Wicked Tip – Comparing Curing Technologies

Top Tip to Save Money

Low volume production can double up two process on one piece of equipment. A flash dryer or a hand curer can be used for drying between colours AND curing.

It can be difficult deciding what equipment to buy for flash drying and curing your prints. We know that your budget can also dictate what type of curing equipment you have. So to help you decide, we put together a quick guide to what works and what doesn’t when flash drying and curing your prints.

Starting at the top is the lowest cost option right through to the higher end of heat presses and tunnel dryers. Although the entry level range for these machines can be extremely cost effective.

Curing Technologies

Mesh Count – Which one?

Which Mesh Count Should I Use?

We get lots of questions about mesh count, below are just two from our FAQ’s and on our free Buyers Guide we go into more detail.

Getting the right mesh count is like getting the right squeegee and the right ink for the job in hand. These are ALL really important and make the difference to your finished product. Remember what you are trying to do is push the ink through the mesh on to the substrate. So the wrong mesh will result in too much or too little ink getting through. Not good. A very detailed design on a coarse mesh won’t work either. Check out our range of screens and mesh.

If you ever want advice on which one to buy please contact us. we will be more than happy to talk you through it.

Guide to Mesh Count

 

Count Type Ideal Uses
10t coarse glitter
15t coarse glitter
21t coarse glitter
32t textile maximum opacity on dark fabrics
43t textile bolder graphics
55t textile finer detail
61t textile finer detail
77t textile finer fabrics, halftone graphics
80t textile finer fabrics, halftone graphics
90t textile extremely light material, general graphics
110t textile extremely light material, general graphics
120t paper general process
140t paper general process
160t paper photographic detail

What is the difference between the mesh counts different meshes on the screens?

A lower number means a coarser mesh count, a higher number means a finer mesh count. You will need to select the correct mesh count for the artwork you have produced. 43T is used most commonly for general textile printing. Please note that we use the European system therefore mesh counts is threads per cm, sometimes you may see the American system being used which is threads per inch.Read our online buyers guide – page 15 for a breakdown of each count and their ideal use.

What is the difference between Yellow and White mesh?

Generally speaking there is very little difference in the performance of the mesh unless you are using 90T upwards. Yellow mesh absorbs more light and stops light scattering, this helps expose those very fine lines and intricate details. We use Italian mesh yellow and white, they are great for fine halftones with high resolution and has the greatest possible exposure latitude with unsurpassed protection against light-undercutting.

via Wicked Printing Stuff, your home for screen printing equipment and supplies – FAQs.

 Which Mesh Count?

Once you have selected your screen you will need to select a mesh count. The mesh count will depend what substrate you are printing onto, what ink you are printing with and how detailed your artwork is. The mesh counts range from 15t which would be used for glitter printing, or highly absorbent surfaces, to a 200t which would be used for extremely fine and intricate lines, hand drawing and photographic work. The most popular textile mesh count for either Waterbased or Ink is between 32t and 65t, and a mesh 77t / 90t upwards would be advised for paper and card printing with a water based ink. FROM OUR FREE BUYERS GUIDE

Aluminium Screens

ScreensV2_2

There are two basic screens, they can both be used as silk screens with any mesh, the difference is the frame, one is wooden the other is made out of aluminium. Aluminium are more durable, If you are doing a lot of printing then you want a screen that will not warp, cheap screen lead to poor quality printing. I suggest buying aluminium screens as they last longer. Wooden screens tend to warp due to wear and tear + reclaiming. Aluminium screens are a bit more expensive though.

Wicked Printing Stuff sell many products to clean and extend the life of your screens, including a restretching service.

 

 

 

Organic Products and the Soil Association

Thinking Organic ..

Over the last 20 years or so we have heard much about Organic farming, when going to the supermarket we are now presented with many organic options for fruit & vegetables, dairy, meat and other products.

Our industry too has been starting to change with ink products, chemicals and textiles which are Organic. Organic textiles are based on materials grown on organic farms, and manufactured without harmful chemicals. This is better for local wildlife, animals and people. Clients are increasingly demanding quality products that meet these standards.

You may have noticed certifications such as Soil Association Certification and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) symbols appearing on certain ink products and chemicals. The symbols mean that products have been through a stringent certification process to ensure that the products are made using Organic methods and techniques.

Soil Association

Who are the Soil Association?

The Association was founded in 1946 by a group of farmers, scientists and nutritionists with the overall objective of campaigning for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use. The Association is a UK charity it is not a government body but has gained a worldwide reputation for driving and campaigning for Organic standards. The Soil Association played a leading role in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and since 2006 have been certifying businesses to the GOTS standard.   (source – Soil Association website)

Why choose products which are Soil Association approved?

So you are confident that the inks / chemicals have been manufactured and processed to a strict criteria. Organic products are not just more socially responsible, generally better for all us but provide unique commercial opportunities.

Can I put the Soil Association Organic logo on my products if I have used Soil Association approved inks?

T Shirts bought from a garment distributor and printed with Soil Association approved ink does not make the T Shirt approved. To gain and competitive edge and appeal to this growing client market you need to become certified in order to use the symbols. The certification covers not just the inks and chemicals used, but also the environmental management the way waste water is treated as well as other factors. Both the Soil Association and the GOTS symbols are registered trademarks which can only be used by certified companies with approved products.

 

The purpose of this article is to give a simple summary it’s a big area and we will be writing more articles on the topic, for more information we highly recommend that you check out the Soil Association website and consider the certification process for your products or business.

http://www.sacert.org/LinkClick.aspx

http://www.soilassociation.org/

We sell a number of products which are certified from manufacturers such as FujiFilm Sericol and Magna Colours.

Sericol Texiscreen Aqua AJ Waterbased Screen Printing Inks

Sericol TexCharge TC Discharge Waterbased Inks

Magna Colours MagnaPrint Discharge ULF Inks

Permaset Permatone Inks are certified by the Soil Association – The Supercover range is NOT certified.

After I wash my shirts a few times, the ink starts to come off.

After I wash my shirts a few times, the ink starts to come off.

Wicked_poster_step6This means that you have not cured your garment correctly. Plastisol inks need to be heated to a pre-determined temperature for a certain duration of time, usually somewhere between 45-60 seconds. This would be to either to flash dry or to use a conveyor dryer. Different inks, or special garments may need their timing fine tuned. The temperature and times will vary some job to job, so always do a wash test. A great way to test to see if the ink is cured or not is to pull on the t-shirt. If the ink sticks together like plastic or rubber, then it is cured. However if it cracks and you can see the t-shirt under it, you need to increase your curing time. via Wicked Printing Stuff, your home for screen printing equipment and supplies – FAQs.

Wicked Printing Stuff, Product Safety Sheets

When using products PLEASE check the safety sheets, here is the link.

Wicked Printing Stuff, your home for screen printing equipment and supplies – Links.

Here you will find a link to all of our product data safety sheets for our inks and solvents that we supply. Please make time to read this and familiarise yourself with the information contained within these documents before you use the products.

Barrier Clear –  Product Data Safety Sheet

Capillary Film – Product Data Safety Sheet

Catalysed Hardeners – Product Data Safety Sheet

Catalysed Inks – Product Data Safety Sheet

Cotton White – Product Data Safety Sheet

Curable Reducer – Product Data Safety Sheet

Mixe Mixopake Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Pade Maxopake Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Diamond White – Product Data Safety Sheet

Gloss Vinyl Inks – Product Data Safety Sheet

Gloss Vinyl Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

Gold Shimmer – Product Data Safety Sheet

Haze Paste Remover – Product Data Safety Sheet

Hi Tak Spray – Product Data Safety Sheet

Matt Vinyl Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Matt Vinyl Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

Mercury Gloss Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylobond additive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylonbag  Polycure catalyst – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylonbag Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylonbag Thinners – Product Data Safety Sheet

Process Colours – Product Data Safety Sheet

Puff Additive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Catalysed Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

R55 Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

R56 Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

Roll On Platen Adhesive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Satin Jet Inks – Product Data Safety Sheet

Screen Filler Blue – Product Data Safety Sheet

Screen Filler Red – Product Data Safety Sheet

Screen Wash High Strength – Product Data Safety Sheet

Silver Glitter – Product Data Safety Sheet

Spot Cleaner- Product Data Safety Sheet

Stencil Strip – Product Data Safety Sheet

Suede Additive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Ulano Dual Cure Emulsion – Product Data Safety Sheet

Ulano Water Resistant Emulsion- Product Data Safety Sheet

Waterbased Ink Catalyst – Product Data Safety Sheet

Waterbased Ink Retarder – Product Data Safety Sheet

Waterbased Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

New Year New Hobby

Why not try screen printing and create your own unique presents and stationary!

We have kits that are easy to use, even for kids. They contain everything you need.

Paper screen printing for personal stationary

The Foundation Paper Club Kit is perfect for students and hobbyists. Designed to provide you with the basic screen printing products and consumables for paper printing at a fantastic price. The ink provided in the kit is a PermaPrint waterbased ink, a premium ink ideal for printing onto paper.

https://www.wickedprintingstuff.com/screen_printing_kits_and_packages/club_range/foundation_paper_club_kit_P1565.html

Fabric screen printing for unique and personal gifts

The Foundation Fabric Club Kit is perfect for students and hobbyists. Designed to provide you with the basic screen printing products and consumables at a fantastic price. The ink provided in the kit is a Permaset waterbased ink, a premium ink ideal for printing onto fabric.

https://www.wickedprintingstuff.com/screen_printing_kits_and_packages/club_range/foundation_fabric_club_kit_P1564.html

Wicked Printing Stuff PVC Free Flex

Vinyl cutting mediaV1

https://www.wickedprintingstuff.com/ink_and_additives__plastisol_ink/rutland_eko_pvc_and_phthalate_free_ink_range_C397.html

Do you need a PVC free screen printing ink?

EKO Oil Base Acrylic.  PVC Free Ink Mixing System

EKO mixing inks are plastisol-like PVC-free ink matching system belonging to the EKO series from Rutland. It is a combination of 14 RFU mixing primaries plus and extender base that when mixed together simulates PANTONE® colours quickly and accurately.

Features

  • Excellent adhesion
  • Intense colours.
  • Low crocking colours
  • Will not dry in screens.
  • Very good supple print with ability to stretch and regain its original shape.
  • Passes major brand durability testing including 5 x 60 wash test.
  • Passes all requirements for major brand RSL and US government regulations.
  • No PVC, no lead, no phthalates, no formaldehyde, no APEO’s
  • Easy to mix and print.

Please see our promo video showing us printing a two colour print using the EKO inks.

To maintain the EKO inks credentials do not mix with inks from other ranges and only use EKO additives and modifiers.  Use Biodegradable screenwash with this range.