September '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 S E P T E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 49 design, in turn making overlay colors easier to match. This strategy will also help stop dye migration and smooth the surface for subsequent colors. SCREEN DEPARTMENT Mesh count: When it comes to selecting mesh, an open mesh with thin thread will increase the ink volume while maintaining the smoother surface. There is less mass for the ink to stick to the threads, which allows maximum flow on to the substrate. A ba- sic setup will call for the underbase screen range of mesh to be 125–140 mesh and the subsequent screens to be 110–230 mesh. Tension: Screen tension plays a major role in quality and ease of print in produc- tion. The tighter the screen, the better the final print. Tight screens provide better peel, less off-contact, and less resistance to the ink flowing through the mesh. The goal is to have the screens maintain a minimum of 25N/cm2. Screens with low tension can remain on-contact after the print stroke is completed, creating an uneven deposit and often a rough surface when the screen lifts from the substrate. EOM: Emulsion over mesh is a measure- ment of the emulsion thickness compared to the mesh thickness. When the EOM is correct, it creates an excellent stencil which acts as a gasket for the ink to deposit onto the substrate. A heavy flood of ink will fill the gasket on the print side of the screen. Becasue of this, the ink is already through the mesh, allowing the squeegee to lay the

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