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How to screen print a retail finish water based white

on a small automatic press. 

Colin at Press

One of our educators at MADE Lab’s WB Camp was Colin Shane from LMP Inc. His demo on getting a retail quality white using Matsui Water Based Ink and a small ROQ YOU P08 Automatic Screen Printing press went over so well that we wanted to create a quick how-to guide for what he did. 


How to produce a quality print on a smaller machine that is more common in smaller print shops. 


Working with a smaller 6-color machine, we wanted to show a method that provided a great bright white result while only using one flash unit. For this print, we used three screens, all of which were the exact same image. Each screen was a 122.55 HiDro mesh from Saati. We used 65 shore squeegees at 10-15 degrees of angle and 40 PSI of pressure. Also included was a ROQ Iron for this method. First, start with an under-base clear ink. The clear allows for the print to fill and seal the fabrics while not compromising the stretch and flexibility of the fabrics. Then, flash the inks followed immediately by the ROQ Iron to flatten and smooth clear ink. Next, print the first white ink followed by an open station. After that open station, print the second white, using the temperature of the pallets to provide an on-demand production flash to dry the first white. With water based inks, tempurature the pallets retain can become a very powerful tool. The press was set up to use three strokes rather than two strokes. Two strokes are standard for water based printing; the second stroke eliminates the surface tension in the water particles of the ink. Three strokes are a great option to provide a better finish to the print when production allows for a reduction in speed. (i.e. a smaller dryer that cannot handle the production speeds of an automatic machine). The end result is a beautiful smooth white finish with limited screens on a smaller machine only using one flash unit.


WB Camp Shirt fresh off the dryer.
Colin Talking Shop on Retail White
Want to level up your print game? Check our upcoming events page and join us here at MADE Lab.




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