Saturday, November 6, 2010

Corrected Dragon Printing Screen and Made some more t-shirts

Burned the dragon transparency in the proper orientation, and printed a few dragon t-shirts with a custom mixture of Yudu Gunmetal Bronze and Argent Silver water-soluble screen printing inks. When diluting inks, add water gradually to avoid making them flow too quickly. For more efficient screen-printing, a consistency of a gel or toothpaste works better than fluid inks.
Decided to print my stylized Dragon Kanji on the back of the shirts.Tried orange ink on olive t-shirt, and olive ink on an orange t-shirt when printing a single color.
The 2-color print done in two successive stages after the first print was dry to the touch.
Printed the dragon design on the front of the t-shirts.
The printer transparencies are 8.5" x 11", and they are about the maximum screen printing size limit for the Yudu machine to handle. Designs of this size might work well for decorating kid's size garments up to adult Medium t-shirts, but they come across a tad too small on large and x-large sized shirts.
Most of the t-shirts ended up with a pretty good contrast between the custom metal ink mix and the t-shirt flat color. This green t-shirt was the least successful of the bunch with the design getting pretty lost against the background color.
Last print of this batch of t-shirts.
By the end of the run the text on the screen got pretty saturated with dry ink and did not reproduce as clearly.
Once I got into the groove, managed to print 14 t-shirts and 2 paper prints with the single dragon screen and a one 3 oz. bottle of Yudu screen printing ink without having to clean and re-tape the printing screen. Note: allow for some experimentation period and slight learning curve to get the system to work as described in the manual and instructional CD. Some tinkering and tweaking might be required for flawless prints (I took me a few days myself). Do not be discouraged if the first few attempts result in poor reproduction or smudges because the ink behaved too much like a liquid after diluting it with too much water. You could try leaving the bottle uncapped to allow excess water to evaporate, or do a bit of ink mixing with fresh ink to thicken a batch of printing ink. Part of the trick is to achieve the right consistency of ink plus carefully following the instruction about flooding the printing screen right away between prints. Final step to fix the images to the shirts: ironed them on high for 5 minutes each.

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