Im very new to screen printing, and wow what a mix between fun and disappointment!
Ive designed a few images, and with trial & error burnt a couple of decent screens, and even had a go at inking some tee's but have run into a few problems here and there and could with some expert help please
1) Now im happy with a couple of my exposed screens, is there a way of making the emulsion last longer on the screen, some way or making it tougher?
2) Im using basic waterbased inks such as speedball and jacquard high opac inks, now im finding that after a couple of tee's printed the ink is blocking the mesh, is there a way to stop this?
I've tried flooding the screen after each print, but when I print one and cure the ink with a heat gun, when I come to do another tee the ink is drying.
3) Can I print say 10 tee's then come back and cure the ink with the heat gun at this point, or do the they curing asap?
Any help would be great, cheers Mark
To answer your questions in order
1 - correct exposure is the best way to make your screens last longer. Underexpossed screens will wash out when cleaning. Also you must make sure that your emulsion is suitable for use with waterbased ink.
2 - waterbased ink is prone to drying in the screen. The only surefire way around it is to keep printing without too many breaks. Don't cure on the platen, as the heat will also cause the ink to dry in the screen. Some ink brands make a 'retarder' additive to slow the drying down.
3 - if you have room to place the wet shirts then you are better off printing a batch and curring all together. Some ink brands make a 'cold cure' additive so you do not need to use a drier. It won't give as long lasting print as heat curring but it is ok.
Speedbase ink is only really a hobby brand, but is ok to start with.