When you grab your scoop coater your mission is to create a gasket in which ink will pass through the screen and create a clean crisp image on your t-shirt. many people over look the basics and the output shows it. The reason we coat the screen is two fold. Number one is we want to create a coating that will block the ink so it doesn’t go through where we don’t want it to. Second, we want to have crisp lines around the art work.
A lot of screen printers don’t follow the basics and create allot of grief for themselves including pin holes and emulsion breaking down during the print run. Sure, they are coating screens and getting by but, they could be producing better screens in a much more efficient way. I have put together 10 points to remember when coating your screens for screen printing.
- Make sure you are using the right screen for the type of ink you are using and the item you are printing on.
- The screen tension is tight. Tight screens will give you better prints and constancy.
- Degrease the screens with “Simple Green” or a similar degreaser.
- make sure the screen is completely dry prior to coating.
- Mix your emulsion 2 hours prior to coating you screen. This will let air bubbles bleed out so you don’t get pin holes.
- Use the sharp edge of your scoop coater.
- Coat the t-shirt side of the screen first and then the squeegee side.
- Do one coat on each side. Some people have other methods which involve more coats but this is what I do.
- Dry your screen t-shirt side down.
- make sure your screen is completely dry before you start printing.
I hope these tips help. I didn’t go into much detail here but I may break them out in more detail in future posts.
as always, if you don’t have the book “How to Print T-Shirts for Fun and Profit! By: Scott Fresener” you should pick it up.