Page 1 T: 01474 709009 F: 01474 709200 E: Wicked Printing Stuff Š 2012

the buyers guide


contents 02 03 04 06 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 23 28 29 30 31 32

Introduction How to use this guide What kind of printer am i? printing kit the basics Your

Work What are you printing on? How many colours? Sizing up Screen sizes Which Mesh Count?

Setting up budget Wicked kits exposure units squeegees Work space Printing Emulsion Inks & medium Drying & curing Wash fastness Cleaning Cleaning your screen reclaiming your screen Health & safty Environmental printing Glossary


Introduction Welcome to the Wicked Printing Stuff Buyers Guide. Wether your a 'Rookie' or a 'Pro'; you can let go of any screen printing fears now, because here you'll find all the guidance you need to figure out what screen printing products and equipment is best suited to you. Should you need even more in depth information, check out the FAQs section of our website or get in touch if you have a new question, we'd love to help.

How to use this guide For all you pro’s and geeks out there, keep a look out for purple arrows as these notes will explain any technical information you might need.

Technical information.

By clicking on words which are underlined you will be taken to our website or youtube channel. These will mainly appear to

See: the website.

the side of the page.

Skip: to a page.

Watch: a video.

Words which appear in our glossary will appear in italic like this: ‘finding the squeegee which is right for you’. Click the word to read the glossary definition. This guide has been colour coded so a on your level of knowledge, experience or interest you can quickly pin point the information you are looking for. Information specifically for beginners or ‘Rookies’ as we shall refer to them is marked with a green triangle. For intermediates or ‘Inters’ the information is marked with a blue triangle and for all you professionals, ‘Pros’, look out for red triangles.

the buyers guide

Information for Rookies. Information for Inters. Information for Pros.


What kind of printer am i? This will help us get you to the information you want quicker. Which describes you best?


I am new to screen printing and need all the help I can get to get cracking in my new hobby. If ‘A’ describes you best...Welcome ‘Rookie’, your in safe hands. Don’t forget to look out for the info marked in green and we’re always here to help if you need anything else.


I’ve done a fair bit of screen printing, I have the basics nailed but am unsure of certain things. I love printing and sometimes sell my work. If ‘B’ describes you best...Your an intermediate but we’ll call you ‘Inter’ for short. You need to look out for information in blue as this will go into a little more depth for you.


My job is screen printing, I know it inside out but need help with some of the technical bits. If ‘C’ describes you best...Hello ‘Pro’, keep your eyes peeled for the information in red as it gets technical, all you need to know for commercial screen printing.


printing kit Here are the main bits of screen printing equiptment you’ll use and a little bit about what they are for.

1. Emulsion

3. Squeegee

Light sensitive thick liquid which coats the screen and is hardened when exposed allowing unexposed areas to drop out of the screen creating a stencil.

Used to pull the ink across the screen.

4. Screen These come in different sizes and mesh counts.


2. Trough Used to coat the screen with a thin layer of emulsion.





the buyers guide




5. exposure unit

9. Flash dryer

Used for exposing artwork on to screens.

Used to cure colours inbetween prints.

6. tapes

10. carousel

Parcel tape is good for taping up screen and Masking tape for registering prints.

Screens are clamped in and rise and lower to the platen whilst printing.

7. Tunnel Dryer

11. inks

For fixing inks to fabrics.

Different inks are used for different surfaces.

8. palette knife Used for mixing inks with medium and scraping inks from screens.

9 7


11 8


the basics So, lets cover the basics. How does screen printing work? If your a Pro, you might want to skip ahead to page 10. For all you Rookies and Inters that need a little refresh, lets begin‌


Make you art work positive Make your positive on acetate or tracing paper, a cheap (and messy) method is to coat the paper your art work is printed or drawn on in olive oil to make the paper more transparent.

2 KIT: Screen trough emulsion

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Coat your screen Emulsion is light sensitive so its best to do this in the dark. Fill the trough with emulsion and keeping the screen steady tilt the trough and drag it up the screen leaving an even layer of emulsion on the screen. Let the screen dry in a dark place.





Expose your artwork onto the screen

coated Screen exposure unit or a hanging lamp and piece of glass

When exposing your screen your positives should be face up (artwork touching the emulsion), place your screen on top of the artwork. Different emulsions have different exposure times, so check the tub for guidance. Once your have exposed, its time to wash. Spray the screen with water until the image appears and all the loose emulsion is washed out of the image. Let the screen dry, use a fan or hair dryer to speed it up. Once dry, check the screen for pin holes, anything you can see through will print. Use dabs of emulsion, screen filler or parcel tape to fill any unwanted holes.

4 KIT: Table hinge (UU CLAMP) Vacuum bed or Carousel Parcel tape

Setting up to print How ever your printing, your screen will need to be clamped in place. Use parcel tape to cover the edges of the screen where the emulsion stops. This prevents ink straying though the screen where you don’t want it to print.


5 KIT: Inks Medium squeegee Acetate/trace parcel Tape Masking tape Skip: see page 23 for more information on inks and medium. Or, see page 19 to identify the type of squeegee best for you.

Printing & registering The type of ink and medium you use depends on what your printing as they are specifically for either fabric or paper. Squeegee’s are also different for fabric and for paper. Pour your ink along the length of your artwork making sure it also covers the length of your squeegee. You’ll need a piece of acetate taped to the surface to help register your paper. Apply pressure and pull the ink towards you to flood the screen and leave an image on the acetate which you can register your work with. Lift the screen off the surface, then push the squeegee and ink back to the top of the screen without pressure. To get your registration right especially if your printing onto paper you need to place your paper or substrate under the acetate and line it up as you want. Then, using masking tape, mark out where to put your paper.

See: Platen adhesives

For garment printing you would normally spray hitak or roll on adhesive onto the platen. Using the registration marks place your paper/substrate in position. Put the screen down to make contact and with both hands apply a good amount of pressure and pull the squeegee and ink towards you across the screen, lift the screen off and push the ink back, this helps keep the ink from drying and floods your screen ready for the next print. Voila! Your printing.

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6 KIT:

palette knife brush stencil strip water power washer


Cleaning up With a palette knife, scrape the unused ink back into the pot from the screen and squeegee. Take the screen out of the hinges and wash off straight away. Be sure to get all the ink out or blockages can occur. Your stencil can be used again or if your finished with it spray the screen with stencil strip. Scrub with a sponge or brush (we recommend a brush especially if you are using plastisol inks) to wash off and use a power washer if you have one. Ensure all the emulsion is out by holding the screen up to some light. Allow to dry and your ready to start all over again.


your work Getting the right kit which suits the type of work you want to produce is essential as you need different kit, inks and processes depending on what you are printing.

What are you printing on? Textiles Are you printing T-Shirts, sweatshirts, hooded pocket tops or vests? All of our kits/carousels/presses (except the paper & board kit) are sold with either an adult or child sized t-shirt printing platen for printing onto t-shirts, sweatshirts and hooded tops.

Skip: see alternative platen sizes (page 12), ink (page 23) and mesh counts (page 15).

Paper Stocks For printing on to paper, board, card, boxes (flat), canvas, caps (transfers), transfers and other flat objects, we recommend printing with the WPS vacuum board. The vacuum board has a suction attachment to hold the substrate in place whilst printing as using Hi Tak spray adhesive to keep them in place will damage them. Why not check out our short video on the Wicked vacuum board.

Watch: vacuum board

The vacuum board The vacuum board can be purchased as an additional item in conjunction with one of our printing presses under the ‘platens’ section on the website. We also sell paper & board kits which include a vacuum board. For printing onto caps, you will need to produce plastisol transfers and have a cap press for transferring the transfer onto the cap. We sell a range of high quality Heat Presses made in the UK including the WPS 1000 Cap Press, we also sell the papers and adhesive you will need.

the buyers guide

cap press


How many colours? Whether you are printing onto t-shirts, sweatshirts, paper or board, the number of colours you want to print in a single design will ultimately determine whether or not you will require a 1, 2, 4 or 6 Colour Press. If you are unsure how many colours you want to print in your design and want to keep to a low budget to begin with, an upgradeable version of the press which you can add additional arms to when your ready, meaning you can print extra colours in a single design.

six colour carousel


Sizing up The size of your design and what you want to print it onto, will determine the size of the printing platen you require as well as the size of screen and squeegee needed.

Size guide

inches Baby T-shirt platen 12 x 9 Child T-shirt platen 22.5 x 10 Adult T-shirt platen 22.5 x 15.5 Large front print platen 29 x 17 Mega ‘all over’ print platen 33 x 20 Sleeve platen 23 x 5 screen 12 x 16 screen 16 x 20 screen 20 x 24 screen 23 x 31 squeegee 8 squeegee 12 squeegee 15 squeegee 18 trough 8 trough 12 trough 15 trough 18 A4 paper size 11.7 x 8.27 A3 paper size 16.5 x 11.7 A2 paper size 23.4 x 16.5

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millimeters 304.8 x 228.6 571.5 x 254 571.5 x 393.7 736.6 x 431.8 838.2 x 508 584.2 x 127 304.8 x 406.4 406.4 x 508 508 x 609.6 584.2 x 787.4 203.2 304.8 381 457.2 203.2 304.8 381 457.2 297 x 210 420 x 297 594 x 420

Note: Squeegees are available in custom sizes.

Note: Vacuum boards suit most standard sizes of paper and boards.


your work



squeegeeS TroughS Image Size

Set up sizes Example standard sizes to give you an idea of what you will need:





Screen Sizes When selecting your screen size you will need to take into account the size of your artwork, what size screens your press will take as well as any storage issues you may have in your working area. We supply 12”x16”, 16”x20”, 20”x24” and 23”x 31”. Wicked Screen measurements are the outside frame dimensions. Printable areas are minus 3 inches.

Which Mesh Count? Once you have selected your screen you will need to select a mesh count. The mesh count will depend what substrate you are printing onto, what ink you are printing with and how detailed your artwork is. The mesh counts range from 15t which would be used for glitter printing, or highly absorbent surfaces, to a 200t which would be used for extremely fine and intricate lines, hand drawing and photographic work. The most popular textile mesh count for either Waterbased or Plastisol Ink is between 32t and 65t, and a mesh 77t / 90t upwards would be advised for paper and card printing with a water based ink.

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The mesh count is the

amount of holes per inch in a screen. The lower the count the coarser the screen, the higher the count the finer.

your work

See: Mesh


mesh count guide count type ideal uses 10t coarse glitter 15t coarse glitter 21t coarse glitter 32t textile maximum opacity on dark fabrics 43t textile bolder graphics 55t textile finer detail 61t textile finer detail 77t textile finer fabrics, halftone graphics 80t textile finer fabrics, halftone graphics 90t textile extreemly light material, general graphics 110t textile extreemly light material, general graphics 120t paper general process 140t paper general process 160t paper photographic detail

Our kits are sold with 32t and 43t mesh counts on the screens, these are best for general textile designs with no halftones, shadows or very fine detail. If producing finer detailed or glitter print, halftones or photographic work, you will need to read the following guide in order to select the correct mesh count. We can alter the mesh on the screens for you (there may be a small fee to pay for the difference in cost) or, you can order additional screens alongside your kit. A popular question is ‘What is the difference between white and yellow mesh?’ generally speaking there is very little difference in the performance of the mesh unless you are using 90t upwards. The yellow mesh will help absorb the light when exposing the screens, this will help expose those very fine lines and intricate detail in the photographic designs and hand drawings.


Setting up Budget Your budget and screen printing needs will determine what type of kit or carousel is right for you. Obviously, the higher your budget, the more diverse you can be in your printing. The WPS kit range starts at around £50.00, ideal for beginners and hobbyists, they go up to the 6 colour professional kit range which is suited for the more experienced professional printer as it is ideal for complex multi colour designs and includes the WPS Tunnel Dryer.

See: kits for beginners

If you have a limited budget, don’t worry, we have various kits especially for beginners. The beginner kits are suitable for simple text designs ideal for a hobby. These affordable kits are not for producing photo sensitive stencils, but are great for the ‘craft hand cut out’ stencil method. As your budget increases so does the ability of the equipment to enable you to do more complex designs when printing. We have a variety of complete kit packages, which include everything you will need to start printing professional screen printed garments.

Upgradable carousel

UU clamp with screen

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See: kits Remember: Our kits are sold with both 32t and 42t screens but we can alter the mesh on the screens for you (prices may vary).

Wicked Kits If you are a beginner or need enough equipment and consumables to produce one-off / samples or want to try out screen printing without spending too much money then check out these fantastic kits, ‘1 Colour Beginners Kit’, ‘So Easy Kit’, ‘UU Clamp Kit’ and the ‘UU Clamp Advanced Kit’.

1 – 6 Colour Kits

Plastisol is a chemical based ink and specific chemicals are needed in the clean up prosess which aren’t required with waterbased inks which are also better for the environment. More on page 24.

Great for screen printers with limited space but want to produce professional garments. The kits include the Press, Exposure Unit, Consumables and a selection of either plastisol inks or waterbased inks.

Upgradeable Kits Ideal if you are unsure how complex the designs will be that you will print. So you can add more arms to the carousel when you are ready. You can start with the upgradeable 2 or 4 colour kits and add more arms when required to make it up to a 6 colour carousel.

Professional Screen Printing Kits Weiss floor standing carousel

Perfect for those wanting to start their own screen printing business. Kits includes the Wicked Tunnel Dryer.

Paper and board Kits Amazing for printing posters, paper or flat surfaces that are not suitable for gluing or sticking to a platen i.e. delicate substrates and sheets of fabric. This kit includes inks suitable for printing onto paper/card. It can also be converted to print onto t-shirts/sweatshirts other textiles/transfers if you alter the consumables.

Ideal for professionals. Built to last, adjustable and operate. Upgradable from the 4 Colour 4 Station to the 6 Colour 6 Station press.

Weiss range The small floor standing carousels are built using high quality components, with a very precise and rigid construction providing the basis for high quality prints. The registration forks are factory set and require no lubrication or adjustment.


Exposure units To transfer your image onto your screen you will need to use an exposure unit. There are many different exposure unit set ups on the market. Each having different light sources. UV, haylide and Halogen are very popular in the UK. Our Wicked exposure unit has a 1000 watt halogen light source and is provided will all waterbased and plastisol kits. A very large part of your decision if you are new to screen printing will be your budget and space. Exposure units vary dramatically in price. The WPS unit is small and compact, it’s a great popular starter piece of equipment.

the buyers guide

See: exposing equiptment

Setting up


Squeegees We sell both aluminium and wooden squeegees in a variety of sizes (8,12,15,18 inches) with either a D cut or square cut blade. Depending on the ink you plan to use, the type of surface you are printing onto and the effect you want to achieve will determine what you choose.

the handles Aluminium squeegees: are hard wearing, non absorbent, easy to clean (using screenwash) and allows you to increase pressure when printing. Wooden squeegees: are moisture resistant and have been treated to prolong the life of the handle. Designed for maximum comfort, for easy pull and push when printing. The yoke of the hand takes all of the pressure, so printing is less strenuous on the fingers and thumb. Wooden squeegees are cheaper than aluminium but can be prone to warping

the blades Our squeegees use the WPS range of Flow Print Squeegee blades - we sell both D (aka V) and Square Cut Blades. D Cut blades are ideal for Textile Printing and using Plastisol Ink. It is suitable for absorbent materials as the D cut blades lay down a heavier deposit of ink. Great when printing light coloured inks onto dark garments. The Square Cut is available with different level of Shores (hardness of the blade) ranging from soft to very hard. The blades are manufactured to exhibit minimal swelling whilst maintaining hardness, resilience and abrasion resistance.


work space Wicked carousels and printing presses are tabletop, they are designed to be space saving and suitable for those with limited space. Great for small workshops, shops, schools and colleges where multiple printing presses are required and those working from home. The exposure unit can also be sat on a table and depending on the size of the screen you are exposing takes up only 1 meter square of space. The maximum area needed, say if you were printing with our 6 colour carousel set up with our largest 23” x 31” screens is a comfortable spinning circle of 6 foot. Smaller screens require a smaller spinning circle. The table size required for the printing press base must be big enough to cover the base size of our presses. We recommend a table of no less than 130cm in length / 65cm width. The measurements for our 2,4, and 6 colour presses are: Without Platen = length 120cm /47”, Width 46cm / 18” With Platen fully extended = length 140cm /55.5”

Weiss floor standing carousel

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setting up


We also sell the Weiss range of Floor standing carousels, made in Denmark they are high quality carousels designed for commercial screen printers. These carousels require more space than the tabletop units. Small: Work space 100cm

Carousel space 200cm

Small carousel’s max screen width: 4 colour = 90cm 6 colour = 50cm


medium: Work space 100cm

Carousel space 280cm

Medium carousel’s max screen width: 4 colour = 115cm 6 colour = 62cm


Small dryers such as the WPS Tunnel Dryer and the Panther 700 Texitunnel can be used with Single Phase electrical supplies. Bigger dryers are mainly three phase.

If you are looking to purchase a tunnel dryer, depending on what size dryer you are looking for you will need between 2.5m – 4m in length by approx 1m length. Also check that you have adequate electrical power.


printing Emulsion There are many emulsions on the market and every printer will have their preferred type and brand. Some emulsions come pre sensitised and ready for use and some will need mixing. Our emulsion is a 2 part emulsion, its comes with sensitizer which when pre-sensitized both parts can last between 12-24 months. Once mixed the emulsion lasts 6-8 weeks (its life can be prolonged slightly if it is stored in a cold place, like the fridge). It is possible to mix half sensitizer with half emulsion which will prolong shelf life.

Watch: Step by step screen printing video tutorial [04:13s for coating your screen]. Tip: avoid exposing your emulsion to light when mixing and coating.

Some printers prefer readymade capillary film. WPS are a supplier of Ulano emulsions and we are continually expanding the range.

Perfect all rounder Ulano proclaim emulsion: An all purpose textile and graphic emulsion. Prints a wide variety of inks and Note: 925 requires a longer substrates. Provides excellent definition and resolution and exposure time when using the sharp durable stencils. A true multi-purpose emulsion for WPS exposure unit textiles and graphics. For use with Plastisol, solvent based and short runs on Waterbased inks

Great for long print runs Ulano 925WR (Water Resistant) Emulsion (28oz/0.82ltr): Stencils produced with 925WR are completely water resistant and very durable. The 925 Emulsion is highly recommended for long print runs and large designs when using water based inks.

best for textiles Ulano EZ-Film Capillary film: Intended for standard textile printing using non-aqueous plastisol inks 31-61t Mesh count. Adheres perfectly, dry’s quickly and exposes quickly. Consistent stencil with no mess.

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inks & medium How much ink will you need? This depends on the size of your print and how many prints you need to produce per colour. As an approximate example, a 1 litre tub of ink will produce 200-300 prints A4 size, depending on how heavy the deposit of ink is on your garment. This should help you calculate your requirement. If you are using specialist inks such as ‘all night glow inks’ typically a 1 litre tub will give you between 60-100 prints for an A5/A4 logo.

the three main types of ink we sell Plastisol inks: Widely used in garment printing because they are easy to print, do not dry on the screen, can be opaque on dark garments, and adhere to most textiles. Waterbased inks: A range of solvent free air-dry waterbased inks, widely used in schools and colleges and is perfect for printing onto fabric as well as paper, card board. And Solvent based inks: A range for use on substrates such as nylon, vinyl, plastic, correx, aluminium and rubber. You will find Mercury Gloss, Catalysed, Correx, Nylo Bag, Paper & Board and Vinyl inks in our range.

PLASTISOL INKS Plastisol inks are most commonly used in screen printing because they are not ‘air-dry’ inks and when producing longer print runs they will not dry up on the screen. There is more choice when choosing your plastisol inks, more colours, plus additives can be added to your plastisol ink to produce special effects such as puffer/raised effect, suede effect, Lycra additive, glitters and metallic’s. We also sell specialist Plastisol inks such as the ‘All Night Glow’ inks which glow in the dark for several hours.


categories of plastisol inks we sell are: Union Max-Opake inks: High Opacity Direct Print. the most opaque plastisol colours available, they can be printed, quickly flash-cured and printed again to achieve extremely bright prints on garments that contain polyester. Ideal for dark garments as they have great opacity. Cotton or cotton polyester blends. Wet on wet direct printing. Special low bleed version for polyester and bleeding cotton/poly fabrics. Manual or automatic printing. Easy to print - soft creamy consistency and ready to use. Union Mix-Opake inks: High-Speed High Opacity. Similar to Max-Opake, but is a system to mix standard Pantone and Union colours to order. Union’s Mix-Opake inks provide you with the opportunity to simulate almost any colour in the PANTONE® Gloss Colour Selector (Coated). The Mix-Opake inks are an excellent choice for standard colours when color matching is not required. With MIXE plastisols, you won’t have to slow your production with additional flash curing stations between colours or to clean excessive build-up under the screens. Extremely opaque prints. Prints cleanly at maximum press speeds with virtually no build-up. Colours easily mixed by hand. Excellent for everyday printing, prints easily by hand. No white underlay needed. High speed wet on wet production with virtually no build up. Tru-tone process inks: Union Ink’s Tru-Tone (PRPL) plastisol inks are the premier inks for process colour printing on textiles. Tru-Tone inks have extremely accurate, consistent colours, very low dot gain, and are ready to print with. Glow in the dark inks: Full range of colours by day and night. Vivid fluorescent colours by day with a range of glow colours by night.

the buyers guide


See: Plastisol ink guide.


Fluorescent inks: Neon (fluorescent) colours are the latest addition to the Max-Opake colour line. Metallic inks: Metallic Plastisol Inks are formulated for direct screen applications on textiles they are 100% solventfree and cannot be air-dried. Glitter inks: High deposit lead-free plastisol glitter inks with excellent opacity. These inks will heat cure to a glittering textured metallic finish. Under base inks: These are for direct printing or overprint for transfers.

See: Plastisol with additives.

Plastisol inks cannot be ironed and must be heat cured at 150°C.

Plastisol inks MUST be fully heat cured before washing to avoid the print coming off in the wash. Plastisol inks wrap around the fibres in the fabric, sitting on top of the fabric producing a more ‘dense’ appearance and have a rubbery feel to them. You can change the appearance and feel of the plastisol ink by using an extender base or a super smooth base so as it feels and looks like the water based or sublimation ink. Plastisol inks cannot be ironed directly over, due to the plastisizer in the ink. Plastisol inks must be cured at a temperature of 150 °C. Plastisol inks require screenwash to clean them off your screen.


WATERBASED INKS Waterbased ink is an air dry ink and with the use of an air dry catalyst the drying can be accelerated in order to achieve a quicker drying reaction/bond with the fabric. Various factors can determine a ‘fully cure’ of the print and so WPS always recommends the use of heat curing equipment in order to fully cure the print and guarantee wash fastness. The waterbased ink is like a dye that changes the colour of the fabric and has a sublimation appearance. Waterbased inks have a softer feel as the ink dyes the fabric as opposed to ‘sitting on top’ of the fibres; it has an almost non-existent feel to it. Waterbased inks are widely used in schools, colleges and on babies clothing. If you are printing an all-over print on to a garment that needs to be ironed such as a cotton shirt then a waterbased ink would be more suitable as you can iron over the print. Waterbased inks require water when cleaning them off your screen. Waterbased inks come in standard colours (except the opaque white) and are not ideal for printing onto dark garments, unless a white under base is printed first, flash dried and then overprinted with the required colour. This is one of the many reasons plastisol inks in the maxopake range are widely used and are the first choice when printing onto black garments. When printing breast size logos (9cm x 9cm approx), waterbased or plastisols can be used but you cannot iron directly over a plastisol print as it will re-melt the plastisol and smudge.

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Solvent Based Ink and Additives We have listed below the type of ink that should be used when printing onto other types of materials. Solvent based inks require screenwash to remove them when cleaning them off your screen: Paper/Board/Card: This type of print requires an AIR DRY ink. You can use either a solvent free waterbased ink, or for a permanent outdoor ink you will need a paper & board solvent based ink. Transfers: Plastisol ink Nylon bags: Nylobag ink (Solvent Based). Nylon Fabric cannot be heat cured. Vinyl products: Vinyl ink (Solvent Based) Correx/Plastic: Polyplast ink or Correx ink (Solvent Based) Catalysed: Metals, ceramics, glass, phenolics, ureas/ melamines, acrylics, stoved enamels, treated polyethylene, polypropylene and some polyesters. Mercury Gloss: Paper, board, corrugated board, wood, hardboard, polyart, metal, fake leather, metal foils and polyesters which have been top coated. Please note: There are health and safety regulations that come with using all solvent based types of ink.


drying & curing fabrics If you are printing more than one coat of ink for the same image, or printing a multi-colour image, you will need to flash cure your ink by using a flash dryer or heat gun between each print. Once your print is dry to the touch you can apply your second coat or next colour.

Flash dryer

Once you have finished your print, you will need to fully cure your garment. Simply drying the print does not mean that your garment is machine washable. In other words – The print will come out in the wash!

for Fabrics printed with Plastisol inks

Heat gun

Cure at 153°C

All plastisol inks are not air dry and will therefore need to be dried by heat equipment. Plastisol inks will also need to be fully cured at 153 degrees, which is drying them to the correct temperature and length of time, in order for the ink to not come off in the wash. A flash dryer will dry and cure the inks in 60 seconds and for longer print runs or larger set ups, a tunnel dryer is recommended. We sell Flash dryers and Tunnel dryers separately and our Mega kits include a Flash dryer, the Professional Kit ranges also include the WPS Tunnel Dryer.

for Fabrics printed with waterbased inks WPS waterbased inks need to be cured at 180 degrees. To cure your inks, you have a number of options. You can use a flash dryer, heat press or tunnel conveyor dryer for this. If you are using a WPS flash dryer to cure your print, we recommend you measure the temperature of your print with a digital laser thermometer until it reaches the required temperature. Depending on the nature of your fabric it is recommended that you break this up into intervals of approximately 10-15 seconds and repeat 3-5 times as most garments cannot withstand such continuous heat in one go. If you are a busy printer, you will find that a conveyor tunnel dryer is a much quicker, more efficient and reliable way of curing prints.

the buyers guide

Cure at 180°C



Tunnel Dryers

See: heat curing.

We manufacture the most comprehensive range of Tunnel Dryers in Europe ranging from the brilliant WPS Tunnel Dryer ideal for the smaller workshop using a tabletop or small standalone carousel up to the top of the range Panther Dryers which are ideal for Screen Printers with automatic presses or Digital printers.

Wash Fastness If in doubt, test it out We always say here at WPS, the only definitive test to determine if inks are fully cured is a wash test. That is washing the garment in hot water with a strong detergent. Of course, don’t ignore the washing instructions of your garment. If the print is under cured, the print will show deterioration after only 1-3 washes.

Textitunnel 8220 Tunnel Dryer

WPS tunnel dryer


Cleaning Cleaning your screen for Waterbased ink As waterbased inks dry on the screen, you must clean it down straight away, or your mesh will clog. For this simply use water.

for Plastisol ink To clean plastisol ink from your screen, you will need a dry cotton cloth and some screen wash. Apply a generous amount of screen wash to the cloth and rub with pressure. The screen wash will dissolve the ink. You must be in a well ventilated room to use high strength screen wash.

Prefer to use Biodegradeable solutions? You could also try dilutable biodegradable screen wash that has a low odour and contains less harmful chemicals to the printer and environment. WPS supply a range of environmentally friendly products, which are drain safe.

Ghosting If you have any ghosting left on your screen which is common when using waterbased inks as they dye the mesh, Haze Paste remover is a good solution. However its nasty stuff and is extremely harmful to the skin and the environment. Make sure you wear gloves when handling the remover. Your screen can be used over and over again if stored safely.

See: screen cleaning kit.

See: biodegradable cleaning products.

See: Haze paste remover.

reclaiming your screen ‘Reclaiming’ is the act of strip the stencil from your screen in order to create a new strencil and start the printing process over again. The main ingredient for reclaiming is stencil remover or ‘strip’. If you dont remove the stencil properly it can interfer with your next piece of artwork.

the buyers guide

See: page 09 for the cleaning section of the basics.


health & safety It is important to consider the environment that you are working in, in order for you to select the correct type of ink to use. If working in a well ventilated garage or workshop environment, then plastisol inks or solvent based inks are fine to use. They contain an odour and require a solvent screenwash to remove them from your screens. If working in your home or in schools and colleges, you will need to select a solvent free ink such as a waterbased ink in order for there to be no fumes emitted and also for ease of cleaning down. e.g. if using a bath or shower and only water to remove the ink from your screen. It is not advisable to use, keep or store any inks and chemicals in an area where there are persons under 18 years of age.

environmental printing See: WPS gone green.

If you want to do your bit for the environment, choosing biodegradable platens, cleaning products and water based inks.



Squeegee Stencil mesh positive transparent exposure register medium flood substrate platen Curing strip

the buyers guide

33 T: 01474 709009 F: 01474 709200 E: Wicked Printing Stuff Š 2012

Wicked Printing Stuff  
Wicked Printing Stuff  

Buyers Guide