When coating screens for simulated process printing, it’s very important to follow these Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to achieve the best results.
- Screens are reclaimed and degreased.
- Mesh has the proper tension and is free of punctures or tears.
- Store the screens at room temperature.
- Keep humidity levels as low as possible.
- Screens are free of dust and / or contaminants.
- Emulsion is free of dirt, lint, or dried emulsion bits.
- Scoop coater is clean and the edges have no dings.
- Use the sharp side of the scoop coater to lay the thinnest coat of emulsion possible.
- Coat the screens 1 and 1. Using an emulsion hardener is an option for longer runs.
- Coat the garment side first, then the ink well side.
- Store the screens with the garment side facing down to allow gravity to pull the emulsion towards the garment side creating a “gasket”.
- Allow the screens to thoroughly dry before attempting to expose the art.
- Avoid subjecting the dried emulsion to dirt, dust, UV light, or sunlight as much as possible.
If you fail to follow these simple operating procedures, chances are your screens wont expose properly, or they will have pinholes. These guidelines will save you from having to start a screen(s) over, saving you time, materials, and the frustration of chasing down pinholes on press. Unless you want your prints to look like the stars at night… deep in the heart of Texas.