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Screen printing water-based ink on towels?

 
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Old July 17th, 2020 Jul 17, 2020 8:55:02 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Screen printing water-based ink on towels?

I'm looking to do a small run of full-sized bath towels for an organization I've been making shirts for, for years. I've never printed on towels before and from what I'm seeing it looks like water-based ink is my best bet.

The design is nothing fancy. It's just a one color print (mostly text) and it'll likely be printed across the end of the towel. They want to use a grey towel with white ink.

*Is a 110 mesh screen ok?
*What specific kind of ink would you use?
*Squeegee durometer?
*Off-contact?
*I have a conveyor dryer but understand water-based inks take longer to dry than plastisol. Do I need to add Catalyst or raise my heating element so the ink can dry without scorching the fabric?
*Should I "iron" the print area of the towel with my heat press to reduce the knap?

Any other tips would be helpful!

Last edited by pacificthinktees; July 17th, 2020 at 09:07 AM..
 
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Old July 17th, 2020 Jul 17, 2020 7:13:35 PM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Screen printing water-based ink on towels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacificthinktees
I'm looking to do a small run of full-sized bath towels for an organization I've been making shirts for, for years. I've never printed on towels before and from what I'm seeing it looks like water-based ink is my best bet.

The design is nothing fancy. It's just a one color print (mostly text) and it'll likely be printed across the end of the towel. They want to use a grey towel with white ink.

*Is a 110 mesh screen ok?
*What specific kind of ink would you use?
*Squeegee durometer?
*Off-contact?
*I have a conveyor dryer but understand water-based inks take longer to dry than plastisol. Do I need to add Catalyst or raise my heating element so the ink can dry without scorching the fabric?
*Should I "iron" the print area of the towel with my heat press to reduce the knap?

Any other tips would be helpful!
Mesh 110 is Good.
Water-based is the only way for towels.
Add catalyst, because the thickness of the towel will limit the heat from reaching all the way through
Put them though the dryer to remove the water, and then heat press them to ensure good curing.

If the towels are 100% cotton, you can also use discharge ink. The print is super soft this way.
 
Old July 19th, 2020 Jul 19, 2020 10:08:25 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Screen printing water-based ink on towels?

We've used Nazdar RFU waterbase ink with great results.
We don't use a catalyst, but that is an option for you.

110 is fine. Make sure you use a water resistant emulsion.
If you are using cap film, that stencil won't last.

We use heavy pressure, 6-9 strokes,
Fllod - print - flood - -print - flood. repaat....repeat
Make sure you leave your screen flooded so the ink does not dry in the screen.

Keep a spray bottle of water handy as well as a bucket of water and a towel/wash cloth.

If your dryer has forced air, even if it is an infra red dryer, you'll be fine.

We set the belt for three minutes at 305 degrees

If you do not print multiple strokes with heavy pressure, then once your towel clears your dryer you will see white specks appear where the ink did not fully cover the towel.

Ideally, use a towell with terry on one side and velour on the other. Print the velour side.

Buy some extra towels...you'll ruin a couple .....but you'll be fine.
 
 
Old July 19th, 2020 Jul 19, 2020 10:16:15 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Screen printing water-based ink on towels?

We've used Nazdar RFU waterbase ink with great results.
We don't use a catalyst, but that is an option for you.

110 is fine. Make sure you use a water resistant emulsion.
If you are using cap film, that stencil won't last.

We use heavy pressure, 6-9 strokes,
Fllod - print - flood - -print - flood. repaat....repeat
Make sure you leave your screen flooded so the ink does not dry in the screen.

Keep a spray bottle of water handy as well as a bucket of water and a towel/wash cloth.

If your dryer has forced air, even if it is an infra red dryer, you'll be fine.

We set the belt for three minutes at 305 degrees

If you do not print multiple strokes with heavy pressure, then once your towel clears your dryer you will see white specks appear where the ink did not fully cover the towel.

Ideally, use a towell with terry on one side and velour on the other. Print the velour side.

Buy some extra towels...you'll ruin a couple .....but you'll be fine.
 






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