The thumbnail version:

  • Fibrillation is annoying
  • Fibrillation can spoil a great design
  • There are ways to deal with fibrillation

The full version:

To recap, in textile screen printing fibrillation is the name given to that annoying habit cotton garments have of going “hairy” or “fuzzy” as soon as the first ink goes down and the screen pulls up fibers as it lifts.. And the consequence is that if you then flash-cure and proceed with laying down the other colours, you end up with a “rough” print.

This has been an issue for a very long time and a number of different methods have evolved for dealing with fibrillation. One solution is to lay down a clear coat and flash before the application of the colours. Other methods are more ‘mechanical.’ Some of them involve special equipment while others tend to be more of the ‘MacGyvered’ variety. MacGyvering is all very well but it’s not always the most productive way of doing things, especially is there is equipment designed specifically for dealing with the problem in a production-friendly way.

One such efficient mechanical solution involves a screen with a non-stick sheet and a roller (instead of a squeegee) for flattening protruding fibers right after flashing. While this is primarily designed for automatic presses, a non-stick sheet and a squeegee (instead of the roller) may work well for a manual press.

If you’re having issues with fibrillation or would just like to explore more efficient methods for dealing with it, give Stanley’s a call at any one of the Canada-wide branches: Cambridge 1 877 205 9218; Calgary 1 800 661 1553, Edmonton 1 888 424 7446; Richmond 604 873 2451.