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Article Summary: High Density Screen Printing

The stencil, mesh and ink choices are vital to the success of high density screen printing on textiles.

Films which vary from 100 to 1000 microns thick are desirable for this application. A direct-indirect method is recommended to adhere the film to the screen. Place the film on the screen, emulsion side up. Apply two coats of emulsion to the squeegee side to adhere the film. Dry. Expose. Wash out under low pressure.

Get recommendations from ink manufacturers on the proper mesh count to use with their ink and your stencil configuration. Common mesh counts are 80s, 80ss, 70s, 86 and 110. Using S thread allows the ink to flow better and release from the stencil throughout the press run. Overly thick threads can block ink flow.

Ink must be suited to the task. If the image is large, improperly chosen ink may dish from the edge of the image to the center. Consider a multi-level image printed in several layers which are flash cured prior to the next layer. The inks must flow properly through the mesh and stencil thickness. Consult the ink manufacturer for recommendations.

Author: Bob Wellen
Source: SGIA Journal, Q2 2000, p. 39-42


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