Helpful tips about screens and misprints

Alexander Pope once said,“To err is human…” and, let’s face it, the time will come when you’re going to jack up a few tees. You can plan for the inevitable and take certain measures like purchasing extra apparel in case of an on-press mishap, but, contrary to popular belief, mishaps don’t have to come with the territory or become part of the process. Before you spend all your hard earned cash, let’s take a hard look at managing mishaps.

Screens play a very important role in mishap management. The key to consistently producing screens that will perform well in your production run is to make sure your shop has the proper screen prep procedures such as: tensioning, cleaning, degreasing, coating, drying, exposing, and storage in place.

Pinholes are issues that are generally accepted by most screen print shops and are quite common, but there are ways to reduce those annoying little holes in your screen’s emulsion. These holes are often the result of poorly degreased and rinsed screens or debris contamination such as lint or hair and dirty glass on your exposure unit. Improperly coated screens are also a factor in creating pinholes. Try slowing down when you coat that next batch of screens. Pulling that coater too fast can generate air bubbles in your emulsion which can eventually break down during your production run.

Let’s not forget screen tension. Improperly tensioned screens will slow down your production speed causing such things as poor registration, poor print quality and excessive use of ink.

Remember that many production issues can be resolved or even avoided by routinely following proper procedures during the screen making process in your print shop.

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