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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Purchased a custom exposed screen online, test printed the design perfectly onto card stock to ensure the design fully passed through the screen before immediately after printing onto a tshirt. The first print came out perfectly onto the card, however when using the same method to printing on to the tshirt, the design was not fully transferred as similar to the first attempt with the finer details of the text and smaller areas being completely missed out. After washing the screen after in water and the fabric watercolour ink removed in larger areas however once the screen dried, left the smaller areas fully blocked, leaving parts of the design unable to print.

Have I completely ruined the screen? As multiple washes with a powerful shower has not worked. With the print now only printing about 50% of the design when re trying the flood and pull method.

Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like you're using water-based inks and they dried on the screen.
Turns out they're acrylic paints. Compatible, as its from a Daler Rowney Screen Printing set. However the paints are meant to be mixed with a textile medium to prevent the drying of the inks. Worrying to say the least. Screen is custom exposed, good mesh count etc with a decent coat of emulsion. Worst comes to worst, there is the chance of re purchasing and using more suitable inks and process when printing onto the garments. However, this is rather expensive, setting me back around £55-£65 with a 5+ day waiting time with the off chance I repeat the mistake with new inks.

I am looking at printing around 30 tshirts, with the same screen & design, with as much consistency as possible with the print of the design.
 

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Besides using appropriate ink, keep the image area covered with ink the entire time you have ink in the screen, else the thin smear of ink residue in the image area will dry fast. Water is not enough; there are cleaners to be used with water based inks, though this dried-in ink probably is not coming out unless the screen itself is reclaimed, if then. Don't mess about and leave the screen setting with ink in it for long. Have a spray bottle of water on hand to mist the ink as needed during longer print runs. Keep your "working" ink separate from your fresh ink so you have a reference as to what good ink looks and feels like. You will need to add a bit of water to your used ink to rehydrate it, as it loses water to the air and screen the entire time it is on press.
 
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