October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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The ink density is generally 20 to 30 percent higher for white inks than general purpose colors. (Image courtesy Lon Winters, How do I avoid ghosting when printing 100 percent cotton garments? Ghosting occurs when dye-blocking agents that are built into a bleed-resistant ink gas out when stacked hot at the end of the dryer (or while packed hot). The gassing agents will burn a "ghost" image of the white ink printed into the front of a garment onto the back of the garment that is stacked on top of it. This typically occurs on earth tone colors such as honey, tan or natural. The simple solution to this issue is to use a good quality cotton ink that contains no dye-blocking agents. If you print with bleed-resistant ink for 100 percent cotton as well as 50/50 blends, you have the option to cool stack. Stack the garments in multiple stacks and allows them to cool prior to packing. This can help minimize the effect. The third option is to utilize a bleed-resistant white that contains a bleed-resistant component that will not allow ghosting to occur. A simple test to confirm this scenario prior to production is to place a piece of fabric with the printed (and cured) ink film in question and place it in a heat press in contact with a blank piece of fabric. Place this fabric "sandwich" in for five minutes at 125°F at very light pressure. After five minutes, remove the fabrics from the heat press and separate them. Any potential ghosting will appear on the blank piece of fabric as a ghost of the original ink film. Should no image appear, you will have no issues. Rick Davis, Triangle Ink Company How can I be sure that the plastisol ink I am printing in my shop is cured? Get a washing machine. Let me repeat that for emphasis: get a washing machine! You can buy a used one for $100. Put it in your shop as soon as possible and, a couple times a day, wash your prints. You can get all kinds of other probes, heat tapes and chemicals, but nothing proves you are correct except to see that the print stays on the shirt when it is washed. Take note of belt speed and temperature, as well as the temperature and humidity levels in your shop. Eventually, with experience, you will figure out how to get the ink cured on your shirts 2013 October Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 87 | 87 9/18/13 11:55 AM

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