The Right Time To Double Up

Advice and secrets from the screen printing know-it-alls.

I just can't stand to see an automatic press running dog slow because of a double squeegee stroke. Aside from special effects printing, waterbase/discharge, the occasional quick fix on a small run, or a specialty substrate, there is rarely a legitimate need to run a double squeegee stroke.

Recently, however, we were running a basic spot-color print and found the need to double-stroke one of the colors. We were printing a marine-based blue over an opaque underbase. Typically, I would not print this shade over an opaque underbase, but we were matching a sample from another shop. This is also a very large quantity print run (hence the Saturday shift) and max production efficiency is critical. The solution: two plates. We were printing the same ink through two different mesh counts, wet-on-wet. The first blue (left) was printed through 225 mesh with a sharp, stiff squeegee at 10 degrees. The second blue (right) was printed with the same ink through 135 mesh with a softer squeegee at 5 degrees. The end result looks great, and our press ran efficiently. Yes!

For some reason, many printers seem to resist using an additional screen even if it will benefit both quality and efficiency. Why? I think it's a psychological thing, stemming from the premise that we all typically charge by the color and you just can't stand to see somebody (your customer) get something that they aren't paying for. Don't be stupid! Save yourself the time and money, make the print look great and make your customer happy.  – TD




   Hot Market Heaven


One of my first posts on The Ink Kitchen was entitled "Hot Market Heartbreak." In that post I talked about the disappointment when your team doesn't win in a hot market situation (especially if you are actually a fan of the team you are slated to print for). Wednesday night, October 29, was a different story. My team, the San Francisco Giants, won Game 7 in dramatic fashion to become World Series Champs once again. The presses rolled all night, and 12 hours later, we were shipping out 20,000 printed tees. What a night. – TD




   Making Shirts for Good


Besides a way to make money, printing shirts is a way to do some good. We do shirts for my local Amnesty International chapter and they make money that pays for stamps and all kinds of things for the volunteers to do human rights work. Recently, we did some dye migration testing, ink testing and tested print on some types of shirts, and we did Amnesty designs for all of it. When we were done, we gave the shirts to the local chapter and they can make quite a bit of money for their work. – RR