Certain aspects of screen printing are challenging and require a lot of extra attention. This includes certain products, artwork and placements. These unique factors are detailed below.
Ribbed fabrics are challenging for screen printing. The ink used is called plastisol and sits on the top of the fabric. It will not absorb into the material’s fibers. The ink must be exposed to heat then placed into an exceptionally hot dryer to cure. If these steps are not followed the design can crack when worn due to the unevenness of the ribbed fabric. Ink particles can separate as the ribbed material stretches. This will expose any material not covered with ink. The best way to combat the stretch in the fabric is by mixing a stretch additive into the ink. This makes the plastic more elastic and helps prevent cracking.
Many customers want to provide their own garments for printing. These garments cannot be replaced due to a misprint. The garments offered by the printer are a much better choice. When an individual uses their own garment it must be inspected and certain fabrics and colors will be refused. Most companies require a waiver for protection in case of a mishap. There is always a risk when printing on an unknown fabric. Ink can run, fade, burn or change color. Most store bought garments were not meant to be embellished.
Seams and Zippers
Printing over zippers and seams is risky. The ink can bunch around the zipper and seams and the surface may be uneven. The process requires a custom jig to accommodate the zipper or seam. This process requires precision and skill and uniform results cannot be guaranteed. It is unrealistic to expect the print to be even when zippers and seams are involved.
When an individual creates their own design it must be evaluated. Sometimes the detail is so extensive it is impossible to achieve a good print. The process involves the number of colors, the appropriate screen mesh and the necessary pressure. Certain products will not achieve desirable results with a complex design. This includes hats, visors, open mesh jerseys, ribbed garments, bags and canvas.
Performance wear are garments made of 100 percent polyester or blends with a high percentage. The final appearance of the print is determined by a variety of factors. Polyester does not offer the same texture as cotton and this makes it harder to dye. The inks and temperature must be customized but this will not guarantee the results.
When the ink color of the garment migrates it can cause the plastic based ink to change color. If white ink is used to dye red performance wear the color may end up pink. Low bleed inks help but do not guarantee dye mitigation will be prevented.
The Fit of the Garment
Sometimes a garment simply has a defect. Garments are manufactured across the globe and measurements can be affected. The charts used to determine the size will fluctuate between the different countries.
Sometimes a little residue can be left behind from the printing process. This will disappear when washed inside out in cold water before wearing the garment.
For more information about screen printing or getting certain items screen printed, visit RiverCity Screenprinting & Embroidery in San Marcos or Austin, TX.