Screen printing is among the modern techniques of printing. To the beginners, screen printing may pose a challenge to them. There are some problems one may encounter in the process of doing so. This article will highlight the problems and their solutions.
1. Color bleeding
This normally occurs when the paste used for printing is watery hence it bleeds to the surrounding areas of the motif and spoiling the cloth being printed. To solve this, one should always ensure that the printing paste is thick to enable it to stick to the fabric. One should also clean the bottom part of the screen during each of the printing times.
2. Unequal gaps between repeats
These gaps occur when the registration is not properly calculated. When the poor calculation is done, repeats of the design will not join leading to the creation of gaps between repeats. The solution is by use of colored chalk which will be used in marking repeats to be done on the fabric so that one knows where the screen is to be placed. The other solution would be using a colored strand. The strand can be placed at the edge of the design to enable the screen to be placed on the strand when doing a repeat. The strand can be removed when printing.
3. Irregular screen printing
This occurs when repeats are not adequately checked. This can be solved by thoroughly checking the repeats before placing them on the screen when processing the print.
4. Blockage or leakage of the screen
This may cause soiling of the fabric being printed on.it happens when the screen edges have not been blocked. In this case, the paste for printing will leak from the edges which cause soiling to the fabric. A masking tape should be taped to the screen before one proceeds with printing.
5. Color patches forming on the fabric
This is caused by the pigment of the printing paste not being evenly distributed onto the screen. The solution is having enough pigment of the paste so that it is evenly distributed eliminating this patch effect
These are caused by different reasons;
- The mesh being used on the screen could be having dirt, oil or gum. If development was done before cleaning the screen, then there will be a blockage of light hence those portions affected can be easily washed off creating pinholes. The mesh should be thoroughly washed before it is stretched on the screen
- Underexposure of the screen during development also causes pinholes. This occurs during screen development when the due time was not enough. This makes the chemicals not to be developed sufficiently on the screen hence washed off during washing thereby creating pinholes. The solution is allowing the screen to have sufficient time to develop before washing.
- Screen coating also creates pinholes. It occurs when the coating was not done well, and it was done only once. After the screen is washed then pinholes will develop. The solution is ensuring the screen is coated more than once before developing.
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