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Slight blurr in design while printing Plastisol

1431 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  SnBshirts

When I print, whether it be a 1 color job or 4 color job, my design starts to loose its crispyness and my prints start to blurr slightly after about 5-10 prints.

I believe there could be a multiple of problems and hopefully you can help me with this.

-Tension on my screens are not as tight as they should be. Last week i got 5 of my screens re meshed and it seemed to help the problem, but not completely.

-Could it be that my off contact is a bit to high? I have been reading the forums this morning and found that off contact should be around 1/8 of an inch high. I have been placing my screen about 2 fingers high from the t-shirt.

-I keep my stroke down to 1 push with the ink in front rolling over(I apply alot of pressure). I used to flood but felt like that was the problem causing the blurriness. Guess not?

-Could it be my squeegee? I havent bought a new squeegee in over 6-8 months.

-I am currently using Brown's Manual 6 color/6 station machine. Could it be the platens not being secured properly?

-I have attached the picture for reference.

Did any of you have this problem? If so, what are the appropriate steps I can take to get this problem fixed! It is causing me a big headache!


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If you have screens that are worth printing, you shouldn't be able to stretch them enough to print with 1+ inch of off contact--I'd start there.
Interesting- I have a job to do right now and will post results in roughly 2 hours. Thank you
Make sure you have enough tack on the platens too, so that the t-shirts do not lift up at all.

You want them to stay stuck to the platen so the ink shears crisply

If you have properly tensioned screens, you need minimal off contact.

Clean the underside of the screen, dont flood, use minimal pressure and do a test print. you should have a nice clean and crisp edge. if not, you might have several of these problems:

ink much too thin and bleeding
not enough adhesive
too much squeegee pressure
no screen tension

I have always used the approximate thickness of less then a dime for my off contact and properly tensioned screens. Hope this helps.
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20vk- I appreciate your response. I am very critical and make sure there is always an appropriate amount of adhesive.

Storngk- Wow! Thank you so much. I have had a combination of bad tension screens, as well as applying Massive forces of pressure with high off contact. I think that is probably the solution ;)
And based on what you've said, I'd guess you're using WAY too much pressure. You should only need enough pressure for the ink deposit to touch the substrate and just slightly more. You don't necessarily want to "smash" it into the shirt.

And in general, you always want to flood your image. The whole purpose of ink transfer is to make a thin layer of ink with the stencil and then shear it off using a sharp squeegee, proper tension and off contact, and stroke speed. The perfect combination will result in a beautiful print.
I truly appreciate the advice- It makes total sense! Do you ever find yourself double stroking? Such as Flood, push, flood push? Or Flood push, and then a second push to complete the ink transfer? What do you find to be the most effective?
I have only been stroking once due to the fact that I always assumed the second stroke is what caused the blurr. After reading your responses, Its probably what you guys have mentioned. Printing black on white t-shirts with one stroke, I find that the black isnt dark enough when lifting it to light. Kind of a change in topic, but I would love to hear your pushing/stroking/flooding methods.
Do a search on YouTube for Bill Hood one stroke white. It gave me a lot of info on printing, not just white ink on dark colors, but stuff that can be used on all color combos such as emulsion thickness on your screens and how it can effect your prints.
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