Stahls Laser Alignment System

We love a new product that makes heat pressing t-shirts faster, and easier!

Throwing out crooked, heat pressed t-shirts is a thing of the past. Let us introduce you to Stahls Laser Alignment System. It only takes a few minutes to assemble this 4 independently positional laser gadget that will help you accurately line up your artwork for all your heat pressing jobs. This system can be set up on any stable surface and you can position the 4 lasers separately, in a ton of different dimensions to ensure that your design is centered, even and accurate. This product works on any type of heat press or flat work space.

The basic use of this laser would be to have it used while you line up your t-shirt on the press. Once your t-shirt is lined up, place your heat transfer on the t-shirt using the lasers for correct placement and then heat press.

An alternative way to use this laser would be to setup a flat work space, and align the lasers as needed. Lay your shirt flat, with the help of the lasers place your heat transfer down and use heat resistant tape to secure the transfer. Repeat as needed on all the shirts you plan on making. Then just slide your shirt on to the press, heat press and you’re done.

The Laser Alignment Wizard comes with your purchase to further help you position and line up the lasers accurately based on your transfer size and shape. This wizard is a template that folds out and is placed directly onto your platen. Line up the lasers with the lines on the Alignment Wizard to help with all different types of transfers (center, left chest, right chest placement, etc.)

Stahls Laser Alignment System

Stahls STX 16×16 Heat Press with the Laser Alignment

Click here to order today and leave crooked heat transfers in the past.

How To Avoid Unwanted Marks While Screen Printing

Screen printingThere are many important steps that screen printers must go through while screen printing to ensure a perfect product.  Unfortunately, all screen printers occasionally get unwanted marks or ghost images on their textiles.

Here’s some mandatory steps that you might be forgetting that will mess up any job.

  • Screens must be replaced.  When Franmar D-Haze Remover  Gel is used it is so strong that it will actually weaken the mesh.  When your mesh is distorted, or in some way damaged then it is time to replace your screen and this will depend on how much you are printing.  Aluminum screens are also recommended over wooden screens since the aluminum screens will not warp.
  • Periodically replace your squeegees.  Your squeegee is one of the most important tools to successfully screen print.  Any deformities in the squeegee blade can relate back to an unwanted mark or uneven print.  Anyways have extra squeegees on hand in your shop in case something happens to the one you are using while printing.
  • Mesh tightness and consistency with screen printing.  When you push or pull your squeegee you want the mesh to slightly come into contact with your garment.  As you move the squeegee the tight mesh should spring back to it’s original tightness.  When setting up your screen you want the screen to be about an 1/8th of an inch away from the textile, and this is what screen printers call off contact printing.  If your mesh is too loose then you will have problems with the ink pooling and creating a ring/halo around your design.
  • Clean your  silk-screen.  At the end of your  silk-screening job your what to take your Mclogan Emulsion Remover Concentrate to remove the image.  Then take your Franmar D-Haze Remover to remove the ghost image.  Make sure before you begin your next screen printing job that you use the Mclogan Degreaser, or the Ulano #3 Screen Degreaser to ensure that your screen is ready for your emulsion.  Having a screen that is not properly cleaned or prepared will make it harder for your emulsion set the mesh.

If you’ve experienced any of the problems shown below while screen printing then hopefully this will help with your next job.  Make sure to stop by our website to purchase your Mclogan Emulsion Remover Concentrate and McLogan Degreaser.

off-contact-pooling

off-contact-pooling-result

Ulano Emulsions – MFG Spotlight

  Ulano EmulsionsThe process of silkscreen/screen printing uses a light sensitive coating to record an image. This chemical coating is called the emulsion.  The screen is completely coated with emulsion and then exposed to the light under a positive of the desired image (similar to photography).  Afterward, the emulsion washes away from the unexposed areas with water, so the ink will go through and the design becomes a print.  Within the silkscreen/screen printing process there are also different kinds of emulsion to use, depending on the kind of ink and equipment you are using.

1. Ulano 925 WR:  Ulano EmulsionsA lot of beginner start screen printing with water-based inks for their textiles so Ulano 925 WR is a perfect emulsion to start with.    Ulano 925 WR comes with a syrup diazo sensitizer for easy, fast mixing.  Beginners usually use the sun to expose their screens; Ulano 925 is the best for this since it has a longer time allowed in the sun (time depends on the UV index) during the exposing process.

~Diazo:  This type of emulsion is thick and durable. It is easy to see when the emulsion on the screen is exposed because the color changes.  A quart will cover between 20 to 25 screens, if they are the standard 18- by 24-inch size.  It can be messy however, and needs to be mixed with a sensitizer or activator before it becomes light sensitive.  This emulsion will keep for six to eight months before being mixed with activator, but after you mix it the shelf life is only three months maximum.

2.Ulano Emulsions  Ulano QTX is an emulsion that is ready-to-use since it does not require mixing like the Ulano 925 WR.  It is ultra-fast exposing SBQ photopolymer direct emulsion formulated for textile printing.  This high solid content allows for superior coating properties, better bridging of coarse mesh, and it dries fast.  QTX is used for plastisol inks, and short run water-base printing.  QTX will break down over time if you continually use water-based inks.  Do not use strong solvents during the printing or wash-up period.  QTX is presensitized, and must be handled in safe light conditions before exposure…no UV light.

~Photopolymer:  This is a professional quality emulsion that has much quicker and more stable exposure times.   Photopolymer can take the image in seconds and dries fast after being coated.  You can apply several coats quickly, creating a thick layer of emulsion that will work well if you are printing on a rougher textile, like sports clothes or denim. Pure photopolymer is often sold “pre-sensitized” so it does not need to be mixed.

3.Ulano Emulsions  Ulano QT-DISCHARGE is specially formulated to resist discharge inks and is compatible with water-based and plastisol inks too. You may wonder why people bother with buying the other two emulsions when this one can do it all, and the answer is that people find emulsions that work best for them…it’s just a preference.  Ulano QT-DISCHARGE  requires fewer coats than Ulano 925 WR, dries more quickly and exposes twice as fast.  QT-DISCHARGE has a high (41%) solids content, providing good stencil build per coat, excellent mesh bridging of coarse mesh, and fast drying. It utilizes a powder diazo (rather than 925WR’s syrup).

~Dual Cure:  This emulsion combines qualities of diazo and photopolymer together.  It has a fast exposure time and changes color when it’s finished exposing. Dual cure also gives the screen a heavy coating and holds the image well.  Dual Cure does need to be mixed with an activator chemical and has the same shelf life as the diazo. Inexperienced printers can also use it successfully, but the fast exposure time makes it a little more challenging for beginners.

If you have problems with the emulsions you use, here are a few pointers to help you:

  • Using lower-wattage light bulbs to expose screens can result in images that aren’t crisp or in the emulsion washing out where it’s not supposed to. Instead of spending a lot of time touching up the screen with screen filler, try using dual cure emulsion.
  • Although the Diazo is the most forgiving of the various types of emulsions, it is also the slowest to expose. Dual cure hardens (cures) faster and can especially make a difference for those using a weak source of light for exposure.
  • Use a reliable, industry-supplied light source…like a Ranar CBX Exposure Unit or a Ranar 24×26 Exposure Unit.
  • Certain emulsions must be mixed with a distilled/bottled water.  Using tap water which has certain bacterias can ruin your emulsion.
  • For emulsions that you mix allow them to sit for 15 mins before using.
  • Use a scoop-coater to apply the emulsion evenly on your mesh.

McLogan has a complete line of great Ulano Emulsions and chemicals for all your screen printing projects. Order online or come into one of our four locations.