Real Talk: American Screen Printing
October 22 2018
I was recently asked to speak about the differences of screen printing in the United States compared to other countries as the heat related fabric problems here are much more severe. I think it often surprises those who are unfamiliar with the "American way" of screen printing. In many countries, the picture above explains it all. Line printing. Prints may be cured with heat guns. This eliminates the risk of heat damage as only the print area is getting hot. No, I am certainly not going to point to this as a good idea. I am just pointing out that it is safer for the apparel.
Due to the far higher cost of labor in the United States, we desire bigger, faster, and more powerful equipment. We flash cure faster and hotter. We speed up the conveyor belt and cure ink in under 30 seconds at a very high temperature. We do this regardless of the fabric and how delicate it may be. The American way is fast and abrasive. This is where we come in.
We want you to be able to print and cure fabrics at the same high speed you are used to. This will allow you to keep that low cost-per-print you are needing to compete. At the same time, we want you to do this with low temperature inks. These inks give you the ability to cure 70 or 80 degrees cooler than you are used to. They will also allow for a far quicker flash cure time which will prevent registration problems as well as scorching and fabric discoloration. Low temperature inks solve a lot of problems while also keeping your production times. You can keep these incredibly quick production times with expensive, delicate fabrics. This will prevent misprints. Expensive misprints. Misprints that may require a few days for replacements to arrive. Waiting for replacements means more shipping costs. It also may mean registering the job a second time. More labor. You don't want this.
ELT Series, ELT-S Series, and ELT-X Series inks are our extreme low temperature inks capable of curing at 250F degrees. With the regularity of 100% polyester, polyester blends, and triblends, you really cannot do without these inks in your shop. Knowing how heat sensitive these fabrics are as well as fluorescent tees and other heather fabrics such as expensive fashion hoodies and sweats, you probably need these inks for every day printing. I know you have heard this argument from me before. However, it is getting to the point that you are simply going to need this ink even if you are just a regular t-shirt screen printer. Low temperature inks are not just for athletics any more. This is the way it is and the way of the future. We saw this coming and we continue to advance this technology to help you further. Stick with us as we will always guide you to the finish line.
Director of Product Development