November '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 99 of 102

2 0 1 5 N O V E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 95 continued from page 18 DRYERS continued from page 79 but if you're doing 500 shirts a day, it gets you out of the small, compact dryer range. Suppliers will be able to give you the average output of specific sizes to help you choose. Dryers can be grouped into three sizes: small, midsize, and large. Small dryers have belt sizes ranging from about 20" to 30" and a typical footprint around 2.5' by 5'. In general, output will be about 150 shirts an hour. This would be an electric dryer as there are no gas dryers this small. Midsize dryers, with belts ranging between 30" and 40" in width, generally are about 3.5' wide and as long as 11'. Typically, they produce 150 to 400 shirts an hour. Large dryers can have belts as wide as 6' and run 12' or longer. Footprints generally start at 16' by 8' and go up with a minimum output of 500 pieces an hour. Do note, however, that a wider belt does not necessarily mean higher production as this is primarily dictated by the length of the heating chamber. That being said, a wider belt is often necessary if you are do- ing oversized garments or if you are doing a lot of smaller items such as caps, sleeves, pockets, etc. because you can fit more on the belt at one time. A wider belt is also a plus if you are using it to service multiple presses at the same time. Most manufacturers also offer the option to extend the length of a belt, which can aid in production efficiency. All gas heating chambers and some elec- tric models can be extended. No matter what dryer you buy, it's highly advisable to buy one with a greater capacity than your present needs. One of the most common re- grets buyers have is that they outgrow their dryer sooner than expected and need a larger size before they have paid off the original. Your dryer can become a major bottleneck to increasing your shop's capacity so consider buying one you can grow into. Even more, weigh the pros and cons of each element to determine your best bet and you'll be producing quality finished products at an efficient rate in no time. space and output? Do you need a dryer that can handle the loads from two dryers at the same time, or a small dryer that can fit in a narrow corridor? Space alone often can dictate the type of dryer you buy be- cause gas dryers are not available in small- er sizes like electric ovens are. The smallest gas dryer a manufacturer offers may be 15' long by 3' wide. Not only do gas dryers take up more space, but they typically are harder to move because a gas dryer involves plumbing to attach the gas line, which restricts movement. Conversely, electrics are often equipped with casters and can be rolled to any place in the shop. NUTS AND BOLTS Beyond determining whether to use gas or electric, there are countless other pieces that will play into your purchas- ing decisions. For instance, fans play an important role in moving air over the surface of the substrate, which aids in the curing process. The bigger the fan, the greater the air flow. You want the fan to blow out the humid air that has drawn moisture from the garment and pull in dry air. Not all dryers come with exhaust fans, and may have only an exhaust opening which allows hot air to automatically rise and escape. Usually it is possible to add a fan to the exhaust hood if you want to speed up the venting process. This may be the case if you are printing discharge inks that have an unpleasant odor or if you are doing high polyester content shirts which tend to release more chemi- cal vapors than cotton. Finally, end-use and quality require- ments factor into dryer needs. Is the ma- jority of your work basic T-shirts, or are you doing hospital socks that are worn only one time, making washability a non-issue? Or, maybe, your shop does a lot of nylon bags printed with quick-dry- ing ink, which requires only a small amount of heat, but a big belt. If you do 500 shirts a week, output may not be a big factor in your choice; appropriate strokes around each letter for proper spacing and layout. To really give the hot rod and the whole layout an old school vintage look, we used the filter and artistic menus to choose our favorite effect, and again flattened it. This was a rough stone texture to really bust up the imagery. We combined a couple different filters for a smudge and brushed feel as well. Then we distressed the whole thing by grabbing a favorite positive/nega- tive style texture and brought it into our file in our gray color range. The marching ants appeared, and we turned off the eyeball to the texture layer and hit delete to remove those textured areas for transparent imagery that would allow the shirt to show through when printed. We then added in our vector compo- nents, converted to a tiff, and separated us- ing a simulated process method. We print- ed only a soft white printer or under-base, a red, a neutral gray, and a highlight that we ultimately changed to a vintage cream. The final image printed in that order, flash- ing only the first white. Output would be simple at 45 lpi, with a 22.5 degree angle and elliptical shape. We wanted a soft hand and vintage feel on the final print so we would keep screens very simple. All the meshes would be 225/40—that's 225 threads per inch with a 40 micron thread diameter—stretched on retensionable frames, work hardened or stabilized, and retensioned to 25 to 28 N/cm. This thin thread mesh provid- ed adequate coverage but a very thin ink deposit. Again, for minimal ink deposit, we went with 65/90/65 on the white for good opacity and 75/90/75 triple ply dual durometer squeegees and standard wingtip flood bars. All squeegees and floods were set at our zero point, and all speeds at mid- fives. Pressures were minimal, and angles on squeegees were about 15 degrees. With the exception of the white printer, we printed wet-on-wet. The run was only 36 pieces and came off without incident. So, all things considered, that was where the favor was. In the end the car show was great, but then again we hav- en't attended one that wasn't. FROM SOFTWARE TO SUBSTRATE DRYERS continued from page 79

Articles in this issue

view archives of Printwear - November '15