June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 J U N E P R I N T W E A R || 23 locations. Each non-printing image area would need to be accurately taped off while an alternate location was being printed. We would set up the print order through the layers we had after we placed the sepa- rated file into Illustrator for output. Print order on an image like this was critical. We generally set darker colors down first, followed by mid-tones, and then lighter colors. We would compensate for the ink build on the back of subsequent screens on any halftones before output. Understanding image loss and gain can only be accomplished by testing and experience. Prior to output, we worked over the original file and devel- oped the art into a good optimized working file. We always make a copy of the original before manipulation so we can go back to the original if for some reason we make an error in judgment. Output on the computer-to-screen (CTS) was at 55 lpi halftone frequency at 22.5 degrees. The inks and color matching were important so they would duplicate the original. Based on a color-proof output of the image, and color bars on good matte paper, we were able to match colors exactly. We printed the sleeve platens first, being careful to tape the left chest, and tried to make it as simple as possible to remove without a mess when the first location was finished. Using this same setup, we were able to print the left chest on the polos using the same sleeve platens. This allowed us to keep the buttons and seams off the printing surface, but careful laser alignment was necessary to keep the locations accurate and straight. We were also able to print the lower leg of the shorts and the right chest of the polos trying to get the most bang for the setup buck. We used small squeegees and flood bars on the 4" sleeve platens with minimal pressure set at about 20–25 PSI. All high-tension screens were set at 45 N/cm on retensionable frames to ensure next to perfect registration using the preregistration system. The stencil thickness was about 14 percent emulsion over mesh (EOM) using a good dual-cure emulsion coated two- by-two. This provided us a satisfactory ink deposit for opacity, yet kept the prints soft and smooth. The off-contact distance was the minimal 80/1,000th. Before production began, we heated our platens to about 120 degrees F and started with our flashes at full power for four seconds; as we heated up over a few rounds, we dropped flash time down to two seconds and power at 80 percent. Inside the chamber we kept ink temps in the 300–305 degrees F range. At the end of the belt, while catching, we stacked the garments in several piles to help cool down the fabric to minimize bleed. Once everything was dialed in, this image set up in about a half hour and, believe it or not, only one screen needed micro adjustment. The screens lined up nearly perfect every time using that registration system. There were just a few minor ink deposit ad- justments we made using squeegee angle and speeds, and we had a beautiful print that really captured the spirit of the Navajo. The setup was as follows: 1: Black; 205 tpi mesh; 65/90/65 squeegee 2: Bleed blocker gray; 102; 65/90/65 3: Flash 4: Smoothing; 128; roller squeegee 5: Blue 1; 205; 65/90/65 6: Flash 7: Black Detail; 228; 65/90/65 8: Flash 9: Red; 205; 65/90/65 10: Flash 11: Halftone blue; 228; 65/90/65 12: Highlight white; 228; 65/90/65 M-Link X is the NE T Generation of Direct-to-Garment Textile Printers M&R SALES AND SERVICE, INC. 800-736-6431 · 630-858-6101 For more information, go to MRPRINT.COM / XP Ink cost for this print: 84¢ Black shirt print time: less than 60 seconds Get a FREE custom shirt sample printed on M-Link at NBM INDY! Bring a USB flash drive with any raster-based PNG or PSD image file with transparent background to booth #1210 at NBM INDY and let us show you what the incomparable M-Link X can do. perience JOIN THE

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