Printwear

May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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1 4 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 1 4 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 The Flamingo Has Landed SCREEN PRINTING From Software to Substrate Lo n Wi n t e r s L ike any industry, we have seen changes in everything from work- flow and technical advancements for better efficiency to ink formulations and all things digital. Our fabric types have certainly evolved over the last several decades as well. Remember, not so long ago, the time of almost all 100% cotton Ts and classic plastisol solutions? Those days are long gone and it's almost screen print taboo to have traditional heavy ink deposits. Garments have changed due to fashion and performance demands, among other pressures. Common fabrics now include 100% polyester, blends, tri-blends, rayon, spandex, bamboo, hemp, recyclables, and more. Shirts may be comfortable, moisture wicking, compression, or even made with landfill plastic bottles, but printing on them can be a bit challenging. Addition- ally, many polyester, sublimation, and dyes become unstable at temperatures lower than the temperature required to cure the ink. These dyes can bleed through the printed image. We have no doubt all seen the white turn pink at the end of the belt, tomorrow morning, or even next week. We cannot win in this situation. One solution for this problem being introduced is to bring down the curing temperature of the ink. We have been working with a major ink manufacturer for many years and recently we were given the opportunity to do some bench mark- ing and sampling for a low-cure (LC) solu- tion. These inks are designed to cure at up to 50 degrees cooler than classic plastisol with the idea that a cooler temperature With ever-changing substrates creating new challenges, new inks help to negate some of these is- sues. (All images courtesy the author)

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