Impressions - February 2012 - (Page 61)

For Screen Printers Only talking SHOP Ensure Successful Screen Printing with Proper Tools and Safety By Kieth Stevens, Contributing Writer Learn the five must-have supplies to keep handy at your press and the top safety precautions for quality, accident-free printing. h aving the proper tools and supplies on hand is the first step in successful screen printing. Equally important are simple safety precautions that will ensure your shop runs accidentfree. In this article, I’ll provide insight on both, starting with what’s important to keep near your press workstation: 1. Pallet Adhesive: This is a pressuresensitive adhesive designed for adhering textiles to printing pallets during the screen printing process. There are generally two types of pallet adhesives: solventbased and water-based. There are a couple of solvent-based adhesives available, and the first type I want to mention is the kind that comes in a spray can with two types of nozzles — a fine mist and a web type. Both are tacky and are designed to hold the garments to the pallet securely. But the web type generally is better for adhering heavier fabrics to the pallet, such as sweat shirt material. Another solvent-type adhesive is one that holds up better under the elevated heat generated by flash units. It withstands the higher heat without affecting the fabric. The water-based adhesive often is sold in buckets and usually is applied using a squeeze bottle and then spread out to quickly dry on the pallet. This type is considered to be less harmful to the environment, equipment and humans. It also may be more economical than the solventbased spray type since a single application can be reactivated once coated with lint by dabbing it with a damp cloth. 2. Pallet Tape: Back in the day, it was necessary to clean pallets with solvents to remove residues that had accumulated It is important to use a good pallet adhesive, which is a pressure-sensitive adhesive designed for adhering textiles to printing pallets during the screen printing process. There generally are two types of pallet adhesives: solvent-based and water-based. during the printing process. The build-up — mainly caused by excessive squeegee pressure, adhesive and lint from thousands of shirts — would start to degrade the print quality. Needless to say, the cleaning process would take hours and was very messy and unhealthy, due to the fumes to which printers were exposed. Today, we can use a repositionable paper called pallet tape that can be peeled away along with the build-up and tossed out. The pallet tape protects the print pallet from ink stains and spillage, and replacing it is easy. 3. Proper Tools: As a former race car driver, I know the importance of “the right tool for the job.” For example, I cringe when I see adjustable wrenches being used on expensive automatic printing machines. After years of continual adjustments without using the proper tools, the nuts and bolts used to adjust levels, heights, etc., on the automatic press most surely will be rounded and will need to be replaced. Printers often neglect to adjust anything on the automatics because they find it too difficult to do adjustments without having the right tools. The resulting print quality will not be optimal, and the machine’s lifespan may also be shortened. Invest in the right tools for the job! 4. Tape: There are a lot of inexpensive tapes being used to block out the edges of the screen and for on-the-press pinhole repairs. But beware: When it comes to tape, you definitely get what you pay for. Often, cheap tapes will leave a glue residue that will have to be removed before a screen can be reclaimed. This residue can get everywhere: floors, sinks, hands, etc. By saving money on a cheap roll of tape, you could be losing hours in production time. February 2012 | Impressions 61

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - February 2012

Impressions - February 2012
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Product Gallery
ISS Conferences
Flocking Meets Fashion
How to Choose a DTG Printer, Part 2
Working Wearables
Shop Spotlight
Embroidery Technique
Embroidery Production
Screen Printing Graphics & Design
For Screen Printers Only
Digital Decorating
Online Directory
Business to Business
Ad Index

Impressions - February 2012