Why Does the Plastisol Ink Crack on My Washed Garment?

“Plastisol ink is cracking when I wash my garments. Why?”

More than likely the plastisol has not been properly cured. Remember duration in the dryer is our friend. Many times printers maybe in a hurry, slow down. Most plastisol will cure when they reach a temperature of 320-330 degrees and sustain that temperature for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Some whites that have a fast cure designation will cure from 275-300 degrees and this will have to be sustained at 45 seconds to 1 minute. Make sure you check the technical data sheets for each ink line.

There are two tools out there that will help you make sure that the plastisol is curing at the right temperature.

  1. The most common would be the temperature strips. Thermolabels # 5 are the most common sold with a temperature threshold of 290-330 degrees. Each package comes with 16 strips and each strip can only be used once.
  2.  A little bit more expensive option would be a IR gun. When pointed at the print coming out of the dryer the IR gun will read the temperature of the garment on the LED screen.

 

If you have a question about your inks, or the printing process call us at 818-718-0888.

 

 

 

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Benefits of Screen Printing With International Coatings 7600 Series

International Coatings 7600 Series Inks are great for high speed automatic printing, or for manual screen printing where high mesh counts are needed.  The inks are ready to use, with a creamy texture, and low tack to ensure an easy screen printing process.  Many screen printers prefer to use these inks when dealing with halftone printing, high-definition and high-resolution jobs.

We recommend using light color 100% cotton or cotton/poly blends garments.  However, some printers will use the 7600 series as an underbase for printing on darker fabrics.  These inks are low bleed, so it is best to do a test print to ensure that there isn’t any dye migration.

The fact that you can screen print with these inks at 110 screen mesh, all the way up to 305 mesh count (without any additives) makes these inks so versatile.  Plus, it’s available in 22 different colors!

If you would like a free sample email medwards@mclogan.com.

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Article 1: Screen Printing Plastisol Additives

In this article we will discuss why these are the 4 most popular screen printing plastisol additives in most screen printing shops.  These additives can be mixed into existing pigmented plastisol inks to yield different effects without changing the color of the plastisol inks.  Most of these additives will cure in the same way that the plastisol ink cures; giving you a different garment effect, without changing your screen printing job.

International Coatings 220 Puff Additive will created a lifted “puffed” up effect for your screen print.  This transparent additive allows for the pigment of your ink to show through while getting the desired effect.  220 Puff Additive is a more cost effective option as opposed to buying puff inks in different pigments.

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Adjusting your mesh count or curing with a higher temperature can also change the look of this additive. Allowing for screen printers to get creative with their designs.

International Coatings 222 Dulling/Suede Additive a small amount of this additive (around 2% by weight of the plastisol ink) will create a matte finish to your screen printed ink.  When you add more of this additive (around 10-15% by weight) then you will get a suede/velvet/soft leather feel to your ink.  Mesh count and curing time will be the same with this additive for your screen print job.


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1199 Stretch Ink Additive is another great product from International Coatings.  Add this into any regular plastisol ink to allow for some elasticity and elongation.  This is a very popular additive for the large athletic garment market.  Lycra and Spandex are a few of the fabrics that work well with this additive.  Click on the link here to read more about screen printing on athletic wear.

International Coatings 3804 Low-Cure Additive will reduce the overall curing time of the screen printed garment.  This additive is perfect for screen printers printing on heat sensitive materials that require a lower curing temperature, such as athletic fabrics and synthetic fabrics.  For an example of this click here to read about “How To Screen Print Recyclable Poly Bags”.

Most of these additives can be found here.

Try using these screen printing additives to keep your creative juices flowing.

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How To Screen Print Recyclable Poly Bags

Recyclable Poly Bags are popping up all over the place.  Whether you are shopping at the mall, grocery store or in need of a beach bag; these are the perfect bags to advertise  your logo or business with.  These bags are sheets or web structures bonded together by entangling fibers that are non-woven in light weight recyclable bags shapes.  These flat, light, porous sheets are usually made from melted plastic or a plastic film.  Non-woven polypropylene is a practical choice for these bags, because they are durable, strong and light weight.

Screen printing these bags can be a challenge since the material can not withstand the 325 degrees Fahrenheit needed to cure most plastisol inks.  We recommend using International Coatings 3804 LF low cure additive.  By using this screen printing ink additive the ink will be cured without melting or ruining your material.

Always do a few test prints until you get your overall desired finish, but we are here to help with any of your jobs.  Call us today!th

Screen Printing on Athletic Wear

With the fitness industry growing at a rapid rate most screen printers are now familiar with how to screen print on athletic wear.  Athletic wear is engineered to keep the athlete dry, comfortable and cool.  This is’t the best combination for screen printers since these garments can be difficult to print on.  First, figure out what material your garment is made of.  There are many different synthetic materials used in athletic jerseys, sports apparel and in breathable clothing.  Figure out whether the garment you will be printing on is heat sensitive.  Your garment will need to withstand the curing temperature of about 275 degrees Fahrenheit.  If your garment shrinks, melts or is damaged at this temperature or even a lower temperature then screen printing on that material will not be an option.

Next determine the blend or fibers used in your garment and this will help you decide on which ink to use.  Polyesters and polyester blends require a low bleed ink.  Most of these athletic garments contain stretchable fabric like spandex or elasticine, which again isn’t always easy to work with.

We recommend printing with International Coatings 7100 Performance Pro Series.  The 7100 Series can be printed on 100% 
Polyester, Poly-blends, moisture management, and stretch fabrics.  It’s also ultra low bleed, non-phthalate, stretchable and low curing ink.

INK APPLICATION

  • 7100 Series should be used straight from the container without any modifications.
  • Stir well before use.
  • If thinning is required use 1% – 5% by weight 1099 LB Curable Reducer. Using reducers or additives may lower the bleed resistance, opacity and/or stretch.

SCREEN MESH AND EMULSION

  • Use 60-305 t/in or 24-120 t/cm monofilament.
  • Any direct or indirect emulsion or capillary film in the 35 to 70 micron range, for best results. Lower mesh counts recommended.

 

Call us today and we can help you with your next 7100 Series order.

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How Weather Effects Screen Printing Ink

Mixing screen printing inkScreen printers who have their own shops have probably learned the hard way when dealing with screen printing ink and the climate in which they live. Properly storing your inks for winter and summer, based upon your location is crucial to prolonging the life of your inks.

In winter, water-based inks and emulsions can freeze since they have a high water content.  It’s best to keep these inks above ground, and in insulated rooms.  The screen printing ink shouldn’t get too cold since that will change up the viscosity, which will then make it much harder to print.

We  suggest ordering a 3 month supply of all of your screen printing ink before winter.  If that isn’t an option for you then the best time to order a product, when you have to worry about weather, is on a Monday since the product will constantly be transit.

In the summer, store all screen printing ink in a cool area away from direct sunlight. Any excessive heat, about 180 to 240 degrees, can start the gelling process and make your silk screening inks thick and hard to print. Always get in the habit of mixing the inks before printing to help break down any false body that has occurred due to heat.

When dealing with heat there is usually humidity too.  100% cotton textiles will hold more moisture; more so then 50/50 blends of nylon.  It’s advised to dry 100% cotton textiles at a higher temperature.  You will want your screen printing garment to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit before the curing process can start.  When drying your garments they will release moisture, so it is best to load up your dryer with test prints to test what cure temperature you should be using depending on the conditions of the day that you are printing.

Some people have problems with under curing in the summer due to them blasting the air conditioning, or due to the placement of their conveyor dryer.  You want your conveyer dryer to not be in direct contact with drafts from windows, vents, fans, etc.  These factors can cool down your dryer leaving you with a cooler dryer temperature then needed to ensure a solid cure.

If you have a question about your inks, or the printing process call us at 818-718-0888.

 

 

 

High Density Ink and Screen Printing

blogran-silverHigh Density Inks are Specialty Plastisol Inks and they are used on many different types of screen printing jobs.  These inks produce dramatic 3-dimensional, heavy-deposit prints.  High Density Inks have a reduced tack and increased flow characteristics, these high-viscosity plastisol inks will print through thick stencils.  Their unique flash time will speed up production and dwell time in the dryer.

Extremely sharp edges can be produced for maximum effect.  This type of screen printing ink can be printed on 100% cotton, or cotton- poly blends.  Test prints are always recommended.  Available as 142 HD Base, 143 HD White and 144 HD Black.

Below we will explain how to print this specialty ink and the steps you will want to take.

Materials

  1. International Coatings High-Density White, Black or you can add the color concentrates to the 142 HD Base to make any pantone color you want.
  2. Chromaline Thick High Density Film — The microns will depend upon the look you want.  Different microns will determine a flatter 3D look or a higher 3D print.
  3. 40-83 Mesh Screen a new screen would be preferred since you want the screen tension to be high, to yield a clean screen print.
  4. Test print pellon
  5.  A roll of R-tape 2000 Black Out Tape
  6. Squeegee 70 durometer
  7. Mclogan Waterproof Film

Screen Printing the High Density Ink

1.  Use the R-Tape 2000 to tape the Mclogan Waterproof Film to the registration board just as you would for any other screen setup. Lay the blank, clean, degreased silk screen over the film and mark the crosshairs. Doing this first ensures you will adhere the Chormaline Thick High Density Film in the correct position on the screen so that when you are ready to expose, there will be no question of where to tape the film.

2.  Remove a sheet of Thick High Density Film.  This film should be opened in a dark room, so you don’t expose it.   Be sure to handle it in a dark room so it’s not exposed to light, which can ruin it.

3.  Lay your test pellon down.  Pre-cut your Chromaline Thick High Density Film and then remove the protective cover sheet.  Apply tape to the duller side of the film and that will easily remove the protective cover sheet.

4.  Block out the rest of your screen with the R-Tape 2000.  Pour a thin layer of emulsion.  Using your 70 durometer squeegee coat the screen up to 3 times.

5.  Peel off the tape and place the screen on a rack, squeegee side down, to dry in a Ranar Screen Drying Cabinet.  You will know when the screen is dry when the carrier comes off easily.  If there’s noise or an extra sort of toughness when pulling off the carrier then additional drying time would be best.  1.5-2 hrs should be sufficient drying time.

6.  Place the emulsion side of the photopositive in contact with the print side of the screen.  For screen exposure times please check manufactures specifications.  The higher the microns the longer you will have to expose your screen.

7.  Wet both sides of the screen.  Pressure wash your printed side of screen until the image is fully open.  This can take up to 6-8 minutes when using thicker films.  Most wash times are 2-4 minutes though.

8.  After taping your screen make sure to adjust your off-contact on your screen printing press.  Usually when printing high density prints you can actually double your off-contact so that you don’t smash the ink.  The thicker ink will need more room than a standard screen printing ink.

9.  Make sure your flood your high density ink, just like you would a standard ink screen print.  You want to provide enough ink to fill your stencil.

Using different types of inks, along with different techniques will add to your screen printing “bag of tricks”.  As always please email or call one of our 4 locations to speak with a Mclogan representative with any questions.

Gen IV Eco Screen Printing Ink

International Coatings GEN IV Screen Printing InkInternational Coatings Gen IV is the eco-friendly screen printing ink that you will want to try.  These inks are PVC-free, Phthalate-free, eco-friendly.  Unlike other eco-friendly inks, GEN IV inks are creamy and full-bodied and offer the coverage, opacity and performance of plastisols.

In addition to being PVC-free and Phthalate-free, GEN IV does not contain any heavy metals or other harmful materials.  GEN IV has been tested by independent labs and certified as meeting Oeko-Tex standards.  GEN IV was developed to provide optimal performance on both manual and automatic printers.  Our screen printing shoppers are loving the soft hand and coverage that even works on darker garments.

GEN IV inks do not dry on the screen and cleanup is simple – all that’s needed is water.  No harsh solvents or chemicals are necessary!

GEN IV’s initial product line consists of 19 primary colors and several specialty inks.  The colors can be used as stock printing colors or as color primaries in the GEN IV color matching system.  The initial line of GEN IV specialty inks include a Clear Base, Puff Additive, Foil/Transfer Adhesive, and a Glitter Base.

Here are actual scans of the color palette being offered (excluding white):

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The buzz word is “Green”.  Every screen printer wants to be Green, but very few want to use Green inks because that usually requires water base.  The reason most printers don’t want to use water based inks is because unlike plastisol, they can dry quickly in the screen.

Welcome to Gen IV.  It’s not a true water based ink, but does require a water resistant stencil and needs to be washed up with water.  The difference is, GEN IV is Green, does not dry quickly in the screen and is very opaque.  I worked with it and it has most of the positive aspects of plastisol, from stretching to the opacity.  The big difference is it can be ironed 24 hours after it has gone through the dryer, it’s Green and if it dries in the screen, a few hard print strokes and the screen is open again.

To purchase Gen IV inks click here.  If you would like to try a sample then call us here and we will have a McLogan representative send a sample your way.  We look forward to working with you and we are excited to be selling products that help to keep the environment safe.

Choosing the Right Screen Printing Mesh for Plastisol Ink

Plastisol inks and screen printing mesh from McLoganThe right mesh count will make a huge difference in all of your silk-screen jobs.  Here’s a list of the different mesh counts and the plastisol ink(s) that would work per screen printing job:

Mesh Count: 25, 40 – Usage: Glitter Inks.  Screen printers usually use 159 Ultraclear Glitter Base mixed with our Glitter Polyester Jewels to create a sparkly finish.  Or you can purchase a premixed glitter ink from International Coatings or Triangle Ink.

Mesh Count: 60, 86 – Usage: Specialty inks, such as 220 LF Additive (puff), Gold/Silver Shimmer Inks 92 LF

Mesh Count: 110, 155 – Usage:  This mesh will allow you to place more ink onto your textile.  Some examples would be athletic numbers, printing white on black fabric, low-detail art or heavy white ink images.  International Coatings 7100 Series Inks

Mesh Count: 160, 180, 200 – Usage:  These mesh counts are great for screen printers printing on black garments.  You want to first print an under-base white like the 7031 LF Ultra White to create a design that stands out on a black garment.   This mesh count also works for designs that are only minimally detailed.

Mesh Count: 230, 280, 305 – Usage:  Any type of plastisol ink can be used on these mesh counts.  Typically these mesh counts are used for low ink deposit for small logos, intricate designs, etc.

Screen Printing MeshThe most common mesh count for the average screen printer is a 110 for darker fabrics and a 160 for all other printing.  Before buying your screens check the tech sheets to determine the right mesh count for the series of plastisol ink you are using.

As always contact a Mclogan representative at one of our four locations to help answer your questions.

How to Use Screen Printing Foil and Discharge

51830567Screen Printing Foil can be seen on a lot of t-shirts today and combining foil with discharge gives you a soft, eye catching look.  Foil will stick to all plastisols, so if you want to combine the foil with discharge or water-based inks then you must add plastisol foil adhesive for desired foil areas.

Foil is an exciting product that adheres to various types of fabrics by using a heat press. Foil transfers can be a valuable asset for any screen printer wanting to create an eye-catching graphic effect. It also makes an interesting alternative for applications that have reflective inks. Foil is a great way to accent any garment. It is simply done by applying foil over plastisol transfers or screen printable adhesives and then using a heat press.

First, print your water-based/discharged design.  Once the design is fully cured, then you can print your plastisol foil adhesive on the areas where you would like the foil to stick.

FOIL APPLICATION

  • Foil is applied colored side up and aluminum looking (dull) side down. Heat Press at 300°F to 325°F. Allow transfer to cool completely (20 to 30 seconds) after application before removal of foil sheet. Pull foil sheet off slowly.
  • It can be helpful to tint the International Coatings 3801LF Foil Adhesive, to the color of the foil being applied, with a small amount of conventional concentrated plastisol (7400 Series). This process will help to keep small pinholes in the applied foil film from being noticeable. As example: Use a few grams of yellow or gold plastisol in the 3801LF Adhesive when using gold foil. Use a few grams of black or gray plastisol in the 3801LF Adhesive when using silver foil.

APPLICATION TEMPERATURE

  • 300°F to 325°F (149°C to 163°C). Try lower temperature first for best results.

APPLICATION TIME

  • 10-15 Seconds, this time depends on the color of the foil.  Certain colors require a longer time.

APPLICATION PRESSURE WITH A HEAT PRESS

  • T-Shirts = Medium (40lbs.) Sweatshirts = Medium to Heavy (40lbs. to 60lbs)
  • The brightest foil effect will result when the foil is first removed. To achieve a textured matte finish foil, re-seal the garment or hat in the heat transfer press for 3-4 seconds after the foil carrier film has been removed.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • For best durability of the foil after it is applied, it is recommended that the garment be hand washed or machine washed (delicate cycle) inside out and line or air dried. Do not use bleach. Do not iron printed area.

 To watch a video on this please click the link: http://youtu.be/pr0amAzH3ss

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