Lagniappe – 9 Recent Random Questions Answered (Briefly)
Nine recent questions I have received whether on forums, calls, or at shows:
Q: What is the standard over/under on good shirts?
A: You are free to make up whatever you want, but we usually tell people 1.5% per location is the industry standard. 300 shirts printed two sides on customer supplied goods means 9 shirts can be ruined before we would pay for them.
Q: What are the least expensive screens you can buy?
A: It is called “screen” printing for a reason, don’t use crappy screens. Either use Newman Roller Frames and retension them, or buy screens from GSF and have them periodically retensioned by somebody else or buy a good screen stretcher yourself.
Q: What is the best way to print white reflective ink?
A: No printed ink meets the ANSI safety standards. If you color reflective ink with white pigment it usually will look pretty bad. For safety get reflective transfers, for fun there are a variety of levels of ink you can get, any addition of pigments will always reduce the reflectivity.
Q: I was asked to provide shirts for free for a charity, should I do it?
A: If you are very supportive of the charity then do it for free. Do not put your name on the shirt, you will get no work from it, only more calls to donate shirts. If you aren’t that supportive, then give a discount.
Q: I have a mirror image of the front of my print showing up on the back of the shirt. What’s up?
A: That is called ghosting and comes from ink meant to stop dye migration. There are ways to prevent it but the most sure way is to have a top layer of ink that is meant for cotton only. We use Rutland silky white.
Q: I need to buy a scale to mix inks, what should I get?
A: To mix gallons you need a good scale (rugged) that will hold up to 5500 grams (a gallon) and measure accurately to .1 grams.
Q: I need a new vacuum blanket, can I just buy some rubber roofing?
A: Pond liners, neoprene and all kinds of things might work ok, but I recommend you get the replacement blanks from Douthitt Corporation. They make the best blankets. Any other kind may distort your screens causing registration issues.
Q: Where can I get metal patches and how do I put them on?
A: Call Mike at Distinctive Designs 21. That dude knows everything about patches, labels, and transfers.
Q: Can I convert my dryer running on 220 Volts to 120?
A: You probably have to convert at least one motor on the dryer and buy or make some kind of transformer. However, that doesn’t mean you should do it yourself. I have a sales rep with artificial fingers from having them blown off trying to fix an exposure unit. Don’t screw with electricity unless you really know what you are doing, otherwise you’ll hurt yourself or burn your place down.