Blurred Prints  - For Dummies - Screen Print Direct

An issue many screen printers may encounter when learning how to silk screen is image bleeding. If you have ever wondered why your screen-printed image was bleeding or how to prevent bleeding, you are not alone. We know how frustrating it can be to end up with blurry artwork, so we’ve compiled a list of tips and techniques to help you avoid bleeding as much as possible. Let's clear up those blurred lines. I know you want it (if you know you know)

  • Make sure you have enough adhesive down on the platen (we recommend our Super Tack) so the shirt does not move around while you’re working.
  • When flooding your screen, make sure to only cover the design area with a film of ink. Flooding your screen is just lightly drawing ink across the screen but not pressing all the way through. This requires a lot less pressure than a normal pass when you are printing. Too much pressure can prematurely pass ink through the mesh.
  • Keep the number of passes to a minimum. Completing more passes than necessary can cause fuzzy un-crisp lines.
  • Push vs Pull – We do not favor one over another, but consistency is key. If you push one pass, push the next pass. Don’t switch between push and pull.
  • Be careful not to change the squeegee angle when printing, try to be as consistent as possible.
  • Be aware of how much ink builds up at the bottom of the screen. Ink buildup here can cause “ghosting” and can make the image appear 3D.
  • Make sure your screen was properly exposed. An improperly exposed screen can cause the emulsion is going to break down sooner than it should, resulting in a loss of detail. 

If you’re experiencing blurry un-crisp prints, you are not alone. It takes practice to master the skill, keep going, we believe in you! Take a step back and assess your process. Did you put too much pressure down while flooding? Are you changing the squeegee technique from push to pull or are you holding it at different angles while doing that? Let us know if you have a related issue and we’re happy to help you achieve your desired result!

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