January '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 4 5 the mesh allows under the weight of a ten- sion meter. While not required for a start up screen print shop, a tension meter will be a handy item to check your screens periodically. While 25-35 newtons is ideal, 15-20 newtons can be acceptable for many jobs. Below that tension, and you will begin to experience issue such as smearing of ink or a rough ink surface on your finished garments. When you print, your screens will be off-contact. In other words, the only place the screen mesh should touch the garment is along the sharp edge of the squeegee as you pull or push it across the screen. Mesh that is not tight enough will stick to the ink on the garment and result in a rough finished ink surface. If you left a screen and you hear a "pop" as the mesh releases from the garment, your screens are not at proper tension. With a T-square and marker, create a center line on your platen. Then line up your two registration marks on that line for a perfectly aligned image. It's important to degrease your screen each time you begin the screen prep process. This will help you avoid pinholes during production.

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