Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 8

Working with

Athletic
INKS

Although these all are desired traits of
high-performance athletic plastisol, there
is no one ink (magic in a can) that can do
it all. For this reason, any printer working
with athletic garments made from synthetic fabrics needs to stay abreast of all of
the available new products on the market
today. Each athletic fabric offers a different
set of performance parameters that determine the desired characteristics required
of the ink to be used. Not exploring may
cost you many more problems as opposed
to fi nding the optimum ink for your particular fabric.

FABRIC
CONSIDERATIONS
NYLON JERSEY
Although all athletic fabrics offer individual challenges when it comes to embellishment, nylon fabrics typically are the
easiest of the big three (nylon, polyester
and high-performance fabrics) on which
to print. Nylon fabrics typically do not
offer the potential for dye migration or
sublimation that polyester fabrics offer.
Due to this fact, employ an ink designed
to adhere to a nylon fabric, as nylon does
not have the bonding characteristics that
other fabrics maintain such as polyesters
or cotton/poly blends.

* Nylon fabrics typically are the
easiest on which to print.

8 * Spring 2015

Employing a standard nylon ink will
allow for standard embellishment applications. The greatest challenges that nylon
fabrics pose are the need for a high-opacity
nylon ink and proper printing applications. Jackets and bags made of nylon can
be treated with a water-resistant coating.
In this case, you must use a nylon catalyst, which will ensure the ink will properly bond to the water-resistant surface.
Otherwise you run the risk of the ink washing off. When using a nylon catalyst with
a nylon ink, always weigh the additive per
the manufacturer's instructions and pretest to ensure proper adhesion of the ink
fi lm to the fabric surface.
The application for printing on regular nylon fabric is rather straightforward.
When printing on a fabric that has a tight
and smooth printing surface, your printing applications get much easier. For a
solid (non-micromesh) fabric, you can use
fi ner mesh counts, thus printing a thinner
ink fi lm and allowing for faster flashes and
easier curing.
Underbase: 160-180
Colors overprinted on the
underbase: 230's
Highlight White: 180-230
Please keep in mind the variables of
the fabric weave and the ink opacity when
determining the mesh counts you will use
prior to starting production.
NYLON MICROMESH
The primary difference between standard polyester fabrics and micromesh
is that the latter is woven to produce
small holes in the fabric, which allow it to
breathe. The size of the holes woven into
the fabric vary, depending on the intended
application.
In the past, little consideration was
given to the hand of the print since the
intent was to withstand the rigors of
athletic sports. In such a case, it would
be common for the printer to fi ll the
fabric's holes. Today we can print thinner and opaque ink fi lms without packing the holes of the fabric with ink. Th is
being said, you can use the same printing
parameters as previously mentioned for
standard nylon fabrics.

* Micromesh is woven to produce small holes
in the fabric, which allow it to breathe.

The trick to printing on micromesh is
to not fi ll the holes of the mesh. Caution
must be taken to minimize the passage of
ink through the fabric and onto the platen.
If not addressed, the resulting ink on the
platen will cause smearing on the inside
of the shirt.
After a period of printing, you may need
to wipe the screens down and clean the
platens. Th is all will depend on your individual printing conditions. The more variables that you control within the process
(screen tension, off contact and squeegee
pressure), the smoother the printing run
and higher quality the results will be.
100% POLYESTER
The greatest demand today is for a
white athletic ink that will remain bleed
resistant on nearly any polyester fabric.
Although there currently are more than 30
different plastisols on the market that are
designed to print on polyester fabrics, the
harsh fact is that there is no one poly ink
that will be completely bleed resistant on
all polyester fabrics. Many screen printers
work with three to four different polyester
fabrics. Th at fact alone offers a great challenge in identifying that one white ink that
will work and perform equally well on all
four fabrics.
In the current market, where 100%
polyester and high-performance fabrics
are manufactured in countless foreign



Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015

Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015
Contents
Working with Athletic Inks
Playing the Numbers Game
Printing for a Cause
Gear Bag
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Cover2
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 1
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Contents
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 3
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 4
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 5
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Working with Athletic Inks
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 7
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 8
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 9
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 10
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 11
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Playing the Numbers Game
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 13
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 14
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 15
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Printing for a Cause
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 17
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 18
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 19
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 20
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 21
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Gear Bag
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 23
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 24
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 25
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 26
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 27
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - 28
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Cover3
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2015 - Cover4
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