Dye Migration, the Screenprinter’s Nemesis. Part 1

Dye migration is one of the biggest issues in screenprinting these days. I get more calls to help with this problem than with any other. It can be really insidious, as you can sometimes print and it doesn’t show up for weeks. I”ll cover a few topics this week, starting with testing the fabric. We previously covered a test for dye migration in an earlier
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What is a Good Shirt to Print On?

We often get requests to analyze shirts for manufacturers. I can tell you that some folks like Hanes and SanMar actually do care about you printers out there and try to make sure their products can be decorated. They don’t always fully succeed but they are definitely trying hard and often with great results. Other clueless manufacturers seem to just put out fabrics that may
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Reflections at the End of the Trade Show Season – Part III

Here is my third post, some final refections as the busy trade show season is mostly over. The biggest trends of the past ten years have been related to digital printing and to concerns about the effects of printing and garments on the environment. Developments in the environmental realm seem to have slowed down, but still do continue and I assure you they will not stop.
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Great Design! but actually the print has issues….

I’ve been looking closely at shirts for 43 years (I just posted about that.) Someone may say a design is cute, interesting, funny, awesome or any positive attribute and the first thing I see instead is that it is printed (in order of how often it occurs) out of registration, too low, with too much ink, crooked, off center, or with dye migration. To whatever
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Dye Dye Dye

It seems almost every day somebody asks another dye migration question. In this case we received a garment dyed shirt with very bad dye migration into the white and light ink colors. We test printed one of those same problematic garments  with a Rutland poly white underprint and cotton white overprint got great results. With a cotton white under and overprint we also got what
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Money Isn’t Everything: Making Shirts for Good

Besides a way to make money, printing shirts is a way to do some good. We do shirts for my local Amnesty International chapter and they make money that pays for stamps and all kinds of things for the volunteers to do human rights work. Recently we did some dye migration testing and did some ink testing and tested printed on some types of shirts
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Misprint Monday – Yellow Journalism

If you misprint something or if it is a close call, you have to get the info to the customer asap. For me, I don’t want them approving something that is clearly wrong, and I don’t want the customer to make judgements without all the information. Usually we don’t worry that much about yellow dye migration. However, these babies bled like stuck pigs and the
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Ghost Story

I’ve posted about ghosting before, but here’s a quick refresher as I have been asked three times in the past week to help a shop with ghosting problems. A ghost image is an image from a shirt that appears faintly on another shirt (or rarely but sometimes on the back of the same shirt, or around the print) Ghosting is caused by heat, moisture and whatever the
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Soft Prints – More and More Tools

More and more tools become available to give customers what they want. You want a soft print on a fabric that had dye migration problems and it also has to stretch and by the way, keep it bright white? No problem. Well… usually there are some compromises, but you have to deliver at least close to what the customer wants. Tri-blends are a popular new
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