When it comes down to it the screen is one of the most important parts in the printing process. While looking at the sharpness of an image you will see that the quality of the positive influences how easy it is to reproduce an image, therefore, higher quality is better. For example, if a high resolution is needed then you will need a film created by an image setter.
Quality is a word that you will find brought
up time and time again because it influences the beauty and the consistency of
each print. Wooden Screen Frames appear to save you money but realistically the
wood is unable to hold a high-tension mesh which causes the consistency of each
image printed to lower drastically.
Another factor in creating a better screen is the Mesh color used which plays a part in resolution. There are two types of mesh; white and dyed mesh. White mesh causes light to scatter and dyed mesh absorbs light reducing scatter. When searching for a proper white mesh their mesh counts are usually less than 110 while dyed mesh counts are 230 or higher. Dyed mesh is the preferred aid in creating a better screen because it has a better durability and overall quality, however, dyed mesh must be exposed longer to obtain a complete emulsion.
As you go through the process of creating a
better screen you will find that the stencil is pertinent in the emulsion
process. You must always make sure to check that the emulsion will work with
the inks and press wash being used as well as the capillary film. EOM aka
Emulsion over mesh when done right will aid in the image being processed
consistently and at a high quality. If EOM is done incorrectly it can cause
mishaps such as sawtoothing or ragged edges, the print can become wavy or have
uneven ink deposits. Print Tests must be performed each and every time so that
we can be sure the printing process is of high caliber. A great way to find out
more information is to contact the distributor or manufacturer who are always
more than willing to help.
Sawtoothing can occur if EOM is done incorrectly
The last step in creating a better screen is exposure which is the most important factor in creating high-quality stencils. Every product you use will have an effect on the overall print. The mesh, stencil thickness, emulsion type, and brand will play a part in how the overall print comes out. Even environmental factors such as humidity or changing a UV bulb can impact the print.
We have learned some important steps in creating a better screen; quality of the frame and mesh, EOM, exposure whether it be the products being used or environmental factors, and last but not least performing exposure tests regularly and contacting the manufacturer of each product if you have any questions.