November '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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54 | Printwear N ov e m b e r 20 1 4 I n the 36 years I've been in the screen printing industry, some amazing advancements have hit the market that have served as major factors in how decorators embellish garments. One of those advancements is the emergence of the flash unit, which is a heat source that partially gels plastisol inks. A gelled ink is dry to the touch but still not fully cured. For a plastisol ink to reach the gel stage, it should hit a temperature of around 180 degrees F. This usually means that the surface of the plastisol ink creates a skin of dry ink while the underlying ink is still not gelled or cured. Flashing allows for overprinting with another color onto the ink layer without it bleeding or blending with the new hue. For example, when printing a white un- derbase, flashing keeps the white as opaque as possible while other colors are deposit- ed on top of the white. The colors appear more opaque or brighter than if there were no white underbase. And, yes, overprint- ing the white underbase with another Kieth Stevens is the western regional sales manager for International Coatings. He has been screen printing and working in the screen printing industry for more than 35 years, and teaching screen printing for more than 19 years. Stevens is a regular contributor to International Coatings' blogs and teaches seminars nationwide. Flash-Curing Advancements How new technology influences today's options b y K i e t h S t e v e n S l Beginner

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