A tip for you . . .

Water-based pallet adhesive is better than aerosol spray for many reasons.



A 1-quart container of water-based pallet adhesive can replace 36 cans of aerosol spray. Your lungs, the environment, and your bank account will thank you. If you’re going to be at the Long Beach show this week, visit the Tekmar booth and ask about it.

Wilflex preview of the ISS Long Beach show 20th to 22nd January.

This morning I sat in on the Wilflex webex preview of the ISS show. If you are going to the show (and you really should be) you’ll definitely want to visit the Wilflex booth. It’s number 1517 next door to M&R.

A screen shot of an artist’s impression of the Wilflex booth at the 2017 ISS Long Beach show.

Wilflex has made it particularly enticing for you to visit their booth with some special features:

  • They will be displaying 60 prints to show off every type of ink.
  • A special video titled, The “I” in Ink, has been prepared for the show. It will focus on a number of concepts all beginning with the letter “i” such as imagination, innovation, and inspire.
  • New ink products such as Epic Rio will be on display.
  • Representatives will be available to show products and answer questions.
  • There will be handouts.
  • And last, but by no means least, at 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm on Friday (20th) and Saturday (21st) the booth will be transformed into a “bistro” to host a happy hour. There will be drinks, eats, and giveaways.

Here’s a tip concerning the sample prints on display . . . they search far and wide for prints excellent in both technical rendering and design (they obviously want to show off their ink as advantageously as possible) which means that you get to see ideas from all over the world – ideas you can take back to your shop. For instance, they have a print from Russia that seems pretty interesting.

Doug and Wendy will be at the show and the Wilflex booth would be a good place to leave messages for them, meet with them, and enjoy Wilflex’s hospitality at the Friday and Saturday evening happy hours.

Enjoy the show, but if you can’t attend, feel free to call them when they’re back and ask for an update on what’s new.

To be announced at Long Beach – the only emulsion you may ever need.

Yes! Finally! A one-fits-all emulsion!

Kiwo will be showing their new emulsion, Kiwocol Poly Plus MP, at the Long Beach Show on the 20th to the 22nd of this month.

The “MP” stands for “Multi-Purpose”. Multi purpose because it’s a high resolution, diazo-photopolymer, dual-cure, emulsion for use with all textile and graphic inks including the newest water-based and discharge systems.

All inks you ask? Yes, all inks! Plastisol, water-based, discharge, UV, and solvent-based inks. The whole lot! And that’s not all. It has high solids for quick build-up and smooth stencils, excellent resolution and exposure latitude, high mechanical resistance, and is easily reclaimed.

If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around this, think of it in terms of that old printers’ bugaboo – white plastisol. Imagine only ever having to keep one white ink in your shop that will print on every conceivable fabric, is 100% bleed resistant, is nice and creamy to work with, will go through any mesh, and will give a nice soft hand. That’s what this emulsion appears to be – the ultimate all-purpose emulsion the world has been waiting for. One emulsion for all your printing.

Now, the big question on your mind is likely the one about price. We’ve been conditioned to expect new and amazing products to break the budget and so you’re probably expecting the worst.  Well, it will please you to know that it’s about mid-range among all the emulsions you likely use for different printing applications. This adds up to a great technological advancement and a great convenience, and all at no extra cost.

Doug and Wendy of Stanley’s will be acquainting themselves with Kiwocol Ploy-Plus MP at Long Beach later his month. If you’re not going to be fortunate enough to be at the show, wait until they get back and then ask them about it.


A tip for you . . .

Go to Long Beach!





Go to the ISS Long Beach show. It’s on the 20th to the 22nd of January and it’s the best show for textile screen printers in North America, by far. You still have time to book tickets. Stay ahead of your competition, see what’s new, gather ideas, make contacts, and enjoy some warmer weather for a few days too.

Generosity is smart business.

I was recently dismayed to discover that my favourite art supply store was no longer offering free cookies. My first stop in the store was always the cookie plate intended for the pleasure of customers, art class attendees, and staff. Now, sadly, it has disappeared.

Obviously I made inquiries and discovered that the owner had canned the cookie plate because she felt that the store staff were overdoing it a bit. Now, I should point out that these were not gourmet cookies. At about $3.00 for a pack of 44 cookies they were among the cheapest on the shelf at the close-by grocery store. But that’s not the point – we liked them anyway. I think I can speak for the customers, art students, and staff alike when I say that it is the gesture we miss, not just the cookies. Something for free (doesn’t matter what it is or how small it is) gives pleasure and creates a feeling of well-being. It reflects well on the giver, in this case, the art store.

Buying goodwill for very little cost.

I think the art store owner has made a mistake. For a mere $90 a month (less than a dinner out for her and her husband) she has forgone the opportunity to generate goodwill among her customers, students, and staff. If she put out just one pack a day and reminded the staff that, while they were invited to help themselves, it was not intended as a meal substitute and was for the pleasure of customers and students too, I bet they’d govern themselves. And for anyone arriving after the cookies for the day were all gone, an empty plate still speaks to generosity whereas, no plate at all, does the opposite.

So how can I be so sure of this? Well, for about twenty years my business included cookies and chocolate bars with every shipment. Among other derived benefits, it differentiated us from the competition and created a lot of goodwill. People are quirky, and part of that quirkiness is the pleasure of receiving something for nothing, particularly something that can be eaten.

What do you do in your screen shop to take advantage of this quirkiness? If you’re not, for what you perceive to be economic reasons, you may be missing an opportunity by committing false economy.

A tip for you . . .

Listen, this works . . .


Sore muscles, back and feet after a hectic New Year celebration? Remind you of a tough day on the shop floor? Run a deep tub of warm water. Dissolve two cups of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) in the water. Set your drink up where you can reach it and slide into the tub. Relax, sip your drink and soak for at least fifteen minutes. You’ll feel so good when you get out that you’ll wonder why the stuff isn’t illegal!

The ghosts on the back of Tees.

No need to call Ghostbusters. Just change the way you stack.

It can happen that when you’re printing with a low-bleed or bleed-resistant white on dark Tees, you can end up with “ghost” images on the back of the garments.

Most people assume right away that the print has somehow penetrated all the way through the Tee to the back. Usually that’s not the case at all. What often happens is that the garments are stacked as they emerge from the dryer. Because the dye-block ink film is still hot and therefore the dye-block chemicals are still active, they “bleach” the dye in the back of the shirt stacked on top. The result is a “ghost” image on the back of the shirt.

The solution is quite simple and only requires a change in the stacking routine at the end of the dryer. Instead of building a single stack and completing it before starting a new stack, have five or six stacks going at once and stack them in a rotating pattern. In other words, the first garment goes on stack number one, next one on stack number two, next one on stack number three, and so on. By the time you’re back at stack number one the last print will have cooled off enough so as not to “bleach” the back of the next shirt on the stack.

No need to call Ghostbusters.

A tip for you . . .

You must understand the impact of your pricing.

If you’re thinking of leaving your screen printing job and opening your own shop, there’s something you need to know about pricing. Don’t make the mistake others have made when leaving a job to open their own shop. You can’t just charge for a print what your former boss charged or what the competition down the road is charging. Your new shop probably has a whole different cost structure (leases, rent, and other overheads) from the shop where you worked. And the guy down the road may be mindlessly low-balling his prices – do you want to follow him down the path to failure? Calculate your prices according to your circumstances and then see if you can be competitive, not the other way around.

Don’t light the lint!

As observed in earlier posts, this is the time of the year when there’s finally time in Canadian textile screen shops to attend to things postponed during the busy season. One such thing is the accumulation of lint, not only because it’s untidy but because it can be dangerous – as in lint fires.

Clean up that lint before it starts a fire!

Do you remember those old cowboy movies where the bad guy lays down a trail of gunpowder, strikes a match tough-guy style on the sole of his boot, lights the end of the trail, and the flame takes off like Usain Bolt? Well, that’s exactly what can happen if an accumulation of lint is lit.

The owner of a Vancouver textile screen shop once told me that lint had accumulated like a furry trail on the steel pillars and ceiling beams of their shop until one day, somehow, it was lit. The flame scurried up the closest pillar and back and forth across the ceiling beams. By the time the fire department arrived it had burnt itself out but they sustained a lot of smoke damage.

In another incident, this time in Calgary, a can of aerosol adhesive exploded in a dryer chamber and cause a lint fire in the exhaust system. I remember that in this case the shop was closed for some time for repairs.

So, the lesson in this? Take time to clean up the lint, not only where you can see it but in out-of-sight places too.

Closing for the holidays.

Feet up for the holidays.

Your blog editor (i.e. me) will be putting his feet up on the 23rd and won’t be back until the 3rd of January. Not news I suppose because you’re likely to be doing exactly the same thing.

Same goes for all four of the Stanley’s locations. So, keep this in mind for any orders you intend placing before the holidays. If your order has to be delivered, remember to leave enough time for that to happen.