This past weekend was the annual Imprinted Sportswear Show at the Long Beach Convention Center. This year’s beautiful weather was a welcome alternative to last year’s drenching rain. We met tons of upbeat people. All kinds of people as well, from familiar long time business partners to people exploring water based, and people just starting to screen print. Overall, it was a great time with great people.
New this year was our Direct to Garment ink, Digiace, and our made Pantone color matching, screen printing ink, Infinity. To demonstrate these inks, we setup four machines in our booth; an M&R Sportsman EX automatic screen printer, an M&R Kruzer manual screen printer, an M&R Fusion Electric Screen Printing Conveyor Dryer, and a Mutoh ValueJet 1938 TX digital inkjet textile printer. We had a lot going on; to help us we had our Digiace distributors, EXT Fabrics, lend us a hand with the Mutoh ValueJet. Also, the M&R technicians were very courteous, checking in with us regularly.
We used the M&R printers to demonstrate our new Infinity ink. Infinity ink is non-discharge, Eco-Friendly, water based ink. It features a low tack, thin, opaque finish and very friendly printability. Each time we finished a print session, we simply pushed the ink back and cleaned the image area. Sometimes the ink stayed in the screen for two hours before the next half hour print session, with no issues. The print on the manual M&R printer was four spot colors, wet on wet. The print on the automatic M&R printer had two flashed base whites, four colors wet on wet including a highlight white, followed by another flash and a black screen for added detail. The finished result was a scowling samurai that went to a smiling ISS visitor. We were happy to exhaust all the T-Shirts we had.
Over at the Mutoh printer, printing our Digiace ink, the EXT Fabrics guys were printing entire rolls of fabric. Sometimes they printed patterns and sometimes photographs, all in 8 color process for even more vibrancy and detail than traditional 4 color process. We had a visitor who specializes in sublimation take a keen interest in a process that would eliminate the use sublimation paper.
ISS 2018 went by quickly, probably because everything went according to plan. We got great feedback throughout the show and we have big plans for 2018. We have new and improved products rolling out every month, including a new low tack, high-opacity white, and a thinner, stronger under base blocker. We will also be offering more technical support for printers unaccustomed to water based ink or screen printing in general. 2018 will also be a big year for Digiace ink, as garment decorators increasingly adopt Direct to Garment printing. We have a lot to follow up on and a lot we are working on that we are eager to share. We’re going to be posting updates on our Facebook and Instagram(MatsuiColor) pages. Feel free to drop us a message on either page or here on our website contact page, http://matsui-color.com/contact-us/. Thanks for reading!
At this year’s SGIA show in New Orleans, we were very excited to demo our Digiace line of Direct to Garment inks, which we have recently begun to offer for sale. Digiace is easily printed through any inkjet textile printer such as the Mutoh ValueJet 1938TX, which we used to demonstrate prints at the show(https://www.mutoh.com/products/valuejet-1938tx/) and only requires a pretreatment on the fabric which can be printed on or sprayed on. More information and samples are available here http://matsui-color.com/portfolio/digiace/.
We printed on 100% cotton, poly/cotton blend, and 100% polyester. We heard great feedback from visitors, people were impressed by the brilliance of the color as well as the ink’s performance, in that the color doesn’t bleed through to the other side of the fabric.
Overall we had a great time and we learned that the demand for DTG printing is on the rise.
Quite frequently, the screen printing industry receives prints from graphic designers that are great designs for web logos, but face issues when it comes to printing. Today, I’d like to talk about some of the designs that are difficult to print and why in some instances, it is necessary for re-submission of new artwork.
One of the most common errors that we see are submissions of images with DPI that are lower than the required level. Typically, 72 dpi is adequate for the web, but unusable when it comes to screen printing. The way that screen printing works is that a stencil is placed into a mesh screen, then the ink is pushed through the screen with a tool called a squeegee. The designs are printed onto a film and no gradient is allowed in the stencil. However, if in any case the image resolution is too low, the screen ends up coming out poorly. For best results, a 300 DPI is recommended for screen printing.
Another suggestion is to only use the Pantone Matching System (PMS) as a color reference because it ensures colors that are absolutely universal. Many with web design background tend to use RGB colors when submitting their request for screen printing. Although that may be a satisfactory guideline, these colors aren’t universal because every monitor varies in color display and likewise with color schemes within different formats. Using RGB colors may lead to the risk of having colors printed that aren’t the shade you were looking for so using the PMS is the best fool-proof way in getting the colors right.
Image files recommended for web design and screen printing are also different so be aware of what programs you are using to create your images for screen printing. The web is based on raster images, which are dependent upon individual pixels. Screen printing, on the other hand, is based on shapes that can be enlarged indefinitely without jeopardizing the quality. Vector is optimal for creating screens and maintaining the quality of your images so please check the programs that you are using to create your images. Programs like Adobe Photoshop use raster graphics (pixels) while Adobe Illustrator uses vector graphics (shapes based on math).
Unlike in web design, the amount of variety of color in screen printing equates to its cost so be mindful of how many colors you want to use and how much you are willing to spend. In web design, the amount of colors used is irrelevant to the cost because it’s merely an image on a display. However, in screen printing, every color requires its own screen so even if you screen printed a very small design with a multitude of colors, it’ll be more costly because every screen is another expenditure, as well as, stocking the pigments or other Ready-For-Use ink bases.
There are several ways to price web designing such as hourly wage, one-time payment for overall project, and commission. However, for screen printing, it’s much more simplified and it’s based on volume printed per time and complexity of the print. For instance, 100 tees printed with one color on the front will be much cheaper than having 25 tees printed with three colors front and back because as previously mentioned, each color requires its own screen. Thus, the effort required to set up and take down each screen for the different colors is much more time consuming than a one color job.
As you may know SGIA is coming up on, September 14-16th in Las Vegas. We are proud to announce that we will be exhibiting. We are having a great deal on Matsui Promotional Kits, which consist of our main core products. This is ideal to potential dealers, the quantities are larger than our Starter Kits which are ideal for printers. We will also be introducing several of our newly developed products: Eco-friendly low cure additive, Fixer-L; Silicon like Acrylic Base, Acrylicon; Reflective powder for ink bases, Reflectalite; and an improved Under Base Blocker for the most difficults athletic wear, Under Base Blocker LG. We have several new ink bases to make your prints higher quality, more efficient and easier.
Please join us for this event, great technical staff will at our booth to answer any of your questions. We will be at booth #2920.
Printing water based acrylic ink on polyester is ideal. There’s less chance of dye migration and can yield a light ink deposit on thin garments. When talking about polyester, the first thing that stands out for this type of garment is the low stitch density of the polyester, which will make it very porous. The thickness of polyester is very thin; In addition, the garment is often completely saturated with dye and the difficulties can be even further exasperated if the polyester is holding a percentage of lycra/ rayon in it. Lycra is a synthetic fiber that does not hold any dye. Instead, the dye will simply rest around the individual fibers add to an over-saturation of dye on the garment, making dye migration more likely to occur.
Printing with an under-base blocker is crucial for quality prints, however, to maximize the effectiveness of an under-base blocker and the additional white under-base, it is important to have minimal pressure where the fabric and the screen meet. To achieve this, you can change your squeegee or squeegee angle, increase tension on the screen, change the off-contact, and etc. The key is to work with what you have to achieve that minimal penetration into the fabric so the final print will have a soft-hand feel and be opaque with no dye migration. In addition, the flood bar height is a little bit higher with water base printing as we are not simply moving the ink back up to the base of the screen for another pass. We are glazing over the screen a thin layer of ink to cover the screens, insulating moisture to prevent clogging (as can be seen in the video above).
In the squeegee angle chart, we see the type of deposit we can expect with each type of angle. At Matsui, for the most of our ink we recommend usually 65°, The viscosity level is a little lower usually for water base inks, so if you are currently using plastisol, you will most likely need to adjust slightly for optimal printing.