Heat setting screen printing ink with heat press is the final process in screen printing. This step is also called curing or drying. The purpose of heat setting is to cure the solvent in screen printing ink to make it permanent and prevent it from smearing and cracking. Heat setting is also known as drying and curing.
You can use a heat press to cure screen printing. This will ensure the image won’t fade, crack or peel over time. The heating process breaks down the adhesive in the ink, so it almost sets to the plastic screen.
The ink can also be heat set with a heat gun or iron, but this process takes much longer. But, if you don’t have access to a heat press, you can use a piece of thick cardboard. Simply place the cardboard on top of the screen, then iron it in place.
Where to Use the Screen-Printing Method
As you know a shirt or any cloth can be printed in many ways. Traditional Screen printing is one of them and it’s popular. Maybe you have one or two vinyl print t-shirts in your clothset and the design is peeling off. You can’t be happy about it, right?
Now it’s time for you to try screen print. It is more durable than most DTG print as well as HTV print. A t-shirt printed by the screen printing method with the right heat and pressure will impress you with its durability.
Screen printing is mainly used in cotton or cotton-blend fabrics. But you can print a 100% polyester fabric by screen printing.
But it can’t be done by regular textile ink or adhesive. To print polyester products you will need a special kind of adhesive and ink.
DIY Screen Printing and Cure the Ink
DIY stands for do it yourself. It is not so hard to print a blank t-shirt by screen print after all. Transfer tape, paper, printing frame, and something to heat transfer that’s all you need.
DIY screen printing is an easy and fun way to customize your own t-shirts and other clothing. Set up a screen printing station in your basement or any other remote place, test out all of your ideas, and print your own t-shirts. But after completing the printing process you need to cure the ink as well, then you need this article to read to cure your screen printing ink with heat press.
Cotton blended fabrics are most commonly use for customize or industrial purposes because of its dye absorbency.
Screen Print Ink and Alternative of Heatpress
Screen printing can’t be done with all kinds of fabric inks it needs wet ink. water-based inks are mainly used in this method.
Plastisol inks are very often used for screen print fabrics. there is also a kind of printing ink called Hybrid screen print inks.
The heat must be set perfectly before setting the screen printing ink to get a nice and clean print. These tools can also use to heat set for you if you don’t have access to a heatpress machine. Kitchen oven, commercial tunnel dryer,heat guns, hairdryer, easy press, commercial dryer and few more others.
A flash dryer can be used but it is for industrial use only. It is not suitable for screen prints as it has a u.v system for solvent and plastisol ink.
Now let us get to the details of the screen printing method to know how a heat press can heat set the printing ink to cure it.
Steps of Heat Set Screen Printing Ink with Heat Press
- Heat set is the last but not the least step of the screen printing method when using speedball-water-based inks.
- You will have to put the transfer paper on the surface of the t-shirt and apply accurate heat to permanently have the design on it.
- To heat set the ink, how much time you need depends on the temperature of the machine and the size of the area that is to be printed.
- Water from the water-based inks started to seep out 165-168 degrees Fahrenheit. (64-66 degree Celsius). the blinder starts to move low to ensure maximum surface contact.
- When the temperature reaches 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit binder reaches its journey to the lowest viscosity. At 215-225 degree Fahrenheit the water of ink starts to leave very fast.
- Cure temp for the binder and pigment is 265-270 degree Fahrenheit because half of the water already vaporizes at this temperature.
- When the temps reach 295-305 degrees Fahrenheit the pigment-binder combo is partially cured. Hold the heat press plate onto it for 30 to 40 seconds for proper curing of pigment and binder bond.
- Dry prints need almost 2-2.5 minutes to set the heat.
This process can vary slightly for different inks.
A heat press is the best choice to heat set the screen printing ink. Though not having the right temperature knowledge a perfect screen print is not possible. It can burn your product as well as do some harm to you. But if know, screen printing can be your next love.
Know more about screen prints and enjoy starting to do it by yourself.
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