February '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Color control continued from page 60 There are also recognizable thermal attributes of the ink. First here is yield point—the temperature at which it begins to flow. Next, the gel point relates directly to flash-curing time and temperature. Similarly, the fusion point (or cure level) indicates how much time/temperature the ink needs to reach maximum durability. The final thermal attribute describes at what point the ink begins to re-melt. The third and final aspect is the hydraulic characteristic of the ink. What describes this is the absolute (on-screen) viscosity; the yield stress of the ink (how easily it starts to flow); its plastic viscosity (consistency when going through the mesh); and the surface tension once it hits the substrate (what it does when it hits the garment, ink or gelled ink onto which it is printed). Armed with this list, every press operator with a consistent system can predict the outcome before it happens. But, if the ink is way out of spec, know you'll never figure out how to make it work. Cost of "experimenting" It is noteworthy that the people who are certain they don't have time to test new products, technology or methods seem unaware of the time lost in going to press unprepared. Maybe that's the reason they don't have time to test…. The key takeaways here are that press time is costly, color control should never precede process control and the proof is only as valuable as the verifying scales around the perimeter. We learned that the screen room can only save files and films at the expense of the press operator and the right linecount can only be proven by keeping comparative logs. We also now know that we need to analyze and qualify our inks (and refuse or return substandard products). And finally, let's review that a consistent, quality 45 Lpi will always get you more orders and reorders than will an inconsistent 65 Lpi. Process and simulated process prints can be a breeze—as long as we make an accu- rate translation of how the original image needs to be suited to the needs of the garment and press. But, if you don't want to fix the system, don't worry—digital printing processes will fix it for you, just a little bit more every couple years. pw Get Info from the suppliers you're reading about in Printwear Magazine. Get Info to make connections and grow your business. It's free and easy to request valuable supplier information customized for YOUR business. Select from the categories listed, or for supplier specific info, enter the INFO# from their ad or editorial in the spaces provided. Then FAX this form to 1-800-775-0424 or MAIL it to GET INFO, PO Box 1416, Broomfield, CO 80038. For faster service, please use the online form at: NAME COMPANY MAILING ADDRESS STATE CITY ZIP PHONE COUNTRY FAX* E-MAIL* * By providing my email address and/or fax number, I authorize you to send information about NBM publications, events, industry related products and services. YES! Send me product information from the following categories: n Apparel n Digital Direct-to-Substrate n Embroidery n Headwear n Heat Transfer n Non-wearables n Promotional Products n Screen Printing n Services n Supplies Enter advertiser INFO #s here: 1.______________ 9._ ____________ _ 17._____________ 2._ ____________ _ 10._____________ 18._____________ 3._ ____________ _ 11._____________ 19._____________ 4._____________ 12._____________ 20.____________ 5._ ____________ _ 13._____________ 21._____________ 6._ ____________ _ 14. _ ___________ 22. ____________ 7.______________ 15. _ ___________ 23. ____________ 8._ ____________ 16. _ ___________ 24. ____________ 2013 February Printwear PW_FEB13.indd 93 | 93 1/18/13 10:31 AM

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