In this feature we’ll be hearing from Aimee Hibberd, Director of the Newport based screen printers Sticky Ink Studios.
The T-shirt of the month competition sees screen printers from up and down the country, from Aberdeen to Penzance, sending in one of their printed designs for a chance to win some printing goodies – this is our spotlight on our chosen winner for July
What does it take to produce a successful and eye-catching print in 2019?
It’s not David Vs Goliath when it comes to design; that it so say productions of any size can produce top-notch prints if they are well-informed and well-equipped, a good design can come from anywhere, like Aimee’s call to production “The design came from a client of ours who is a professional wrestler, those shirts got taken the night we printed them and flown to Japan for a series of matches”
Defying expectations, it might be surprising to learn that Aimee utilizes a rototex 5/5 at Sticky Ink to print her orders – “It’s an old machine but it works great” – keeping it seriously old school; did you know we refurbish and resell equipment too?
We asked Aimee about her choice of consumables to be used in this batch of prints. Featuring large primary colour elements, you might not expect the colours to be too difficult to achieve, being so close to the primaries…
“We mixed by hand to make the colours in this design, we used Amex CMX Inks for the colour-matching”
“The registration was easy, but the hardest part was getting the colour matches as close to the Pantone references as we could, as we mix by eye and not with a mixing system”.
If you’re looking to produce precise Pantones every time, the new 7500 inks from International Coatings are exactly what you’re looking for. Designed for use with Ultramix, the guesswork and costly mistakes are taken right out of the equation.
With waves of artists and screen printers switching to a Pantone mixing system, the skill and the art lives on in Newport.
That’s all for this month’s feature; if you’d like to see your own work on our office walls (seriously, we have about a hundred t-shirts pinned up!) and have a little write-up, send us a tee – details below.
This may be because you have coated the screen too thickly with emulsion. Coat in thinner applications using even pressure and the sharper edge of the coater. By doing so it will allow you to coat a thinner and smoother layer of emulsion for a stronger stencil.
It is not recommended that you use a flash dryer to cure your prints, you might be able to get the ink hot enough.
By using a flash cure unit you could easily overheat the top of the ink yet under cure the rest. You will be at risk of also potentially burning the unprinted area of the garment due to no movement and direct intense heat. To ensure a proper cure we highly recommended you use a temperature gun to monitor ink temperature.
The answer is … when the entire ink reaches its specified cure temperature.
We understand that can be vague. On average, the curing temperature is around 160°C. However the temperature will be dependant on the type of ink you are using., you will need to check the technical data sheets for the specific ink. Specialised inks may have a different curing temperature, for example, a low-temperature ink will actually cure at around 130°C.
Time is also a key factor, depending on the ink. Waterbased ink will need to sit at that temperature for a longer period of time to evaporate the water.
Join us in attending FESPA – the Global Print Expo 2019 this May, 14th – 17th.
The exhibition is held in Munich, Germany.
FESPA 2019 is Europe’s largest international professional printing exhibition. Where over 700 exhibitors showcase their latest innovations and product launches in the digital and screen printing sectors for graphics, signage, décor, packaging, industrial and textile applications.
Dave and Nick will be in attendance, and you will be able to catch up with them on the M&R Stand, Hall A6 Stand D10.
Check out the full FESPA floorplan by following this link.
Recently, we’ve seen a lot of forum and Facebook posts about cleaning screens. The question on everyone’s lips is whether or not they should be using a dip tank for reclaiming screens. The answer is most definitely a yes.
This process involves dipping dirty screens into a tank of solution (a mix of Easiway Supra and Water). This solution then breaks down the ink and emulsion to a point where they soften.
Please be aware you don’t want to leave your screens in the dip tank for over 5 minutes as the emulsion and ink will completely fall off the screen. You may be thinking, “isn’t that the point?”. Unfortunately, not. The residue will collect in the bottom of the dip tank and turn into messy gunge that isn’t very nice to clean up, trust us. It also prevents your solution from working efficiently.
Once your emulsion and ink have softened from dipping the screen in the tank for 1-3 minutes, take the screen out and spray it with pressurised water to remove the residue. This will then completely remove the ink and emulsion left on the screen. At this point, there may be ghost images left on the screen and this is where you use Easiway 415n to remove those stains.
How many screens should I be able to clean an hour?
Implementing the correct process is important here. If you remove excess ink and tape from the screens, you should be reclaiming around 20 screens an hour. This is calculated with one dip tank and a single screen washout booth.
How long should dip tank solution last?
Realistically the solution in a dip tank will last about 6 months. However, we have seen dip tanks last a lot longer, but we suggest top-ups or a change of solution every 6 months to keep it running efficiently and effectively.