Setting up a small textile screen shop — #3 in series

The thumbnail version:

  • Uncured ink will wash out
  • There are effective and ineffective ways of curing prints

The full version:

It’s a basic and inescapable textile screen printing fact—don’t cure the ink properly and it will wash out. So, what’s to know about this?

The answer is a decent conveyor dryer. Start-up screen printers will often try to save money by using a flash cure for the final curing of their prints. It can work but is not optimally production friendly and the possibility of under-curing is significant. Some have been known to even use a heat press for curing prints. But by far the best-case scenario is a conveyor dryer, and not just any conveyor dryer.

Lower-end versions bought from less-reputable manufacturers to save a few dollars can disappointed. Do your research. Ask many questions. A good dryer is a critical item of equipment. You can have fantastic artwork, all the right screens, the best emulsion, the best ink, and a great print, but if the print washes out, all the rest doesn’t matter.

Talk to the crew at Stanley’s about dryers. They can help.