Awards & Engraving

Start Here October '19

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66 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 1 9 Screen Printing or 36 inches wide. Be mindful, as some manufacturers make a belt that is wider than their heating elements. You should avoid these because they could lead to your print not being thoroughly dried. If your print passes through the dryer but not under the actual element, it may only get a surface cure. If your print is not totally cured, it will come out in the wash and leave you with an unhappy customer. Similar to a dryer, you will need a flash unit. This is used to spot cure or flash dry your shirt. Typically, this is used when doing a "print, flash, print" or using a white underbase and printing colors on top. Both methods make color more vibrant and really pop. A basic flash unit works here. The most popular one is 16" x 16" with a standard 120-volt plugin. Simple Supplies To get started, you will also need a variety of screen-printing supplies. It is easiest to get everything from the same place. Good manufacturers will often provide free supplies with their start-up screen printing packages. Besides this basic equipment, some extra equipment makes screen printing easy. Part of the screen-printing pro- cess involves water, both for developing and cleaning. A wash out booth where you put your screens to get rinsed and cleaned helps keep your shop clean. As you wash your screens, you will want a filtration device to stop byproducts from going down the drain. Another popular accessory is a drying cabinet. Your emulsion-coated screen needs to dry before it can be exposed. These pre-cure drying boxes have built- in heaters and fans that create convec- tion heat. Screens placed inside a dry box can be ready to expose in as little as 15 minutes. This is a great time saver, especially for screen-printing shops in high humidity locations where it can sometimes take all day for an emulsion- coated screen to dry. While screen racks often get lumped into the category of "extra" or ancillary equipment needs, they really are vital (Photo courtesy of Vastex) (Photo courtesy of Xpresscreen) (Photo courtesy of Vastex)

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