A publication by Fimor notes that, “Just because a squeegee prints with no major visual flaws, doesn’t mean that the image has not changed between the first and last print. This quality difference may be acceptable to the printer, but not to a customer looking for uniformity from print to print. Furthermore, some image flaws (often mistaken as symptoms of mechanical problems) may actually be related to the squeegee blade and not the printing equipment.”
This is good information that draws attention to the often-overlooked importance of the squeegee in the printing process. And they follow it up by pointing out that replacing a squeegee blade can be 5 to 50 times more expensive than simply sharpening it.
So, as we enter the slower period of the year for most textile screen printers, it would make sense to make a date with your squeegee blades for an inspection and sharpening. And you can do this up to 50 times before you have to replace the squeegee. If you don’t have a squeegee sharpening machine, find out who offers a sharpening service and get it done!