June '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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52 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 8 A couple of years ago, we start- ed noticing a shift in what our clients wanted. Most of our clients were searching for soft, breathable, vibrant prints. If you haven't started getting requests for water-based inks, I'm sure it's coming. We run water-based ink on 95 percent of our jobs. The biggest thing we've come to figure out is that every job comes with its own headaches and challenges. This article will touch on standard water-based and high-solid acrylic (HSA) inks, as discharge ink is its own encyclopedia of horrors. COMMON ISSUES ON-PRESS If you've been printing plastisol for a long time, there is a high chance that your current stencil is not water-based ink resistant. Water-based inks will destroy an improperly exposed screen, especially with emulsion that is not water resistant. Proper exposure and even proper post curing is the first step to making sure you can print water-based ink successfully. As much as our shop hates tape, it is an ally in the war on water-based printing. Water- based ink loves to find any nook, cranny, crevice, and hole, and run full force into and out of them. We find taping the inside of the screen where our squeegee and flood bar run, as well as where they chop, helps alleviate any premature wearing of emul- sion during the print run. There is nothing quite like having to fix a pinhole on 500 B Y E R I C S O L O M O N Eric Solomon is the co-owner of Night Owls, in Houston, Texas. He enjoys talking shop and talk- ing trash, as well as loud guitars. Water-based inks are becom- ing more and more popular among customers, so know- ing how to best work with them is an important issue for all screen printers. (All images courtesy Night Owls) Water World Tips for Printing with Water-Based Inks

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