.... If Im reading it correct your saying its as if your running out of ink and the whole image isnt getting printed??? If that is Correct then you need to do a flood stroke when using the white ink.... with the squeege near vertical spread your ink over the image without pressing down...this is a flood stroke and insures that there will be ink over the entire image....then do your normal angle and pressure stroke... I usually follow it up with a cleanup stroke with no ink which makes sure the screen snaps completely off the shirt and ink doesnt stick to the screen....
Hope this helps with your problem and Good Luck....Chuck
 

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identityburn said:
Interesting, I'll have to try that technique. With white ink I also get a lot of shirt fibers sticking up through the ink. Is that also just because it is too thick?
I am having this problem too. I'm using Triangle Ink also. I really hate it because it makes the print feel rough. I know there has to be a way to fix it. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Squirts said:
Sorry I missed this part on my first reply.... If Im reading it correct your saying its as if your running out of ink and the whole image isnt getting printed??? If that is Correct then you need to do a flood stroke when using the white ink.... with the squeege near vertical spread your ink over the image without pressing down...this is a flood stroke and insures that there will be ink over the entire image....then do your normal angle and pressure stroke... I usually follow it up with a cleanup stroke with no ink which makes sure the screen snaps completely off the shirt and ink doesnt stick to the screen....
Hope this helps with your problem and Good Luck....Chuck
I'll give that a try. I always read about flood strokes, but never knew what it was. I may have done it on accident before, but I thought too much ink would be deposited that way, but I obviously had no idea. I kind of lost faith in white ink, it just seems like too much hassle and effort, but I'll get over it and mess around with it some more soon.
 

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LeeHuff said:
I am having this problem too. I'm using Triangle Ink also. I really hate it because it makes the print feel rough. I know there has to be a way to fix it. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
maybe you have a super aggressive hand- rawr! i dunno...

but my white ink is really rough too. whenever a customer asks for white ink, i try and get them to use the Union Extra Soft Lite Grey in place of it. for one, it's much softer, two- i personally think white ink is too harsh and played out on most colors. this makes it a little interesting. so far the results have been faaaabulous.
 

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MinusBlindfold said:
I thought too much ink would be deposited that way, but I obviously had no idea.
No The amount of ink is more deteremined by Mesh count, Squeege angle, pressure and thickness of the gasket created on the substrate side of the screen. With Mesh Count and gasket thickness being Major contributors. Hope This all helps in some way....and Good Luck..
 

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zagadka said:
maybe you have a super aggressive hand- rawr! i dunno...

but my white ink is really rough too. whenever a customer asks for white ink, i try and get them to use the Union Extra Soft Lite Grey in place of it. for one, it's much softer, two- i personally think white ink is too harsh and played out on most colors. this makes it a little interesting. so far the results have been faaaabulous.
It's weird, some of the prints do it and some aren't so bad. Not sure if you have to get the ink flowing through the screen for awhile to get it smoother. I've tried adding thinner, but am afraid to use too much because I don't want to lose opacity. It really only seems to happen on darker shirts....black,brown.

I'm using Union Ink Bright Cotton White.
 

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zagadka said:
maybe you have a super aggressive hand- rawr! i dunno...

but my white ink is really rough too. whenever a customer asks for white ink, i try and get them to use the Union Extra Soft Lite Grey in place of it. for one, it's much softer, two- i personally think white ink is too harsh and played out on most colors. this makes it a little interesting. so far the results have been faaaabulous.
Another thing you can do is add a dab of blue to your white... Mix real real well and you wont even notice the blue in there it is barely barely tinted . The white becomes easier to work with and leaves a smoother softer print.... Experiment...play with it... and you'll find a combination that makes the print you want without the blue really being noticeable.... Good Luck...
 
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