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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i tried making three diffeent shirts yesterday wih three different screens, and they kept getting worse, the first one was already burned and i had printed with it two days ago, did the shirt, pretty good, next, had been sitting in box for a week or so with emulsion, now i exposed, washed out, and let it dry for a while, it printed alright, there were some spots where the ink was a little spotty, like my next screen, after i waited for it to dry enough for the masking tape to stick to it, i tried printing, but ink was barely coming through, leaving real thin uneven image on shirt, defnitely not sellable. . . i remember my teacher showing my some shiny and dull spots in the openings after I washed out a screen at school, and i know he said that would stop ink from coming through in some spots. . don't remember what caused this, or how to fix it, but my prints are not working real good at all! i have the speedball opaque inks starter set because i thought it would be the easiest to print thick, but it is not turning out that way.
 

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Sometimes if you underexpose a screen in the washout it will leave a layer of "scum" in the image area. Clean out the ink and wipe the image area with water to remove the "scum" layer. Let it dry and then try printing again. I can't speak for the Speedball since I don't use it, but useing water ona rag over the image should help clear it out. That's what it sounds like to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
alright, i did wash the ink out last night after the failure in hopes that today would go better, i think just letting the screen dry longer will hopefully do the trick. . . i find it curious though that you say this happens when you underexpose a screen, because i felt like i might almost be inclined to expose less than i have been, because the design is taking a pretty great amount of pressure and direct squirting to wash out. . the problems that arise from nowhere can really slow a guy down in this business, i have never had any trouble printing sold opaque images before, and this is really frustrating!
 

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I use speed ball also, not the opague, just the reg white, it washes out well, i know the opague is actually i think they call it a pearl white,, maybe it is the the fine ness of the screen combined with what ever agent makes them call it pearl white.
the reg white, for fabric ink does a great job as well.
Hummm I was gonna order the pearl white opague, and try it, when i do i will get back to you, do you have a soft angled paint brush, that is what i use, in washout, the bristles acutally go thru the screen sometimes, and does not damage the burned screen. Just a thought
can you take a pic, of the screen, for us, to see.
We may be able to help more that way, and the speedball is a water based ink. so water should be all you need to clean it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yes, it cleans up just fine, and the stuff that doesn't come off the screen when i clean it, doesn't come off otherwise either so far, so its all good, i just dont get why i can get a solid image. . . you can see some sparkles in the ink if you look real closely when it is printed on a shirt, but i just bought some white plastisol too that is just pheonix white, if that fixes this problem, yay, but i need to get shirts made, like now! am i supposed to dry my screens after wash out with them standing up vertically, or laying horizontally? to combat that scum? think tha might be part of it.
 

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is the the ink water based too?

Not sure on hor or vert drying, I take mine off the frames if my job is done with them, and store that way. I dry completely like 24 hours before i would consider using again, i dry vert, hang them with cloths pins from a hanger. Not sure if that is right or wrong , just how i do it.
Let me know about the other ink.
with speedball are you flash drying and heat press or runnin thru a dryer?
That is the only ink i have used so far, and would like to try some others
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i remember my old teacher, who is out of town right now, telling me that the scum in the washed out parts dries there becasue it runs downward when hanging, but i thought to myself, if you lay it flat then if there is any in there, it is just going to dry right there, so i dont know. . . i have a flash dryer that i use for curing. . . the only thing i am thinking is that i may not have given the screen enough drying time after i washed it out, just because i was trying to beat a deadline that doesn't really seem beatable if things keep going like this. . ill let you know how that other ink prints .. . even when i do get a pretty good looking image on the shirt, if you look close it is nowhere near perfect the way i would like it, why is the question.. . .
 

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I have had this problem, and it's caused by the washout process after I burn the screen. If the design is very intricate, so that I have to spend a lot of time washing it out, or if it is very humid, the emulsion starts to disintegrate and the watered-down emulsion can get stuck in the open mesh. You don't see it, but it hardens up enough in the drying process to cause blockage.

First, you do want to be sure that you are washing out from the platen side, not the squeegee side of the screen. The platen (back?) side is what get's exposed to the light, and is tougher after it's been exposed.

I always dry the screen after washout with paper towels; if, upon lightly going over the squeegee side of the screen, there is emulsion coming up on the towel, I revert to lightly patting that side, then turn it over and rub down the back, and then lay it down with the squeegee side face down and lay dry paper towels over the open mesh areas and blot until I can see that there is no water in those areas. I haven't had any problems since I started this routine. You might also want to lengthen your exposure time.

When the deed is done and it's crunch time and I don't have a back-up screen to reburn, I sometimes have luck using a little Icky-Sticky Unstuck from Franmar to open the mesh back up; but only if the emulsion is bone dry.
 

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is the the ink water based too?

Not sure on hor or vert drying, I take mine off the frames if my job is done with them, and store that way. I dry completely like 24 hours before i would consider using again, i dry vert, hang them with cloths pins from a hanger. Not sure if that is right or wrong , just how i do it.
Let me know about the other ink.
with speedball are you flash drying and heat press or runnin thru a dryer?
That is the only ink i have used so far, and would like to try some others
hey sandy-jo!!!!!:D
this is off topic ....sorry.....but what are you using for frames??
I went to samflax today and purchased different sizes of "pre-canvased" wooden frames...60% off!!!:)
Plan to rip the canvas off and use the wooden part as my "frame".


also...at what ° temp do you press and for how long ??
 

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Here are a few suggestions for your "gunk" problem...

Wipe the screen down with water when you're done printing for a while (more than 10 minutes). Waterbased inks evaporate in the screen, leaving the non-waterbased compartments in the screen.

If that's still not taking out the gunk, try a screen opener. You'll have to find a waterbased screen opener. Sprayway makes one called Fast Open 32 (I think it's #32. It's a blue can) that's made for waterbased inks. Spray that in the screen and wipe it down before you stop printing.

Also, if this happens during printing, try misting the screen a little with a spray bottle of water. Sometimes depending on the heat and humidity where you're printing can start the drying out process in advance, which again can leave gunk.

Hopefully these might solve your problems...

good luck!
 
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