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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We recently had a problem with a customer complaining about a slight saw tooth edge in their logo. I understand the concept and cure of thicker emulsion, although that has never really worked to my satisfaction. My question is this; Is there an acceptable level for producing garments with a slightly jagged edge? Does this sound more like a nit-picking complaint or a genuine concern? Thanks.
 

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it is slight nit picking but i would say something if that was my design. it's a clean block design, the sharp edges are important for a design like that.

what caused the sawtoothing? possibly low res art, or the mesh count used was too low. That art should have been supplied as a vector, that way there's no graphic issue (low resolution art can cause automatic sawtoothing).

this is a tough scenario as that print result is fairly common (often due to using low mesh counts) but can be easily avoided with experience and the proper tools.
 

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It is vector art that was supplied. Nice crisp positive transparency for exposure. Exposed to a 110 screen.

What mesh count would you use to dissipate the sawtoothing?
i would recommend no lower then 200 for crisp clean lines, 280 is my preferred choice.

as 23spiderman mentioned, it is possible to get a crisp clean line on a 110, however from my personal experience i more often then not see saw tooth when using anything lower then 200 (could be the exposure or i'm insanely picky)
 

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If I understand the problem - the customer does not like the printing of their logo and wants to reject it.
I would replace it to keep the customer. There is no acceptable level of customer dissatisfaction.

As far as the print job - it's not that good to my eye. All the above advise is good. here is a link to an article about sawtoothing.

Screen Printing Technical Support Articles | How to Avoid Sawtoothing

Good Luck!

Robert
 

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Tbh, that looks pretty bad to me, esp, with vector artwork supplied.

I'd look to fixing that immediately - if all of his have been like that before, then you've a pretty bad artwork or screen prep issue you need to address quickly. Hope you manage to sort it quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. We are going to revisit it tomorrow and I am sure we will resolve it with changing a few techniques described.
We are going to make it up to the customer to satisfy them. Though I will say, I have had a customer hold their shirt up to the light and point out pinholes in the layer of ink and claim his printing was inadequate. Im sure you have all had your fair share...
 

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It is vector art that was supplied. Nice crisp positive transparency for exposure. Exposed to a 110 screen.

What mesh count would you use to dissipate the sawtoothing?
Your diagonal lines look marginally "OK".....vertical lines and horizontals that go along the mesh thread are bad news......I would stay with the 110 mesh and thicken your stencil with a couple additional coats of emulsion on the shirt side of your screen...Applied/dried/applied.....Also do a face coat on squeegee side after dried.....This anchors the emulsion to your threads and provides an excellent foundation for those subsequent emulsion coats on the shirt side of your screen.....You want your emulsion to "rise above" your mesh threads on the shirt side of the screen... this is known as EOM-emulsion over mesh....Increase your exposure time.....This will eliminate the saw toothing....It will also provide you a sharp "stopedge" which, when you run your fingers over the dried screen, you can feel on your fingers the sharpness.....Currently it appears that your saw toothing is being caused by emulsion that is too thin at and on your threads.....The additional coats will take your image "off" your thread (which are currently dictating your resolution), and put that image on the emulsion, which should then result in a non sawtoothed print, because the additional thickness is dictating your edge sharpness, rather than the mesh thread.......This is known as mesh bridging....and depending on the solids content of your emulsion; this dictates how thick your dried emulsion will be and also dictates number of coats required to achieve proper mesh bridging......People may be recommending higher mesh counts, because it requires less emulsion to bridge properly because there are more threads per inch to support the emulsion, and less open space between those threads......Downside of that is that the more threads per inch you are working with (less open space between threads) the thinner the threads, which will lay down a thinner layer of ink, which may sacrifice the opacity......unless you want to do several print strokes with higher squeegee pressure and possibly compromise print quality.....but with this design, and your client, I would stick with the 110.....A good quality film positive which is properly and firmly held to the screen during exposure will be able to withstand longer exposure times without light undercutting (even on white mesh)......and with the quality of most emulsions these days, exposure latitude should, especially with longer exposures, not be a problem.....which will allow thorough washout to remove all unexposed emulsion that may be clinging to your image edges.....providing an extremely sharp, high resolution printing image......
 

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Was the logo just text? I would have just recreated it, Re typed it or re traced it clean. Personally I wouldnt want that print if I was the customer. If a customer gives you a crappy design, you either have to fix it or explain to them that it will not print proper with that quality or turn the job away.

In your defense the customer sounds like a &*%$#. But that print may have been the catalyst for it.
 

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Coarsest mesh I use is 156. That'll handle just about anything but halftones or fine lines. A 195 will do any type of line art. I like 156 for white ink on darks because I can lay down enough ink to get a smooth underbase for any subsequent overprint. On light shirts, 195's are my go-to.
 

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A lot of good suggestions but I didn't see any mention of the exposure unit. If this is a unfiltered black light or a daylight bulb unit it could over exposure creating undercutting that's creating the sawtooth effect. Also could be a positive contact issue. Up until a few months ago 166 was the lowest mesh in my shop. I bought some 128 for some athletic uniforms. 7 years ago I had 110 mesh and after the first use I decided the print was was too thick.

The problem with lower mesh, thicker stencils is if you don't have proper squeegee technique you will just further push ink into garment and you won't gain any opacity. Most white on black I use a p/f/p on a 205. I get the same opacity while using 35% less ink then using a 110, thick stencil and trying to get a one hit.

No one technique will work for every shop. Experiment and find what works best for your shop.
 
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I agree with Omni on thicker stencil although we never add a coat to a dry screen. We use 3/1 and have never had a problem with sawtooth.
The thicker stencil adds durability to the edges and we're able to get nice crisp edges even on 110 mesh.
 
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