General

  1. How is the Welsh Products method of screen printing different from ordinary screen printing?
  2. Why is the WPI process easier than other processes?
  3. What types of materials can I print on using WPI inks?

Heat Setting

  1. What are the different methods used for heat-setting the inks on fabric?
  2. Do I need a press cloth or a piece of paper when heat-setting my fabric?

Imaging

  1. Should I turn up the setting when I roll the screen through the copier a second time?
  2. Can a screen be rolled through a thermal copier more than once?
  3. What's the easiest design to image on a thermofax?
  4. Why is a photocopy needed to image a thermal screen?
  5. What's the best way to clean up excess toner marks on a photocopy?
  6. Can I use anything other than a photocopy to make an image for a thermal screen design?
  7. Can I image more than one screen with the same photocopy?
  8. Is a carrier necessary to image thermal screens?
  9. How can we image a screen that is too wide for the thermofax?

Screens

  1. What type of material is in the thermal screen?
  2. What is the best way to store imaged WPI screens?
  3. I don't have time to remove the screen after washing. How can I save the screen and use the frame again?
  4. Can I mend a torn screen?
  5. How can I keep the edges of the screen from unravelling?
  6. How can I clean the screens?

Inks

  1. What inks can I use to test a sample screen?
  2. What can I use for a squeegee to try out a sample screen?
  3. Can plastisol inks be used with the thermal screens?
  4. What is the best way to store WPI inks?
  5. How can I keep the ink from smearing when using the four-color printer?
  6. How can WPI ink be thickened?
  7. Why do colors fade away on dark fabrics?
  8. Can I print more than one color on a t-shirt without having to use a printer?

Frames

  1. Which side of the screen is taped to the frame?
  2. Which size frames can I use with the screen stretcher?
  3. Should a carrier be used to image screens for the quarter- and half-sized frames?
  4. How do I cut the 17-3/4-inch roll to fit the different frames?
  5. How do you get the tape residue off the frame?
  6. Can any type of tape be used to mount the screens?
  7. Is there an advantage to using double-sided tape?

Squeegee

  1. Can bleeding be prevented?

Ideas

  1. I have a $200 budget for 400 students. How will I get the most for my money?

General

  1. How is the welsh products method of screen printing different from ordinary screen printing?
    Basically, the WPI screen printing process is easier, faster, safer, and more mess-free than the usual silk-screening processes. The film on the WPI screens simply burns off in the thermal copier, creating a stencil of your artwork.
  2. Why is the WPI process easier than other processes?
    Because the film is already bonded to the screen, no knives or solvents are required to create the image on the film.
  3. What types of materials can I print on using WPI inks?
    There are many types, and here is a listing of what you can and cannot print on:

    PAPER INKS

    Paper: Almost all types can be used. Stay awayfrom slick, shiny papers that might cause ink to bleed.
    Ribbon: (Test ribbon before printing to see if it can withstand high heat-set temperature). Paper inks create a clearer print, but are not wash-fast.
    Plastic: The ink will bleed when wet and chip offwhen dry.
    Wood: Paper inks create a clearer print, but are not weatherproof. A protective finish can be sprayed on the dried print. Do not print on painted or finished wood.
    Metal: The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Leather: Use naturally cured, porous leathers. Stay away from slick and shiny surfaces.
    Ceramic: (Screen with a water-based glaze.) The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Glass: (Cream-type etches usually create a successful print on glass.). The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.

    FABRIC INKS

    Paper: Some inks may bleed, and the colors lose their vibrancy.
    Ribbon: (Test ribbon before printing to see if it can withstand high heat-set temperature). If ribbon can stand high temperatures, use textile inks for a permanent print.
    Plastic: The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Wood: The inks may bleed, and wood can't be heat-set.
    Metal: The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Leather: Some inks may bleed.
    Ceramic: (Screen with a water-based glaze.). The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Glass: (Cream-type etches usually create a successful print on glass.). The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.

Heat Setting

  1. What are the different methods used for heat-setting the inks on fabric?
    • Household Iron: Use "cotton" or highest setting (350 degrees) that fabric allows; go back and forth over each area for at least 30 seconds. For lower temperature, increase ironing time.
    • Dry-Mount Press/Transfer Press: Usually heat set at 350 degrees for 25 seconds or so.
    • Sun: Will not work.
    • Conveyor T-Shirt Dryer: 250 degrees for 6 minutes; 325 degrees for 3 minutes.
    • Clothes Dryer: Do not use. Most dryers in the home do not heat to 250 degrees.
    • Commercial Rotary Dryer: 250 degrees for 25 minutes.
  2. Do I need a press cloth or a piece of paper when heat-setting my fabric?
    No, but the ink must be thouroughly dry. When you heat-set with an iron, the cloth can help to prevent your fabric from scorching and it can also help to keep your iron clean. You should also heat-set at a higher temperature for more time if using a protective cloth.

Imaging

  1. Should I turn up the setting when I roll the screen through the copier a second time?
    No. It's usually not a good idea. The screen may burn at higher settings.
  2. Can a screen be rolled through a thermal copier more than once?
    Yes. As long as part of the original is still attached to the screen, you won't get a double image if you run it through more than once.
  3. What's the easiest design to image on a thermofax?
    A line or contour drawing is the easiest, but a good thermal copier can image the block areas in a silhouette design.
  4. Why is a photocopy needed to image a thermal screen?
    Most photocopies are made with carbon-based toner. Through an infra-red process, this toner causes a quartz light inside the thermofax machine to create heat. The heat melts the plastic wherever the carbon contacts it, thus developing an image on your screen.
  5. What's the best way to clean up excess toner marks on a photocopy?
    You can eliminate most of the toner marks by cutting around the edge of the design; additional toner marks can be covered up with white correction fluid.
  6. Can I use anything other than a photocopy to make an image for a thermal screen design?
    Yes. Most laser print-outs image with thermal copiers. You can also use more direct methods, such as carbon-based India Inks, Gocco pens, black crayons, soft pencils, newspaper images, etc., but the quality is not as reliable as a photocopy.
  7. Can I image more than one screen with the same photocopy?
    Yes. Sometimes there is enough carbon left to successfully reimage, but it is safer not to re-use a design. If the picture looks faded or feels rough, it is better to make a new photocopy.
  8. Is a carrier necessary to image thermal screens?
    No, but it is helpful. Some of the thermal screens have white backing attached that acts as a carrier, which holds the screen flat. (Helpful hint: You can make your own carrier by folding down 3/4" across the top of a white sheet of paper and inserting the top of the screen in the fold.)

    NOTE: A Panenka carrier is necessary for a Panenka imager.
  9. How can we image a screen that is too wide for the the thermofax?
    For artwork between 7" and 8-1/2" wide: cut a 14-1/2" length (one inch larger than the opening in a super-sized frame) from an 11-3/4" roll , next place the cut screen over a blank sheet of paper, in a carrier, and fold the excess side edges of your screen under the paper. Slip your artwork under the screen and image! (See drawing.) A wide-mouth Thermofax images from red line to red line with room for 1-1/2" extra screen on each side.

    For artwork larger than 8-1/2" wide: Cut the photocopy into sections and image according to the instructions. Mount each section on a separate frame and register the frames when printing. (Please note: Artwork wider than 8-1/2" cannot be imaged on a single screen.)

    PROBLEM: An over-imaged screen.
    SOLUTION: Image a new screen at a faster setting.

    PROBLEM: Using an image that is too large for the frame.
    SOLUTION: Allow a half-inch margin between the image and frame on all four sides.

    PROBLEM: Imaging a print with lines that are very close together.
    SOLUTION: Try using the 100-mesh screen for printing the finer images, and/or thicken your ink.

Screens

  1. What type of material is in the thermal screen?
    The thermal screen is a polyester fabric bonded with a saran-type plastic.
  2. What is the best way to store imaged WPI screens?
    They should be stored at room temperature, away from direct light or heat. They can be stored either on the frames or off (flat, in a file folder, or rolled up). If your classroom is not kept cool during the summer, you may want to take the screens home with you.
  3. I don't have time to remove the screen after washing. how can I save the screen and use the frame again?
    Apply masking tape to all inside edges of the frame, then apply the double-sided tape to the masking tape. When you want to change screens, simply remove the masking tape from the frame.
  4. Can I mend a torn screen?
    Yes. A torn screen can be mended by placing any kind of tape on the slick side of the screen. Make sure not to block any of the imaged areas.
  5. How can I keep the edges of the screen from unravelling?
    To keep an imaged screen from unravelling, tape the edges with masking tape.
  6. How can I clean the screens?
    Place the screen under a spray of cool water and rub with a sponge. We do not recommend using soap, hot water, or brushes, because they may damage the screen. In fact, all of the screen-printing supplies can be cleaned with a sponge and cool water?frames, squeegees, spatulas, etc. If ink spills on the jars or on your work area, just wipe it up with a sponge or a paper towel.

Inks

  1. What inks can I use to test a sample screen ?
    Finger paint will print on paper. To print on fabric, you will need a water-based textile paint.
  2. What can I use for a squeegee to try out a sample screen?
    Several things can be used: a foam or cloth roller, a scrap of mat board, an ice scraper, an old credit card, a window-cleaning squeegee, etc.
  3. Can plastisol inks be used with the thermal screens?
    Yes. You can use Plastisol inks for a short run of about 50 prints. After this amount, the solvents begin to damage the screen.
  4. What is the best way to store WPI inks?
    Leave them in cool, dry places with the lids firmly tightened.
  5. How can I keep the ink from smearing when using the four-color printer?
    Always make sure the screws on your printer are tight so that the screens will not slip. Sometimes with overlapping colors you may need to use a hair dryer to partially dry the printed fabric between each color.
  6. How can Versatex ink be thickened?
    Thickeners are available, but they may cause the ink to dry. You can remove the lid of the jar and stir several times a day to evaporate some of the water.
  7. Why do colors fade away on dark fabrics ?
    Most water-based inks have a transparent base that allows the color of the fabric to show through underneath the ink. To obtain a more opaque effect, use our puff or opaque inks; they have a white base that helps to maintain their color over dark fabrics.
  8. Can I print more than one color on a t-shirt without having to use a printer?
    Yes, it's possible, but you will have to let the ink dry between each color. Exact color registration will be difficult, especially when using dark inks that cover up the image on the screen. To obtain better registration, you can place masking tape on each shirt to mark the borders of the frame for each color.

    PROBLEM: Printing with ink that's too thin.
    SOLUTION: See ink-thickening procedures, above.

Frames

  1. How is the welsh products method of screen printing different from ordinary screen printing?
    Basically, the WPI screen printing process is easier, faster, safer, and more mess-free than the usual silk-screening processes. The film on the WPI screens simply burns off in the thermal copier, creating a stencil of your artwork.
  2. Why is the WPI process easier than other processes?
    Because the film is already bonded to the screen, no knives or solvents are required to create the image on the film.
  3. What types of materials can I print on using WPI inks?
    There are many types, and here is a listing of what you can and cannot print on:

    PAPER INKS

    Paper: Almost all types can be used. Stay awayfrom slick, shiny papers that might cause ink to bleed.
    Ribbon: (Test ribbon before printing to see if it can withstand high heat-set temperature). Paper inks create a clearer print, but are not wash-fast.
    Plastic: The ink will bleed when wet and chip offwhen dry.
    Wood: Paper inks create a clearer print, but are not weatherproof. A protective finish can be sprayed on the dried print. Do not print on painted or finished wood.
    Metal: The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Leather: Use naturally cured, porous leathers. Stay away from slick and shiny surfaces.
    Ceramic: (Screen with a water-based glaze.) The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Glass: (Cream-type etches usually create a successful print on glass.). The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.

    FABRIC INKS

    Paper: Some inks may bleed, and the colors lose their vibrancy.
    Ribbon: (Test ribbon before printing to see if it can withstand high heat-set temperature). If ribbon can stand high temperatures, use textile inks for a permanent print.
    Plastic: The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Wood: The inks may bleed, and wood can't be heat-set.
    Metal: The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Leather: Some inks may bleed.
    Ceramic: (Screen with a water-based glaze.). The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.
    Glass: (Cream-type etches usually create a successful print on glass.). The ink will bleed when wet and chip off when dry.

Squeegee

  1. Can bleeding be prevented?
    Yes, but you must first discover the cause of the bleeding. Some problems and their solutions are listed below:
    PROBLEM: Choosing the wrong-sized squeegee.
    SOLUTION: Use a squeegee that is larger than your image, but still fits inside the frame.
    PROBLEM: Poor squeegee technique.
    SOLUTION: Our screens require a very light touch. If you have bleeding, straighten your squeegee and use lighter pressure.

Ideas

  1. I have a $200 budget for 400 students. how will I get the most for my money?
    Have a logo or greeting-card design contest. Then each student can print the winner's design on cards or a T-shirt that they bring from home. If you want each student to print their own design, you can purchase just a few reusable 1/4-size frames for all the students to share; they can each make a pocket print or greeting card of their own. Small prints can be repeated for a border or all-over designs.

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