December '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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60 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 7 M y role in the industry is to concentrate on helping exist- ing shops and startups with the basics needed for the in- dustry. That said, I'm no longer shocked at how much of our industry's information is shrouded in misinformation and outright mythology. My aim in my classes and with my cli- ents in the field is to introduce time-effi- cient, profit-aiding procedures, and how to implement and improve them for each shop's targeted need. Cleaning and reclaim- ing screens is such an important part of the screen cycle that I focus a lot of time and ef- fort in studying the procedures, testing, and interviewing the chemists and technicians from companies that invent and provide us with our products. In this article, I will focus on several main problems I see in our industry regarding cleaning chemicals and the differences be- tween press cleaners to wash booth reclaim- ing, and add a bit of flow and efficiency tips. For brevity, I will focus on the cleaning of plastisol inks from screens as this is a com- mon reoccurring problem, and as just about all plastisol ink products share the same consistent issues. THE DIRECTIONAL ORDER Cleaning starts at the press, before the screen is even taken to the wash booth. And as this is both an important step and so universally needed, all the chemical manu- facturers devote a large amount of time de- veloping products aimed at this step in the cleaning process. The key here is what the product is com- posed of, what it does, and how it works, Screen Cleaning: The Complete, The Costly, And The Dirty Douglas Grigar is a screen-print- ing veteran since the T-shirt hey- day of the 1980s. He has worked as a freelance artist, graphics system administrator, and the pre-press production manager for a sports- wear company for over 10 years. Grigar was general manager of the production division for an upscale licensed-goods chain before he began consulting full time in 2001. He now provides technical-consulting services and training, seminars and workshops and may be contacted at B Y D O U G G R I G A R To start the "dry wipe" with plas- tisol, simply choose a small-sized, easy-to-grip absorbent rag and press firmly against the mesh to remove as much ink as possible. (All images courtesy the author)

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