Getting Your Detailed Design Ready for Screen Printing

by Renee O'Donnell

in Permaset Blog

27 Jan 2017  | 0 Comments

When it comes to producing detailed prints we’ve all had frustrating moments. A few helpful techniques can ensure a precise result and minimise any problems. Here’s how to perfect the process for your high detail prints, from choosing the correct mesh size to using water based inks for screen printing.

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Begin with the right mesh

The right choice for your project will depend on the type and level of detail your print has, as well as the ink you’re using. Experimentation will be key to finding the perfect balance. 43 to 62T provides good coverage for medium detail, while 77 to 90T still gives you a vivid print with even greater detail. 100T or 110T tends to lay down less ink, so this can be ideal if you are after a detailed yet subtle design or are printing onto paper. With these higher meshes, you may need to thin your inks to ensure even application.

Wash your emulsion thoroughly

To thoroughly clean your screen of emulsion, wet it on both sides, use a dip tank to rinse it consistently or use a pressure washer at around 1500psi. It can be useful to hold your screen up to the light to ensure there are no areas with emulsion still present. An air compressor can help you to further clean the screen and remove any remaining residue; otherwise let the screen air dry flat.

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Keep your fabric stable

If you’re printing a detailed image and particularly if you’re using multiple ink colours, it will be crucial to keep the fabric or your base material stable and in place. An adhesive spray will assist with this, and of course using a T-shirt printing press for clothing if you have access to one. Otherwise, tape down your base paper or fabric well and take care not to move the screen as you print.

Use water based inks for screen printing

By using our Permaset Aqua inks you’ll find that you get a smoother, softer result than with alternative inks. The other benefit of Permaset Aqua is that the ink is better absorbed by the fabric, meaning that any fine detail will remain rather than cracking or peeling away.

Permaprint Premium water-based inks for printing on substrates other than fabric (ie: paper, cardboard, tyvek, polyesters (mylar), polycarbonates (lexan), some coated metals and poly-styrene) also delivers excellent detail in prints and colour brightness when screen printing onto other substrates.  This product is suitable for use on hand printed wallpaper and art reproduction, through to stickers, posters and backlit displays.

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Just be sure to be aware of any ink drying in the screen in between prints, and with a little trial and error you’ll be seeing perfect results!

If you’d like to see the level of detail that be achieved using Permaset and Permaprint Premium water based inks, why not check out our Permaset Instagram Gallery or if you wish to purchase Permaset products visit our Permaset Online Store

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Permaprint does not contain ozone depleting chemicals such as CFCS or HCFCS. It is also formulated free of aromatic hydrocarbons. Permaprint premium is free of volatile organic solvent and does not contain PVC resin or Phthalate plasticiser