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We are sort of new to screenprinting and have a potential job for some under armour volleyball jerseys. They are so pricey, I don't want to ruin any!

They would be a 2 color screen print plus heat transfers (number on front and name/number on the back).

Is plastisol ink ok to use? We don't have a conveyer dryer, just a flash dryer. What distance should be between the shirt and the flash dryer?

Also, what material have people had success with for heat transfers? Temps/times?

Thanks for any help!!!
 

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You can you plastisol but I would add a catalyst to be sure. Or better yet Athletic Plastisol. I would raise the flash a little bit higher than normal. These types of shirts tend to shrink a little, you can pre heat them reduce the shrinkage factor. As far as pressing them you would go 325 for about 8 seconds.
 

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I've had a lot of success with sublimation on the wicking materials. They hold up better than I ever expected. Recently had a baseball team get a full set of custom with some pretty impressive art and they came back to me at the end of the season begging for more designs for next year. The uniforms were put through hundreds of washings and never faded or had any issues. You'll have to have the inking system, but it's worth the investment to produce some exceptional looking uniforms where you can command a premium price and have a customer that will be happy for years to come. No washing out of the ink from screen printing or letters peeling off. The only draw back is it can only be done on light colors.
 

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Use stretch additive and print flash print and then flash again before removing it from the platen. Flashing again before you remove the compression shirt from the platen will help keep ink from accidentally getting on the rest of the shirt. Under Armour shirts can be tricky to take off of the platen because they are so stretchy. Take your time with the first few and order extras because you'll probably need them.
 

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The best ink so far for this is a non-plastisol ink...

Several years ago Dow Corning developed a silicone based ink.

It cures at temps below 270 deg. F and will also cure with time without heat at all (for polypro bags and other items that cannot take heat).

You have to mix the product before use and it will last about 18 hours (pot life).

I will stretch with the product to over 300% of its original size...

Type in Dow Corning Screen Printing in google.
 

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Hello All,

I am trying to direct screen print onto under armour type material (80% polyester 20% spandex, they are the Russell Athletic NXT's). I am doing a two color print on them. I am having trouble getting the 2nd pass to line up properly. I am doing the first color, flashing, doing the 2nd color, flashing, then going back to the first color to put the 2nd coat down and all of a sudden it is not lining up with the first pass. I am using web grab adhesive to hold the shirt in place. I use that a lot but I am noticing that it might not work well with the stretchy material. I am considering sending off for screen printed heat transfers but seems like such a waste since I am capable of putting this down just fine on normal material. First time doing under armour type material. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Here's something to look into:

If you find that substrates tend to shrink from heat exposure during print flashing, it's often worth a test to see if that initial heat does most of the shrinking; as long as it's not damaging the garment of course.

If so, then pre-heating the garment in order to pre-shrink it to a more stable resizing lets you reduce the amount of distortion (and may be in acceptable register) as you print-flash-print afterwards.

Note that there are some loose-weave synthetic blends that can't take heat, regardless.

Good luck!
 

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If they are white garments then you won't have a problem with normal plastisol inks except the fact that the temperature settings must be very precise. Polyester will shrink up a whole size if cured too long, so it's important to get the right temperature for a full cure but not longer.

If they are colored garments then you will run into dye migration where the dye in the shirt will run into the inks. In this case you need to have a plastisol ink designed to print on polyester. I use International Coatings Paramount white, but most companies make one. Then lay the other colors on top. Most recommend printing the white with 110 mesh.
 

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Thanks, that must be the problem because I have a test under armour shirt that I printed just fine on each time. The test one is made by a different company and uses a slightly different material base. So it must be shrinking due to the flashing. I am only flashing for 7 sec, maybe I need to lower that down or maybe as tlbays said preheat the shirt a bit to have it shrink before I put the first color down.
 

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Make SURE you use a poly ink that is bleed-resistant. We had some major dye-migration problems back in the day with a couple dozen Under Armour hoodies @ $25.00 / ea cost.

Make sure you use a low-bleed poly ink and make sure you get the print instructions from the garment manufacturer. Even with all of this, it's still a crap shoot sometime.
 
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