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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received my printed sweatshirts from my screen printer, the print look really good. However the white ink has a rough and bumpy texture to it, is this normal, or is it something I should talk to my screen printer about?
When I asked about the ink they told me they use premium soft feel plastisol.
 

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If they used a soft-hand plastisol it should not be rough or bumpy. There is a variety of reasons for this but essentially, the white should have been printed better. But for the sake of argument, can you post an image of the design and the garment? Sometimes the roughness is unavoidable if it's a particularly heavy fleece or has texture to the fabric.
 

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Hmm yeah, the pictures show a textbook example of "fibrillation" which means when the white was printed the fibers of the fabric were coming through the print. This is a pretty common problem and is a bit tricky to resolve- there are lots of posts on here about that issue. Have you talked to your printer to explain your quality concerns?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've emailed them some images, as they were closed. They have images from other orders and none of their others look like this even with large white prints on dark garments. Is this something you would expect from a professional screen printer?
 

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Is this something you would expect from a professional screen printer?
That's a tough question to answer as I've been on both sides of that equation and currently am on the services side. Ideally, the print would be smoother but there is a lot of factors at play when trying to achieve a bright white on colored garments, especially sweatshirts. I wouldn't say the end result of your hoodies is "unacceptable" unless they are meant for higher-end retail. Taking a closer look at your images I'm wondering if they were printed manually as opposed to a larger automated press. It's much harder to get a smoother white when printing by hand (in most cases). Once you do get a hold of them ask them if they have a heat press, and if yes, if they can smooth out the prints by giving them a quick pressing. If they are willing to it will make a world of difference in your print texture and you'll have pretty much what you're looking for.
 

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I see a few things. Like Industryps said, definately fibrelation, but also it looks like they used the wrong mesh count screen??? It looks like it was done with something around a 110 mesh, I would probably go with something higher like a 160 or maybe even go up to 200 mesh. If you are looking for a better print, you might also look at using a better quality fleece. Cheaper fleece will have a lot of fibrelation issues and require a bit more work to get that perfect print. Another trick is to use a sacrificial screen between hits, that would get rid of the fibrelation. The higher mesh count might take 3 hits instead of 2 but will make a big difference in print quality.
 

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A few things...Yes, having your printer heat seal the prints will flatten everything out. BUT tell them NOT to use Teflon cover sheets to cover the image before pressing. If they do it will leave the print looking very glossy. Not a good look IMHO. Tell them to make sure they cover it will matte craft paper. It will flatten out the print and also keep the matte look of the print.

Also, those bumps are not fibrillation. I personally think they were running the dryer too slow and too hot causing the ink to almost boil. Very evident in the last picture.

The shirts aren't terrible and definitely not rejects. But I would speak to your printer about the issue.
 
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