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Printing Problem: Smudge on Water-based Silk Screen Print

 
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Old July 5th, 2016 Jul 5, 2016 1:35:41 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Printing Problem: Smudge on Water-based Silk Screen Print

Hi! I would like to ask some advice regarding water-based silk screen printing. I've been having this problem on a lot of prints occasionally. Sometimes there are smudges, sometimes there aren't.

My setup is on a line table. I used plywood for the platens and wooden screen frames. My mesh is 120 (we stretch it ourselves using the nails (poor man's stretcher) method, so I am not 100% sure whether the screen tension is correct)
We use 1 peso coins for the offset (sometimes one, sometimes two on all corners)
Our ink is waterbased bought from Tulco (local supplier)

When printing, what I do is I spray a few drops of water on the screen, then put the ink mixture and flood the screen.
The flooding is necessary because it is fairly hot in our area, thus the ink dries fast if not flooded.

The artwork I am printing now is almost as big as the squeegee I'm using [11 inches width]. (Should I buy a larger one?)
I am not yet an expert on printing so the way I flood the screen, the way I pull the squeegee,ink consistency and screen tension are possible causes of the problem.

Any advice on what should I do?
Thank you in advance!
 
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Old July 6th, 2016 Jul 6, 2016 1:35:02 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Printing Problem: Smudge on Water-based Silk Screen Print

The smudging is caused by lose mesh tension.
When you squeegee the mesh would move due to friction. The emulsion would pick up some ink from the ink on the fabric. The ink on the emulsion would smudge the following fabric that you print on.
Try not to have off contact but make sure your previous print ink is dry. The zero off contact will allow the fabric to grip onto the emulsion which will reduce the image moving. Hope it helps.

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Old July 11th, 2016 Jul 11, 2016 5:53:03 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Printing Problem: Smudge on Water-based Silk Screen Print

your squeege should be 1/2 to 1 inch on each side bigger than your print
 
 
Old July 11th, 2016 Jul 11, 2016 8:22:42 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Printing Problem: Smudge on Water-based Silk Screen Print

Thank you abchung and mmonk for the replies. I will keep your advice in mind for our next production. I will try to look for a better way to stretch our too. Will update on the results
 
Old January 30th, 2019 Jan 30, 2019 3:14:13 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Printing Problem: Smudge on Water-based Silk Screen Print

For anyone reading this, I had a problem with smudging. I was printing with waterbased ink onto paper, and I figured out what I was doing wrong. I was using acetate for registration, and a few times I forgot to pull back the acetate. The ink built up on the acetate and that's what caused the smudging in my case.
 






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