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Shirt Shrinking and Press Technique

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Shirt Shrinking and Press Technique

Postby leftovers » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:58 am

I just started a new job in a verrrry small shop and am a bit at wits end on day 4 after one particular reaccurring problem:
The shirt is shriking?

It is a typical one-colour, hit twice, on a blue shirt. Simple right. Hit it, cook it, hit it again.

Obviously, it is shrinking between hits, so when I spin the pallet towards me --to print that last colour layer before sending it down the drye--- the image is off-registration, essentially smaller and ultimately a ruined print.

There are two things I need help resolving:
1) how to deal with this shrinking problem
2) to know if I am indeed operating a manual press correctly

(#2 comes up because the designer is arguing it's the way I print and that I leave it under the flash too long. Which, albeit, I do leave it under there, but it is a reasonable amount of time)

I've suggested adjusting the heat on the flash, but he says the ink is formulated to cure at 30 sec? or something like that. Obviously ink is formulated to cure at a certain temp and time but even if it was 30sec or 15sec I'd be okay, this is like 6/7sec.

I've also suggested adjusting the temp on the flash, but I get the same response.

We thought of pre-cooking the shirt one day. But it's just super hot. Ultimately I feel the flasher needs to be reducedin temp and height. However he has told me he has never had to do this at any point in his career and no one else has had a problem before me. I personally, am used to having to adjust the flasher at times. It's not unusual in my small 5 years of commercial work.

At this point I feel accused of being slow, however, I'm not (references attest to this). He has also said he's never seen anyone print like me in his 4-10 years in the business just as designer and maybe ink mixer/screen prep but never printing itself.

This is how I print:
It's a 6-colour manual. I stand in front of the lock-in, print a colour, send the pallet over, hit the next shirt, pull and put on dryer, then load the next shirt and send the pallet again.

He tells me (and this is how the way I print effects time under the flash) that everyone else will load and unload the shirt with the pallets off-lock-in (so between position) thus keeping the shirts from being under the flasher during that time. My argument here is that this seems against the very nature and efficiency of the press. Why would I need to move aside with a pallet now not locked in, to load and unload shirts?

Is this wrong that I think you should be able to adjust the flash so you can keep the pallet locked in place for all loading and unloading and printing of the shirts? I feel odd even asking myself if I'm doing it wrong, since I've printed this way and watched coworkers doing the same for 5 years.

Any suggestions on how to resolve the shrinking would be appreciated! And just let me know if loading and unloading with the pallet in the locked in position (by this I mean in the print-ready spot) is correct?

Cheers,
L.O.

Additional info:Flasher
-about 2inches from shirt.
-Omni-Flash
-@926

Ink
-One Stroke ColorMax FF 0810-162

Press
- an older Sport Max M&R 6 colour Manual
Last edited by leftovers on Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shirt Shrinking and Press Technique

Postby d fleming » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:31 pm

Flash is too hot, that's why his employees have had to load and unload shirts out of position. I'm surprised your not burning them. Drop temp on flash and get your rhythm right so you can be consistent.
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Re: Shirt Shrinking and Press Technique

Postby leftovers » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:41 pm

What would you suggest you drop the temp to?
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Re: Shirt Shrinking and Press Technique

Postby d fleming » Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:00 pm

What needs to happen is the shirt needs to stay under flash for as long as it takes you in your normal working rhythm to unload/load/print the platen in front of you. Time yourself so you know about how many seconds it takes you to normally move the platen under heat. Get some temp strips and place them on a shirt on the platen under heat and adjust temp on flash until you get the desired time to hit cure. As you get more used to the machine you will find yourself adjusting to how slow or fast you are that day. Regardless, you must always pay special attention when using flash. I have had shirts toasted ( hasn't everyone?) and even fire from an employee going to lunch and just walking away from the press while platen was under heat.
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