The main point for you is to elevate your screen
slightly and maker sure the screen is clear of ink - perform a clearing
print after every 2-3 prints.
You can thin the ink down by either:
1. Adding a few DROPS of water and giving it a good
stir - this will re-hydrate the ink
the ink - this will chemically extend the dying time and workability of
The Retarder is the better option, as it will
pretty much stop the ink drying, however the downside is that the prints
can take 20-30 minutes to dry, so you cant heat set until the next day.
Elevate the screen ever so slightly so that is does
not stick to the fabric underneath - use
under the material to hold it still - and after printing look at the
screen to make sure it's clear of ink - if not then with the squeegee at
almost vertical print again.
This wont put ink through but will push the ink out
of the screen onto the fabric and keep the design clear.
'Just wondering, with the screen
printing inks on fabric. If I don't heat set
them, will they wash out completely? or will there be a slight stain?'
Depends on how long it is between drying and
- If you wash it immediately then most of
the ink will come out (probably about 90-95%)
- If the ink dries and most of the moisture
from the ink evaporates, then it's different as the ink has begun to set
and the ink won't come out - it will fade however.
The level of
fading depends on the time between printing and washing, the temperature
and the level of moisture locked in the ink.
Personally I washed a t-shirt about 5 days
after printing (only after washing did I realise I didn't heat set it!!)
and about 80% of the colour remained.
The T-shirt just looked like it was well
worn. It was a grey T-shirts so I didn't realise any colour running, just
fading of the design.
In another instance I washed a fabric sample
that was 4 weeks old and not heat set and it almost disappeared from the
Sorry, but there's no straight answer to
'Approximately how many uses can a
tube of 350ml ink last (I know this may be hard to estimate as it depends on
Really difficult to answer as you also
have to take into account not only the size of the design (how much solid
area is in it for the ink to pass through) but also the absorbency of the
material you are printing onto. A general design onto a reasonable quality
80gsm t-shirt would print about 1000?
'If I use the air cure ink mixed with fabric ink
will it give a solid cover over the fabric? (e.g red ink on a black shirt)'
The normal fabric inks are NOT designed for dark fabrics, this is why the coverage is not
so good/ transparent.
You need to use Hy-Cover (also called super-cover) inks, inks with more pigment in them.
This is better (and much cheaper) than trying to mix two different types of ink.
'Can the ink be dried with a heat gun when I'm printing
Yes the ink can be dried when printing multiple colours.
If you are using a jig then the ink does not have to be 100% dry as the next colour is going to come down over the previous
colour so it's not as important.
When you dry in between colours you are NOT heat setting the ink but merely
drying it - you still need to heat se the final design to make it permanent.
'Will I still get the leather feel/professional look if I mix the
Remember the plastic/ leather feel is not always a good thing for your printing, as
the inks will crack when washed.
The Opaque however is a thicker ink and will set thicker than standard giving you the thicker feel you are after - particularly if you print multiple colours/ layers.
Opaque inks are the inks the professionals use in most instances.