Printwear

November '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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The Flash The Flash Understanding Flash Cure Basics for Your Printing B Y T A Y L O R L A N D E S M A N 52 || P R I N T W E A R N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 8 U nderstanding when to flash cure is important to any screen printer. Doing it correctly can mean a great looking screen print. However, the "best" or "proper" way to flash cure continuously splits opinions. For example, when to flash, what to flash, and the best type of flash-cure units are issues always open to friendly de- bate among printers. One of the best things about screen printing is the variety of meth- ods, procedures, and variations printers can employ to get a job done. You can watch two screen printers accomplish the same job by completely different means. Screen printing is both an art and science. SETTING IT UP Certain "rules" for printing exist, but there is often room for interpretation to fit a particular job. Even within the same shop, deviation from the typical process may occur. This change may be planned if a screen-printing shop comes up with a better method, or it could be forced upon them when needing a temporary fix to get out a customer's job in time. This article explores some of the possible approaches to flash curing. When setting up each screen-printing job in which you will use a flash unit, make sure to consider different flash methods. Think of flashing as another variable in the screen- printing process. Just as you do not always use the same mesh count in every screen or the same durometer squeegee for every job, you may want to adjust the flash method. Analyze the purpose for using a flash-cure unit for each job. Taking this extra time will help to produce better quality prints. No matter when you flash cure, a baseline prin- ciple for flashing is only supposed to cure to touch. You do not want to fully cure the print. If your ink fully cures, no other plas- tisol ink will adhere to it. Probably the most popular time for flashing is when printing on a dark gar- ment. To get colors to really pop on a dark colored shirt, you have two choices, either: 1) print, flash, print, or 2) print a white underbase, flash, and then print the col- ors on top. Typically, the basic print, flash, print method is used for single-color jobs Taylor Landesman is the vice president at Lawson Screen & Digital Products Inc. Previously, he worked as an attorney for the State of Illinois, Department of In- surance, handling regulatory and litiga- tion matters. During law school, he was a Senior Editor on the Journal of Law & Policy at Washington University in the St. Louis School of Law.

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