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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just a loosely reg'd 2 color wb print on a black American Apparel. P/F/P done. White and crimson.

More to illustrate the results I'm getting since switching over to WB from plastisols. I'm much happier by the way.

Prints are bold and super soft.
 

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This is just a loosely reg'd 2 color wb print on a black American Apparel. P/F/P done. White and crimson.

More to illustrate the results I'm getting since switching over to WB from plastisols. I'm much happier by the way.

Prints are bold and super soft.
That looks awesome, very bold.
About how big is that design?
 

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More to illustrate the results I'm getting since switching over to WB from plastisols. I'm much happier by the way.

Prints are bold and super soft.
Good looking print.

So, waterbase is working out, huh?

Particular brand?

Why the switch? And what's the biggest difference for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Good looking print.

So, waterbase is working out, huh?

Particular brand?

Why the switch? And what's the biggest difference for you?

I should note, if it's not obvious, that there is no underbasing going on. Just high opacity wb on a black tee.

I kind of felt that I wasn't getting exactly what I wanted from plastisol, so I decided to give WB a try. Mostly the high opacity types. I think in hindsight, I was more built for WB as my print method didn't change too, too much.

I've found that for me it covers better, feels better, and overall I'm just happier with my prints. I've also seen a marked increase in sales.

The shop is much cleaner too. As I'm forced to clean as I finish a screen.

It took a few weeks to make the adjustment, but at this point some months into the transition, it's pretty much second nature.
 

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Outstanding.

Doing my research I found that a soft hand on a shirt, especially for woman, is a key selling point.

As my volume increases, I am going to be screen printing some of my designs, but finding a local water based screen printer is hard to find.

Do other people have this issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't speak to local printers, as I do my "own line" and from the start realized that for ME the best way to do it was to print myself. It affords me the freedom to do what I want and experiment. And know exactly the quality going out the door.

Of course, it can be a lot of work. But with the work comes the rewards. I have seen my business grow from basically nothing to a sustainable career with much potential still ahead.

Many printers, and I cannot blame them as I had a tough time convincing myself to make the switch, simply do not want to make the switch to WB. Or, feel the need. Not a knock, again - I faced the same dilemma - just reality.

Also depends on the market you are catering to I suppose.

However, in my findings, once you have your process down, the switch isn't so bad. I actually prefer it to be honest.

Increased sales definitely are a rewarding aspect. However, the MOST rewarding aspect - for ME - is that I am 100% happy with every print that goes out the door now. Maybe in some sense, that translates to better sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I use mostly PermaSet SuperCover. Pretty pricey, but the results can speak for themselves I suppose. And doing my own stuff, it doesn't hurt my pricing structure too much.

It still CAN be a pain in the neck, I was always more focused on the opacity though. It just requires a workflow adjustment really, at least that is what I found.

Standard opacity WB is still fairly consistently a pain in the neck too. Or it can be.

Screen mesh, I always used mostly 180 for plastisols, and that's pretty much what I still use 95% of the time. So there was no need for me to go out and buy new screens JUST to make the transition. I will sometimes use a 158/160 for a certain design if it's all I have on hand. And sometimes a 200/230 for halftones.

This one was done with 180's.

Trick to WB is simply: Work fast and clean up faster.

You are correct though in the advances, the high opacity WB inks, to me are amazing. I find they cover much better than plastisols personally.
 

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You have inspired me! This is why I like this forum so much. It has been about 7 years since I have printed any wb but I have been wanting to use some for a different feel... I have a big box of Matsui inks that I ended up with when I bought some used equipment but its old stuff and I should probably throw it away and get the good stuff that you are using. Thanks for sharing that!
 

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Andy, when you say sales picked up, do you mean for your own retail products, or for your clients as well? I too find a softer hand moves faster off the racks in our store and for our clients with retail stores. I want to get into H2o But my main issue is most of my clients are businesses, like restaurants & contractors, that keep coming back cuz their prints still look new when the shirts toast. I regularly get new clients switching to us because they're unhappy with the way the waterbase was cracking so fast in the wash from their previous printers. What do you guys think are the most durable brands out their right now?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Andy, when you say sales picked up, do you mean for your own retail products, or for your clients as well? I too find a softer hand moves faster off the racks in our store and for our clients with retail stores. I want to get into H2o But my main issue is most of my clients are businesses, like restaurants & contractors, that keep coming back cuz their prints still look new when the shirts toast. I regularly get new clients switching to us because they're unhappy with the way the waterbase was cracking so fast in the wash from their previous printers. What do you guys think are the most durable brands out their right now?
I only print for myself and my own "brand" which I sell through my own site and a couple retailers. So sales increases would be in regards to my site and the couple retailers. Although my main goal is to convert those retail customers to MY customers once they have the garments in hand. Which happens a lot. And see more and more of since making the switch.

I only accept like 2 or 3 custom jobs per year.

I say "accept" like I am all fancy schmancy, but in reality I have not too much patience for dealing with custom jobs and the people that come with them, if that makes sense. I give them a price and they take it or leave it. I will not go down the $3 per tee route that they throw at me. It does everyone a disservice. And frankly I lose money on something like that.

Personally, I also think it's really tough to do your own brand, and do side work for others at the same time. Seems like there could be conflicts of interest, as well as conflicts of time. Not to mention it could pull you away from your main focus.

That's just me though, I've always been an either/or type of guy. I'm sure plenty of other guys/gals can do it.

As far as cracking with WB, I don't really understand that aspect. If the garments and prints are cured correctly, they should last a long, long, long time. I have not had a single print crack unless it was in the beginning when I was dialing in my print and cure method with WB.

I have the same experience with other WB tees that I have bought from other people. They have lasted for years and years without issue.

Maybe the clients you speak of sourced from somebody who wasn't curing correctly? Or maybe they added additives and didn't account for that in the cure? Dunno to be honest. I have found all of my WB prints to be equally durable to plastisol.

I have found no brand to be more durable than another. User error is a different story though.
 

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Right on. I hear ya about custom clients. I worked for other shops for 19 years, we started our own shop in the hopes that we could one day focus on our own stuff. We started out with practically nothing, and had to print for some pretty difficult clients to build up our equip. supplies and & $ for our own clothes. I think we might be our own best client now. Hopefully one day we'll be able to just print for the fun/easy clients and send the nightmares to the competitors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've got nothing but respect for people who can do custom jobs. Cause I just can't. The few I do per year are more for people I know who are still in bands, have a small business, etc.

When I started my t-shirt business, I printed all day, and worked a part-time job all night. Eventually I was able to phase out the night job. I never really had any notion to doing jobs I guess. Just roll the dice and see what happens.
 

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My most annoying clients, that I told myself I gonna wean out, always seam to walk in right before rent time on a bad month, with a big deposit. ARRRG! alright, one more time.
 

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On the cracking.. I had that problem with discharge, it was not really cracking but the ink was just not penetrating to the valley of the knit, I guess. if I stretched it, I could see tee between the design, but went back to normal unstretched.

Are you using pull or push stroke with the wb? No off contact? Any other tips you could share?
 

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I'm doing a lot of discharge with just waterbase base. Manually with electric dryer. since there is no ink, the thinner I put it on the more fabric die I see when stretching. I try to use the lowest mesh I can achieve the image with to get more product down deeper in the fabric. I print, reverse flood like an auto press, since its so runny. usually do that 3 times. It might be overkill but since its manual not auto I get no thin spots. It's kinda nerveracking not knowing if I did it rite until it's removed from the press.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I push most prints. SOME prints are larger in height though and I will push the first pass and then pull the second pass to make sure I get even coverage. Sounds weird, but it works for me.

I do use a bit of off contact. Just the way I prefer it.

And I drive the ink down HARD into the garment. So hard sometimes that the print is almost sunken down into the knit. Like a reverse emboss if that makes any sense. I use all American Apparel so I do not know if that emboss effect is because AA's are fluffier or whatever.

You probably don't have to drive it down that hard, but it's just the way I roll. I've always been a masher though, even with plastisols.

Other than that, it's really all about the cure IMHO. You can cheat it at 360 degrees for about 90 seconds and be fine. But I am finding 320-340 for 2 minutes-ish yields a softer hand. Probably less heat equals a less brittle print? Dunno about that? Just my theory.

BUT, if you are curing TOO hot like over 360, you DO run a high risk of making the print brittle, which can cause it to crack down the line.
 
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