Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Screen Printing Start-up :
A Visit to the MultiPrint Store

After buying the shirts we headed for Araneta Avenue in Quezon City to visit the MultiPrint store to buy reclaiming powder (I have 7 screens to reclaim!) and to check out the place.

When I got inside, my attention was immediately caught by the sample prints that are displayed on the wall. They are really amazing! 3-dimensional prints! One print is beveled (like 1/4" in height), one is embossed with felt-like texture (they call it flocking), and one has a grid of tiny bristles. They also have foils that produce shinny metallic prints, and also designs with rhinestones and small cabochons.

I had to put my admiration aside for a moment and ask for what I came for. Their screen reclaimer, in powder form, is available in 10g and 1kg. The 10g pack is P55 each. They gave me a print-out about the product. It says, for normal decoating mix 10g with 1 liter of water; and for old stencils, including those applied with hardener, mix 10g with 500ml of water. The instruction sheet also includes probable causes if the screen does not decoat properly. The decoating solution should not be used on underexposed emulsions. It should be allowed to soak the screen long enough for it to do its job but should not be left to dry on the emulsion. Otherwise it will only make the emulsion tougher to remove.

Before we left I asked about how the awesome prints on display are done. The very helpful personnel ( I failed to ask his name) said that they are all done using plastisol inks. Making the print with bevels required a thicker stencil and they have special emulsion that produces that. One cool thing about plastisol ink is that they don't dry up on your screen. I asked, with all that advantage of plastisol, why do people still use water-based inks. He said, besides that plastisol inks cost more, you would need a power blow dryer or a heat press to cure the print. The cheapest heat press I've on the web is around P10,000. Hmmm I think I'll stick with water-based inks for now heehee.

Afterwards we went to TULCO and I bought more black ink, a meter of 120 screen mesh, and 2 scoop coaters (14" & 4" long). These items are also available in MultiPrint but I found that items at TULCO are cheaper.

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