Ever wondered if you are using the best ink for your needs and your Print Shop, but really wasn’t sure what the difference between Waterbased and Plastisol was? Dave Roper MD of Screen Print World has compiled a list of the pros and cons for both forms of ink, how mesh count will affect your print, Squeegee angles and other handy tips and tricks of the trade.

Waterbased ink is different from plastisol in exactly the way you might expect; Plastisol does not use water as a solvent, while waterbased ink does. Once printed, this kind of ink needs to evaporate in order for the ink to cure. Waterbased ink can either cure at room temperature over time, or by running the garment through a dryer at 160°c and usually needs at least 1 minute.

Plastisol ink is a PVC based system which doesn’t use a water solvent. It’s a thermoplastic ink, meaning it has to be heated to a high enough temperature to cause the molecules of PVC resin and plasticizer to cure. The temperature at which plastisol usually cures on textile is 160°c.




We have put together two simple charts to really help you make the decision on which type of ink would make the ideal match for your print job.

  • 24t- Beach Towels, Glitter inks, Thick Inks.
  • 43t- Textile inks, Opaque inks, T-shirts.
  • 55t- Textile inks, Finer textile designs, waterbased.
  • 62t- Enamel inks, Very fine textile ink
  • 77t- Paper and board inks.
  • 90t- Vinyl inks, Paper and board inks, Plastic ink.
  • 120t- Halftone printing, Paper and board inks.
  • 150t-UV Printing, Very fine halftone work, Usually graphic.

 

Confused about Mesh count? We have you covered! This is Dave Ropers list of the Mesh counts that generally should be used for each different job types.

 

 

Lets talk Squeegee angle, pressure and off contact!

When printing with plastisol inks you will need a higher off contact in order to lay the ink on top of the garment. When printing with waterbased inks a lower off contact is needed to double print and drive the ink into the garment. For more information on squeegees you can read our blog dedicated to them here 

Waterbased Ink.

  • Heavily flood the screen!
  • Keep a trigger spray bottle handy and fill this with water. You can use this to keep the ink wet for printing.

Plastisol Ink.

  • Leave the screen printed-not flooded.
  • Do not use white spirit or screen wash as thinners/reducers. Always use curable reducer.

For more information on all of our inks you can visit our website www.screenprintworld.co.uk, give us a call on 01562 829009 or send us an email on sales@screenprintworld.co.uk.

 

 


Hot off the press! Our Print Academy Training Course is back for 2020! Want to learn more about Screen printing? Or are you thinking about starting up and don’t know where to start? This is the perfect course for you!

These popular events held in the Roper Print Academy at SPW  headquarters based in the Midlands book up very quickly.

The day is perfect balance between practical and get your hands dirty printing, with the theory side from the Screen print experience training manual, which you get to keep at the end of the course.
The course runs from 10am -3 pm and is limited to 6-8 people in a class as we like to keep the class personal and friendly.

Over the day you will go over the basics of screen printing such as terminology, introduction to art, films and out, setting up a Printshop and screen room, Job prep and printing on a press, breaking down a job, curing and the general business of screen printing.

Dave Roper the MD of SPW says “I really enjoy meeting the people on the course they come from all walks of life and they get to learn a new skill!”

SPW also offer a one to one training day were we can train printers one to one on an area they may need help with , like screen making , multi-colour printing or just a update on the latest print methods and use of machinery and ink.

Find the dates for this years Academy and book on the course here.

 

For more information on our training course, contact us on 01562 829009 or alternatively you can send us an email on sales@screenprintworld.co.uk.

 

 

Manual Printing Squeegee School:

  1. What makes a squeegee, a squeegee?

    A squeegee is the quintessential tool you’ll be getting your hands on as a screen printer, quite simply, your ink isn’t going anywhere without one! They come in all shapes, sizes and materials – some with ergonomic handles like the BADASS; today we’re looking at the rubber part of the squeegee, the blade.

    Squeegee anatomy is straight-forward; there is a handle for holding and a flexible blade for moving ink across the screen. Handles are typically made of wood with a fixed blade or in alluminium, like that of one of our best-selling alluminium squeegees, which can be replaced. All squeegee blades will typically be made of a rubber material such as polyurethane which is designed to bend, how much bend is up to you – enter, Durometer.

     

  2. What on earth is durometer?

    Durometer is the measure of how rigid a material is, this will determine how much your blade will flex under pressure.

    A squeegee with a blade in the range of 50-60 durometer will be considered ‘soft’, this means that the blade will flex under pressure and allow for a wealth of ink to be pushed through the screen.

    A soft blade is best-suited to jobs where sizeable sections of ink needs to be adhered to your fabric, but a firm hand will let you print finer spots too.

    The most commonly used squeegees are around 70 durometer, this is your ‘everyman’ of ink-pushers, this guy will get the job done, no frills, no matter what. Consulting the chart above, you could expect a squeegee of this duro would give similar flex as a pencil rubber.

    Squeegees ranging from 80-90 durometer are considered medium to hard, they’ll offer significant resistance and subsequently gather less ink to be ‘pushed’ through the mesh. A firm blade ensures coverage in even the most precise areas of the print. This durometer class of squeegee blade is the all-star for details because you can really lean into your glide.

  3. Choosing the right blade type for the job:

    ‘Single’ Rubber Blades

    Commonly spotted in the wild, these squeegee blades are made from a material with uniform durometer – what you see is what you get!

    With a single durometer rating, these blades offer easy, cheap replacing – it’s as simple as untightening 2-4 screws on your handle and inserting your freshly-sliced blade. We recommend that you change your blades every 12 months for optimal performance, one roll from us is 3.7m, that will last you for a long time…

    It’s also our firm belief that no printshop is complete without Storage Racks.

     

    Triple (or ‘Composite’) Rubber Blades

    A blade made of three layers of rubber, sandwiched together to form a single blade with unique qualities. In short, a composite blade will maintain the capability to print fine details because of its high durometer core, despite it’s exterior softer layers, these exterior blades allow for more ink to be gathered in your push and then deposit into finer detailing than you would be able to achieve with a squeegee of the outer duro rating alone.

    These composite blades are 70/90/70,  62/90/62 &  55/90/55, they’re great working examples of a higher duro core surrounded by lower duro, softer blades.

Facts to take-away:
  • The colour of the squeegee blade will denote how much physical resistance it offers (durometer)
  • Blade edges can wear over time, replace approx. every 12 months with a new blade.
  • Squeegees can be ‘single rubber’ for general use or ‘triple rubber’ (composite) for more-experienced printers.