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Morning, as I start to get busier and busier I start to have more questions lol

How do you know or tell when to underbase?..does everything but white use an underbase?

Example, customer has saftey yellow and I will be using black and green on it...I want planning an underbase cause ...well black..and yellow is a component of green...

Example two
Medium green shirt...needs yellow ink...2 passes will do it?..or underbase

Asking as my 4color 2 station press is essentially 3 colors , I get worried and under base everything llo

Is there a general rule of thumb?

Thanks for any help offered, I appreciate all of it

Markus
 

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Yellow can be a huge pain to work with. It's actually worse than white when it comes to achieving proper opacity on colored garments.

If your print has only yellow in it, then you will be able to get away with 1 screen and a hit flash hit. Be sure you're using an open mesh (83 or 86 if your artwork allows) and a very stiff squeegee. You'll need more muscle to push it than using an underbase, but it will save you a screen.

Any design on a coloured garment that has white in it already, go ahead and use that screen for the underbase to save a screen as well. Your design will be heavier because you will most likely have to hit flahs hit the white but it's typically never an issue where its too heavy.

If you have a coloured garment with no white then be prepared to hit flash hit every colour in order to achieve desired opacity. This is where you need to make a design based on the quantity of shirts in the order. If its a long run, use an underbase as it will be faster than having to hit flash hit every colour. Short runs, forego the underbase and just hit flash hit the colours.

Hope this helps. End of the day you'll make your own underbase decisions based on your own efficiency and the types of orders you get.
 

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It depends on many factors. Ink, do you use high opacity ink or standard. Standard ink will generally require a underbase on most garments even high opacity will require a p/f/p on darks.

Attached is a print on heater navy no underbase but everything was p/f/p

I rarely use screens less then 166. I make sure I have a thicker stencil. If you have paper thin stencils you will get a paper thin deposit of ink.

Using a softer squeegee will leave a thicker deposit of ink. I use a triple durometer 60/90/60
 

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All my screens for T-shirt printing are 158 (except for metallics which I try and talk customers out of using.) Opaque inks look fine when printed properly directly on the fabric. If the ink is really thick I sometimes add a bit of reducer but most of the time I just work it with the squeegee and flash a test print to warm up the ink until the ink is workable. I've also found that a flood stroke between regular strokes can result in more ink getting through the mesh with less effort. A slower stroke will also result in better ink shear. Finally, I often flash and hit the print a third time. This takes longer but it really adds that extra pop to the print.

And as Sean said, a thicker stencil is the key to better prints all around, including halftones because it provides some space between the mesh and the stencil opening so that the mesh is held slightly above the print surface which allows for more ink to get through and also for the ink to "regroup" after it passes through the mesh.
 
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