When it comes to your design, you want it to print exactly as you see it. Unfortunately, there are times when you will print out a new design on a fresh t-shirt and notice one, maybe more, pinholes in the image. This can be frustrating on many levels, and if you aren’t properly prepared beforehand, can really mess with your mojo.
This is where blockout comes in handy. Blockout will cover and fill the pinholes present in your design. The fluid acts as a barrier so when you continue forward with screen printing the hole is no longer there. You are able to purchase large amounts of this liquid at a time, but through Texsource Ulano offers two types in both quart and gallon sizes. The two types of blockout liquid are no. 10 for coarse mesh and no. 60 for fine to medium. If you know from the beginning what type of design you are doing and on which mesh, being able to see this difference is extremely useful. The liquid itself will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to dry depending on how many holes you have and how large.
If, however, you feel both sizes of the liquid are still on the large side for you because you haven’t come across many, if any, pinholes in your designs thus far, Texsource also offers blockout pens. Note that both the liquid and pen should be used on the press during screen preparation. Texsource’s ecofriendly pen, the blue blockout pen, still takes the regular 10-15 minutes to dry. In cases where you may be in a hurry, or noticed that the issue has already been printed, you can use the green blockout pen for touch-ups which only takes 30 seconds to 1 ½ minutes. The green pen is the only blockout which can or should be used off the press.
If there are large holes that were accidental, or even if areas are without emulsion on purpose, blockout tape becomes very useful. Some users may suggest regular packing tape for this process, and while it may be a cheap go-around, you definitely see the difference. Regular packing tape tends to be extremely adhesive and can ruin your mesh and create a mess. Blockout tape specifically fixes this problem and also manages to not damage the emulsion while being easily removable from the frame and mesh in one pull. It speeds along the clean-up process tremendously and leaves your materials unharmed.
Texsource-branded PMI Split Tape for Frames
After you have used blockout products, whatever the reason may be, it is vital that you test the print. In economic terms, it is best to experiment on a test pellon than a scrap t-shirt or paper and Texsource offers pellons in both white and black. If you found out about any pinholes from a printed shirt, you want to make sure no more of your product suffers the same fate.