September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 88 of 120

Common ink issues when printing performance wear 82 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5 T his is a precautionary tale about the risks and consequences as- sociated with printing perfor- mance wear. While performance wear is a hot item right now, and crucial for the success of any screen printer's business, it's also one of the least cost effective products to print due to specific problems associated with white performance ink. This is why so many gar- ment manufacturers outsource the printing of performance wear, but since we screen printers never fail to cowboy-up, it's import- ant to understand what we're up against. THE CHALLENGE If you look at the series of images on page 83, we see a soft, flexible wiper blade with a holder. Cell two contains a sticky, tacky white adhesive paste. Next is an empty bottle of wine, then a blue, knitted fabric which is mostly made of air-space, and finally, a toaster. Suppose I told you that I wanted you to use the wiper to push the paste several hundred times an hour and once you squeeze sufficient paste onto the knitted surface, I want you to heat the coated cloth without showing damaging discoloration or degradation. I would continue to tell you the white coating on the fabric must not penetrate into the knit but must withstand 50 industrial Performance Problem B Y J O E C L A R K E Joe Clarke has spent the past 45 years in the lab and engineering de- partment in prepress and on press as a research and development and technical researcher as well as a manager of screen print pro- duction. He has received a number of print-related patents and is a member of The Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies and a Specialty Graphic Imaging Association fellow. Clarke has presented hundreds of papers, written a couple books, and published more than 600 technical and management articles for which he has earned numerous industry awards. Currently, he is president of Clarke Product Renovation, a Chicago-based corporation that brings product and process technology to the screen printing industry. He contributes feature articles on textile screen printing exclusively to Printwear. Reach him at ■ Intermediate ◆ Advanced

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