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Direct to the Point: Shopping for Direct-to-Screen Equipment

Direct to the Point: Shopping for Direct-to-Screen Equipment

Most textile screen printers today are well aware of the advantages of adding a direct-to-screen (DTS) system into their pre-press workflow. While they can be an expensive addition to a screen shop, in most cases they pay for themselves rather quickly by eliminating film, and reducing labor and overhead costs. A DTS can also provide an immediate quality improvement if it replaces an inkjet or toner-based film workflow.

So what’s important to look for when shopping for a DTS system? In today’s market there are several options, which is good for the buyer, but can make it more difficult to be sure you are purchasing the right product for your shop. To help decide what system is your best match, let’s start by defining the types of DTS equipment available today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (894)/Comments (0)/
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Apparel Decorator Excuse-o-pedia

Apparel Decorator Excuse-o-pedia

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. Excuses.  We all make them.  Your employees probably more so, but owners and managers are capable of launching them as well.  I’m no saint on this either, that’s for sure. 
They are as common as dirt…or maybe lint.
Here’s a list of the most repeated excuses  that we hear every day, and what theyreally mean.  Have you heard (or said) these before in your shop?

Monday, March 14, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (892)/Comments (0)/
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WHITE INK TIPS

WHITE INK TIPS

New Tip from PolyOne Wilflex: To create a softer surface, many textile manufacturers are brushing fibers. On fibrous materials, use a smoothing screen to “iron-out” and lay down the fabrics. Any screen can be used that has no open area and can be printed on with any base or clear using a moderate pressure. No ink is applied to the fabric, but this step lays down fibers and creates a smoother surface, eliminating the need for an extra print stroke.

Thursday, March 10, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (910)/Comments (0)/
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The Benefits of Pretreating

The Benefits of Pretreating

Direct-to-garment printing is sexy. Pretreating, however, is an unsexy yet necessary evil for printing white ink. Despite its unattractive reputation, pretreating helps white ink adhere and gel on a shirt while creating an underbase for the additional ink layers. Pretreating also aids in the ink’s wash durability through repeated cycles.

Still, most direct-to-garment users don’t pretreat white or light-colored garments that don’t require white ink. This is completely normal as most ink sets are designed to adhere to and work best with 100 percent cotton, alleviating any need to pretreat. That’s because pretreatment is only for white ink printing, right? Not so fast.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (885)/Comments (0)/
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Rockstar Happiness

Rockstar Happiness

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. For decorated apparel shops with any decent size there are usually a few people on staff that outshine their coworkers every day.  Without much effort, I’m sure you can think about someone on your staff that fits this description.  At least I hope so.
They just do all the right things consistently.  A few times a week you say to yourself, “Boy I’m so happy that they work here!”
But what if they left?
How big of a hole would that create?  Probably enormous.  They might be the onesfilling your production schedule with orders, or creating those designs your key accounts crave, or producing all the great work on the shop floor.  Can you get by without them?
Maybe.
It depends on who is left sitting on the bench.  How good is your training program anyway?
So the big elephant in the room is how do we keep that type of talent on our payroll? Here are some strategies that you might employ:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (857)/Comments (0)/
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Avoid Lines with This Squeegee Technique

Avoid Lines with This Squeegee Technique

When I demonstrate screen printing techniques at seminars, people often ask why I don’t pull the squeegee perpendicular to the design. Instead, the squeegee is always skewed a few degrees. This technique is a product of evolution.
Friday, March 4, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (998)/Comments (0)/
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TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES WHEN PRINTING POLYESTER

TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES WHEN PRINTING POLYESTER

1. Research Your Garment
Look at the fiber composition, the color of the garment, the stretch of the garment, the functionality of the garment and the weave and texture of the garment. Then decide what ink is needed. Is it necessary to have bleed resistance, extra adhesion, elongation, both bleed resistance and elongation or both extra adhesion and elongation?  While deciding what ink is best for the job, make sure to understand the limitations of the ink and the garment. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (952)/Comments (0)/
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Are You Doing the Right Things?

Are You Doing the Right Things?

New article from Marshall Atkinson at atkinsontshirt.com. First and foremost in our shops, we only have so many hours in the day. The big question is what are the people in your shop doing with that time? Are they doing work that matters? How do you know for sure?
One of my favorite Peter Drucker quotes is "Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing."
So how are we getting our staff to do the right thing constantly? I don't even think we should be a matter of choice. They shouldn't have to choose to do the right thing. We have to make it an expectation. Part of our culture.

That my friend, is trickier than it seems.

If you wanted to build a culture that emphasizes being effective by doing the right thing, where would you start? How about these:

Monday, February 29, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (971)/Comments (0)/
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GRAY MATTER

GRAY MATTER

While color can be created with ink that is pre-mixed or formulated with ink mixing systems, the substrate will always challenge the true weakness in all inks -- opacity. Ink manufacturers match color based on a standard printing parameter on a white cotton substrate. This is a necessity to maintain control of a standard matching requirement, but it falls short under certain circumstances. When an ink is printed on a dark substrate, or worse, a dark polyester blend, it requires a base plate.
Thursday, February 25, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (899)/Comments (0)/
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A NEW SPIN ON WATER BASED INKS

A NEW SPIN ON WATER BASED INKS

As the demand from brand manufacturers for non-PVC prints grows and intensifies, screen printers using traditional plastisols have found themselves at a crossroads. No one wants to turn away business, but what sort of adjustments will be necessary in the print shop to meet the customer’s requirements?
The biggest challenge for ink manufacturers has been the race to provide a non-PVC solution for their customers that acts like a plastisol ink in production. One solution is the development of a better, more user-friendly, high solids water-based ink. This ink has a look and feel similar to plastisol on press with improved open screen time, but the print processes are very different for the shop. The details outlined here reflect how ink formulation, pre-press processes and print parameters all play into a solution for this ink formulation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016/Author: Lindsay Merwald/Number of views (1000)/Comments (0)/
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