When you have decided to take up screen printing as your new business venture, you need to learn a lot to realize the number of factors that go into making a great press run. Even if you feel like you are doing the right thing, yet you end up with a number of misprints, smudges, and other flaws, then you need help. Today, we are going to discuss the top rookie mistakes new screen printers make, so that you can avoid it.
Not Taking Time to Master Printing Skills
Everybody can learn the basics of screen printing. You just have to pour ink on the stenciled screen, pull that squeegee over the screen and then cure the ink. However, there is a lot of other details that go into creating high-quality prints. You may have learned the basics, but it takes real time and effort to fine-tune it and really master the skill of screen printing. For that, you have to take classes and workshops and most important work closely with an experienced screen printer who can show you his techniques and craft. In the end, it’s not just about printing, but produce a perfect artwork on the fabric in a way that it lasts long and is durable.
Not Putting Your Equipment To the Test
Many new screen printers take manufacturer’s instructions to the bottom line without actually testing it. Many think just by following the instructions mechanically, be it for exposing emulsion, mixing and curing the ink, nothing can go wrong. But experienced printers know of it only as general guidelines. They prefer the old-school method of trial and error when they actually put the equipment and other material to test and see for themselves. They like to test it out because factors such as shop’s environmental condition, the age of bulbs in the exposure unit, the temperature distribution in the conveyor dryer and such may affect the desired print result, even if you follow the instructions diligently. That’s why it is advised to budding screen printers to always test their equipment and run a few sample prints to know for themselves.
Not Using Separate Equipment For Separate Jobs
Many new screen printers use their go-to tools and equipment for all their print jobs. You can do only so much with the same squeegee, the same ink, and screens with the same mesh counts. However, you should brand out to use better tools and equipment. You have to learn what equipment it takes for a separate type of print jobs on different substrates. You have to know which type of ink and screen best work for the particular type of job.
Not Following Screen Printing Best Practices
These little nuisances can have a big impact on your print shop. Little things such as a loose printhead can blur prints, the dusty press will create pinholes and not regulating the airflow or humidity levels will affect how inks cure. Not following these best practices can create major misprints in the future, even if they seem relatively minor for now. This is why you should have weekly maintenance procedures for your press and make sure the pallets and screen heads are tight before every press run. Don’t forget to run regular equipment checks to ensure that the screen tension is at the right level. Run a test print before every project or production. If you have a t-shirt design software, don’t forget to update it from time to time. Following these simple best practices will help prevent major problems in the future.
Not Networking With Other Screen Printers
Screen printers have a pretty big community who can help you out when you need them. Equipment suppliers, ink suppliers, New screen printers and all may just want to help you out. If you are not networking with the screen printers community you are losing a lot of customers as well as knowledge. They can help you troubleshoot your problems, make a recommendation and even help you with a job. Joining the community can really craft your business.