New screen printers. Darkroom novices. Riley Hopkins 150 Press users. DIY printers. We're talking to you. Say hello to Baselayr Long Lasting Emulsion, a high performance, high solids emulsion. It'll produce professional screens for printers who are still honing their darkroom processes.
WHY SHOULD I USE IT?
Baselayr Long Lasting is a high-quality emulsion. The diazo-mixed emulsion is easier to expose and it burns faster compared to other diazo emulsions. Details will rinse out fast and it’ll be a breeze to reclaim it (if the screen was properly exposed). It's durable enough for print runs using water-based or discharge inks. Long Lasting Emulsion will hold great detail while printing. Baselayr Long Lasting is a user-friendly, top-notch emulsion.
One of the best qualities of Long Lasting Emulsion is the fact that it’s forgiving. Darkroom isn’t completely light-safe? Have a DIY setup? Working with an exposure unit with a weaker light source? Long Lasting will make a stellar stencil with whatever you're working with.
Besides, if you were using WBP, RXP, or DCM emulsions users, you’ll want to switch to Long Lasting and feel the production and quality improvements.
WHAT INKS CAN I USE WITH LONG LASTING?
HOW SHOULD I COAT SCREENS?
Coating screens with Baselayr Long Lasting will depend on the inks you’re printing. For thinner inks like water-based, you’d want to print 1x1 (one coat on the t-shirt side, one on the squeegee side) or 2x1. The stencil thickness will be best for water-based inks.
If you’re printing thicker inks like plastisol, mesh counts will play a factor in coating screens. Using screens with mesh counts below 200 or 230, coat 1x2 or 2x2. For mesh counts higher than 200 or 230, coat 1x1 or 2x1.
Which coating technique you choose will depend on the design and what works best for your print shop. As always, test it out before going into production.
WHAT ABOUT EXPOSURE TIMES?
When trying anything new in screen printing, you need to test it out. That rule especially applies to new emulsion. Mesh count, stencil thickness, the quality of the exposure unit, mesh color, moisture level in screen, etc., will affect exposure times.
There are a few general guidelines that’ll help you dial in exposure times:
- Lower mesh counts will need longer exposure times.
- Higher mesh counts will have faster exposure times.
- Yellow mesh will need longer exposure yet will produce more detail resolution.
- White mesh will have speedier exposure times.
- Thicker stencils need longer exposure.
- Thinner stencils will expose quicker.
- Coated screens with more moisture will result in under-exposure. It will be difficult to rinse out.
- Coated screens with less moisture will result in proper exposure. It'll produce the best detail resolution.
PRO TIP: Keep humidity levels below 40% at all times in the darkroom. Use a dehumidifier to make sure the darkroom stays dry.
Below are suggested exposure times for different mesh counts. Times were found on the V2331 LED Exposure Unit. If you have an exposure unit with a weaker light source, it will take longer to expose the screens.
- 156 White Mesh — 2:20-2:50
- 230 Yellow Mesh — 2:00-2:30
- 156 Yellow Hi-Dro/Thin Thread — 3:50-4:20
- 230 Yellow Hi-Dro/Thin Thread — 3:00-3:30
Start testing exposure times based on these times. You may find that you need to lengthen or shorten the time to achieve an optimal stencil. Test it out before going into production. Use a Step Wedge Calculator to discover what times achieve the best results.
Screen printers need straightforward, high-performing emulsion. You already have enough to deal with when you’re starting out. Cut out some of the nonsense with Long Lasting Emulsion. Baselayr — emulsion made simple.