Mistakes are inevitable. No matter what industry you work in there are bound to be mistakes, after all we are only human. Even though mistakes cannot be 100% prevented you can do things to minimize how often they happen. We have compiled a list of our most common screen printing mistakes and what we do to minimize them.
Our Screen Printing Mistakes
Sometimes during printing you end up with a smudged or ghost print. This occurs if the t-shirt or the screen shifts during the printing process. If you do not have enough spray tac on your palette your apparel can shift between prints.
When printing we are always checking to make sure that our screens are tight and that we have enough spray tac to hold the apparel in place. With that being said it does happen from time to time. When it does we replace the shirt for the customer and use the messed up one for future test prints.
Very rarely we have had a small piece of a graphic missing from a print. Such as a line missing here or part of a logo not showing up there. This happens when the artwork is being output and burnt to the screen. When working with the art we work with pantone colors. For example if one of the main colors in a graphic is red there might be a piece of it that looks like it is the same red, but it may not be the exact same pantone number and therefore could get left out when burning the screens.
The best way we have found to avoid this is by double checking everything at every stage during the process. There have been a couple times where something has made it to print then been caught and we have to go back and fix it. Which can be very time consuming, but at least our customer is getting what they expected!
Flaking or Cracked Ink
More often than not people jump to the conclusion that their ink has gone bad if it cracks or flakes after being printed. However, this is not always the case, very rarely it is. In reality it is because it hasn’t been cured properly and unfortunately there are many factors that can play into this issue. A good place to start is by checking the temperature with a temp gun and/or thermal strips. If your temps are good it could be that the layer of ink is too thick or there is moisture in the garment keeping it from reaching the full temp.
We recently ran into an issue similar to this and we had to go through a few different tests only to discover that it was a combination of old ink and over flashing the garment.
The Best Piece of Advice …
Screen printing mistakes can be costly if you don’t catch them ahead of time. Double check everything during your printing process and then check it again!