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patchy ink distribution problem

Postby lc86 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:11 am

Hello everyone

This is my first post, I'm new to screen printing and hoping to benefit from your knowledge and experience if possible.

I have just started out with a Speedball Starter kit, and after over exposing my screen on my first attempt I tried my second attempt at exposure, and had short session printing on fabric yesterday. I am getting very patchy prints, despite the screen appearing to be exposed correctly i.e. the areas covered by my positive during exposure appear to be clear of emulsion.

I'm using the screen from the starter kit (no idea what mesh count), with the basic plastic squeegee which came with it, Speedball Diazo emulsion, Speedball Fabric Ink (water based I think), on 100% cotton tee.

Here's a pic of my best print, which took seemingly a lot of ink, and about 10 strokes with the squeegee, both up and down (I've no idea if that is a good idea or not.)

..and here's a pic of my screen, following wash up

(the difference in tone of the clear areas is due to the background (sky and trees), the mesh does appear equally clear throughout the image.

As you can see the ink is not transferring well in all places. I would be really grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction here. Maybe its the equipment (squeegee etc), maybe its my technique, maybe its the mesh count/ink?

As I said I am a beginner and starting out by trying to do some single colour DIY tees for my band, but as we wish to sell them they need to be of a reasonable quality, certainly a bit better than I have managed so far.

All help and suggestions gratefully received


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Just Browsing
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:50 am

Re: patchy ink distribution problem

Postby woodprinter » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:48 pm

Your problem is either 1 of 2 things. First off...Your screen could not be blown out completely...To check this...When your blowing out your screen make sure you have a Light backing it.....this way, once you spray both sides with water and are about to actually break through your emulsion, you will be able to see the light shoots through your clear screen!.....Secondly: We (our shop) does have that problem sometimes when we let the ink dry a little in the mesh...Just spray some screen cleaner in it...
Some more things you might wanna check on it your contact distance...and by this i mean...the distance between your screen in the down position and the board you shirt sits on ....... You should be able to put a quarter on your board and be able to put your screen down and that quarter should barley make an indention on your screen.
Also...when your printing a dark color like black on a plain white Tee....You shouldnt use more than about 3 strokes up and down...Doing 10 may be the reason its gobbing up! Just make sure you are flooding it correctly and all should go well.... Happy printing...hope this helps.
Just Browsing
Just Browsing
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:24 pm

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