March '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 5 M A RC H PRINTWEAR | 85 mind that screen mesh establishes maxi- mum potential for wet-film thickness and it must allow ink to transfer unrestricted. The mesh must also provide a place to hang the stencil and only assist to maintain an ac- curate image shape. It should then get out of the way. Screen printing mesh makes a ridiculous pump with a wide mouth at the top and bottom and is skinny in the middle—how inefficient. As a result, the pump must be fixed with stencils to limit the image shape area and volume, and the blade should be used to thin the ink. Then, make a proper seal for the mesh, stencil, and image. If this isn't enough, the rest of the ink properties with additives must be fixed. DEPOSIT VERSUS VOLUME The weavers give us many nominal spec- ifications: mesh count, thread diameter, mesh opening, percentage open area, theoretical ink volume, and fabric mass— just to name a few. Given this, it's easy to computer model comparative volume, fill rate, fluid flow, pressure drop, durability, filtration, blade edge, wet-film thickness, and critical pigment volume. This is fast- er for the consultant and cheaper for the customer, but there's a simpler, more prag- matic way to succeed on press. One day, we were on press and metered too much ink. The print edges blurred, the gloss was too high, the drape was poor, the color was mottled, and the boss said the ink bill was too high. Voila—we got a higher mesh count. And then it ripped on press, so we went to the spec page, found the same count with a lower TIV, kept the count, and got a thicker thread. This is a low-volume mesh, one that makes a bet- ter filter than a printing screen. As a result, we screen printing veterans fight with pin- holes, roughness, multiple passes, low out- put, high rejection, and poor matte down and penetration every day. If this sounds familiar, go back to the spec sheet. Look at the fabric thickness and thread diameter for your filtration mesh and note the two specifications. Find a lower count with the same or similar fab- ric thickness and thread diameter and get a sample. The way this works is simple; the Screen mesh establishes maximum potential for wet-film thickness and allows for unrestricted ink transfer. (Image courtesy the author) TO ADVERTISE CONTACT DIANE GILBERT AT 800-669-0424, EXT. 297 DGILBERT@NBM.COM DISPLAY ADVERTISING The Marketplace Presenting RhinoDark Heat Transfer Paper with RT SunAngel Printers GO BOLD! 888.717.44 66 • 888.717.44 66 • Print Intense White, Bright CMYK & Fluorescent colors onto DARK apparel. Add Rhinestones and Foil.

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