Mis-Print Monday: Clogged Mesh

Some times you slip up a little and sometimes you really blow it.  We recently blew it on a simple print (which was of course printed on very expensive garments).  The job was rejected by our customer because text elements “disappeared”.  Upon internal investigation I was told that the first print “looked great” and yet the customer received this…


Ignoring the obvious mis-registration and focusing on the primary issue at hand, the “choppy” appearance and missing text elements in the silver jewel-tone ink, the clear culprit is a clogged screen.

The following steps could have been taken to mitigate or avoid the issue all together:

1. Use a lower mesh count 86 (our standard practice for jewel-tone inks) instead of the 135 count used – we used a higher mesh count to hold the detail in the small text

2. Advise the customer that 4pt text is not advisable with jewel-tone inks and suggest converting those graphic elements to a standard ink

3. Underbase the silver jewel-tone ink with a soft white or gray (this is our standard practice, I don’t know why we deviated)

4. QC (duh!)

The sad thing is that these steps are all part of our standard practice and yet we still failed miserably.  But that is an internal issue, not a customer issue.  Yes, this was a costly mistake financially but we were able to salvage customer good-will by owning up to the mistake, replacing garments, and reprinting.

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