2014 Resource Directory

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M i d - M a rc h Printwear | 21 "I think it's wise for manual printers to go with the larger 23" X 31" OD frame size to start off with, since shirt graphics are larger now. Plus, when the shop upgrades to an automatic press, these frames will fit on the automatic press, too." After listening to this suggestion, I took note that several manual press manufacturers report that a 23" X 31" frame will fit in their manual presses. Tools for success Continuing my conversation with McCue, I asked what he thought the number one problem in the screen prep area was. His reply: "The number one reason for screen failure is not properly drying the emulsion on the screen prior to screen exposure." I asked what he recommends to combat this problem and he replied, "Shops need to purchase a hygrometer and hang it in the screen- prep area to monitor the humidity level. The screen prep area needs to be around thirty to thirty-five percent relative humidity. It may be necessary to use a dehumidifier to reach that optimal humidity level." There are other tools that can contribute to better screen prep. First, let's take a look at pneumatic screen stretchers. Print shops have the option of buying a pneumatic screen stretcher that is capable of stretching four screens or more at a time. These systems require some extra space in the screen room, but can produce a word on Com- Puter to SCreen Although computer-to-screen (CTS) systems, also called direct- to-screen (DTS), have been on the market for decades, there has been a recent surge in the last five years in our industry to widely embrace the technology. CTS systems are now found in medium to large sized screen print shops all across the country. Adding a CTS imaging system eliminates the need to buy a film output device and films, as well as cuts out the labor to print the films. It reduces pre-press steps including printing films, taping films to screens, cleaning films and exposure glass, storing films, and removing tape. reduces the amount of light scatter and image undercutting during the screen exposure process. Colored mesh equals better detail and halftone resolution.) Screen mesh is also available in different thread diameters. In simple terms, the thickness of the thread has a dramatic effect on the thickness of the ink deposit. In less-simple terms, screen mesh woven with a thinner thread diameter allows an increase in the percentage of open area in the mesh, which allows for easy ink passage through the open holes in the mesh. Back to simpler terms— thick thread equals thick ink deposit; thin thread allows a thin deposit. On the manufacturers' mesh charts, this is referred to as the "theoretical ink deposit." frame selecTion Frame selection can be confusing, with all the choices from wood, aluminum, steel, retensionable frames and more. Determining the ideal frame size is the first step printers need to address. For advice on the subject, I turned to industry expert Geoff McCue and asked for his opinion on the screen size he recommends for a startup screen print shop. McCue reports, The tension meter is one of the most im- portant tools in the stretching process. it utilizes a probe that comes in contact with the mesh surface to measure tension based on how far the probe can deflect the mesh. The tension reading is displayed with a mechanical dial indicator or by digital readout. PW_MidMarch14.indd 21 2/28/14 1:04 PM

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