Ink and pallet solutions to nylon jacket frustrations

Why did I take this nylon jacket job!

Printers have been known to turn down print jobs involving nylon jackets because of the production-unfriendly hassle of dealing with the waterproofing treatment associated with many of them. On top of this, some are multi-layered garments that provide an unwanted multi-coloured registration challenge.

Nowhere is it written that every print shop should take every job that comes through the door—in fact, in some cases it can be smart business to avoid jobs that don’t meet your criteria for economically or technically viable jobs. But, if you do want to accept a multi-coloured print job on a multi-layered jacket, there are three things you should keep in mind (two technical, one financial).

First the two technical things . . .  You must remove the water proofing treatment from the print area (rub with Isopropyl Alcohol) and then you should use a plastisol ink developed for nylon substrates (this usually means mixing in a catalyst to facilitate adhesion). To overcome the registration issue with multi-layered jackets you can use a special platen that holds down all four sides of the print area and keeps the surface taught.

Now the financial thing . . . you must be compensated for the extra work, so price accordingly—it’s just good business sense.