Designs coming out oddly and you don’t know why? Many errors stem from emulsion issues. First and foremost, try to keep your screens clean in between printing jobs. How your screen reacts to the cleaning can determine what steps need to be taken to prevent future problems.
Even before screen cleaning, it’s important for you to check that the products you are using are in their prime. Don’t use old emulsion. I know it can be tempting, but the majority of emulsion problems you can end up having are because of the condition of your emulsion and having too much time in between laying down the emulsion and printing. Something as simple as keeping it in your refrigerator can help, but there is quite a bit of speculation about that. It is mainly important to keep it in low humidity and above freezing (freezing and high heat/humidity can ruin emulsion). Most emulsion should last for a year, always check its shelf life, but if you’re noticing more and more that the screen is getting difficult to clean, it’s best to be on the careful side.
When you are cleaning your screen, take your time and do it
properly. Cleaning wet ink now is a lot easier than dried ink later. This is
especially true if you are using excellent resources for your reclaiming methods
(if you’re doing it by hand, it’s going to hurt either way). If you want your
screens to last as long as possible, it really is best to look into getting the
proper screen cleaning chemicals and equipment. Easiway is known for its cleaning products and
the fact that they are eco-friendly, protecting both you and your screen.
An example of one of our beautifully dirty screens.
Another thing that can affect your product is placement. You need to have everything in its proper place. Ensure that mesh isn’t loose and there isn’t any significant damage to your frame. Similar to emulsion problems, damage to either area of the screen can cause wonky designs. Always check your frames first, because you may replace your mesh only to find that the reason it was loose is because your frame has been well-used and is tearing down.
So all-in-all, the best way to keep your screen healthy is to pay as much attention to your equipment as you do your final product. If you want great designs, make sure your equipment is in great shape!