December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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T he screen-reclamation process for textile screen printers is a crucial practice to ensure a quality sten- cil and minimize potential issues with the screen and printing processes. In this article, we will look at the variables and best practices that need to be considered, and the best practices to apply in the screen- recycling process. CLEANING THE SCREEN The quality of your finished product is directly proportional to the quality of the screen. It's quality in, quality out. The screen is the one variable of the process where no shortcuts should be taken. When your re- cycled screen is to be coated, it needs to be properly tensioned, degreased, and debris-free. Essentially, a "new" screen should reenter your system. The initial step in the screen reclama- tion process is the proper cleaning of the screen. The objective of this process is to remove as much residual ink from the screen and frame as possible. This process is achieved through either the manual process of cleaning the screen with mineral spir- its or through an automated system. The newer automated systems can either clean the screen while leaving the stencil intact or completely reclaim the screen to be coated with a new stencil. Rick Davis is a 30 year veteran and consultant to the textile screen printing industry. He is a frequent contributor to industry trade publications, speaker and member of the Academy of Screen and Digital Printing Technologies. 60 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Best Practices for Screen Reclamation Cleaning screens to prevent ghost- ing, breakdown points, and other issues is a process that requires mul- tiple steps and due diligence. (Image courtesy Vastex) B Y R I C K D A V I S

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