Author Topic: Wash Testing Standards  (Read 881 times)

Offline ZooCity

  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4914
Wash Testing Standards
« on: December 20, 2014, 07:00:07 PM »
I'm ready to throw down cash, time and energy to have an industry standard wash testing setup in here.  Goal is to be able to rapidly test in house and to have a number of washings that is our standard for how long a print should hold up that we can communicate to clients, including specialty stuff that may have multiple variables, things like GID inks, etc. where the print may hold up but the effect may not linger.  I want confidence that our prints are good for X standard washings, even under the most brutal of conditions because, let's face it, that's what most clients are going to subject them to. 

To clarify, I don't have great concerns about our cure.  We have a lot of capacity with our dyer and it's reliable and consistent for us.  Issues we have seen this year have all been unrelated to curing but directly related to some issue with the ink or the ink/substrate/print method combo.  i.e., that "RFU" ink actually needs an additive to avoid tack or crock issues or this bucket or that batch was simply made incorrectly by the manufacturer or that particular print setup decreases the prints longevity or that particular shirt just plain sucks for discharge print long term washability.  Standardized curing parameters can't always save us there, they help but we still got burned a little on a couple jobs this past year due to things that could not be seen up front or even with a regular old laundering in a household setup and I want to minimize that risk. 

The big risk of course is appearing to not have your process under control to your client due to parameters that are completely outside your shops control.  I want to be rock solid on this so that issues are eliminated entirely or, at the very least, I can present a very concise evaluation to a client that experiences a problem and maintain their confidence even in the face of that problem. 

Working a little with Rutland's chemist, it seems a 1:05 wash with 140˚F water in a Miele washer x3, which would simulate 90 washings, is the Nike standard and I know Nike has some good standards in place so that's one place I might start.  I also am somewhat aware of various crock tests and apparatus that's available.

My questions are: What's recommended here, what's standard for the biz?  Is the Nike standard the most widely accepted and, if so, are the Miele washers just their regular consumer units or something special explicitly for this purpose, what about other brands/models of washers that can run a super brutal wash cycle?  Are there enzyme treatments or the like that could be applied in a standard washer to simulate multiple washing in a cycle? 

Offline ericheartsu

  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3520
Re: Wash Testing Standards
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 02:15:56 PM »
I'm really interested in this subject.

I think Tony mentioned the crock test which I'm looking into as well.
Night Owls
Waterbased screen printing and promo products. 281.741.7285

Offline jonbravado

  • Verified/Junior
  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: Wash Testing Standards
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 02:26:26 PM »
Ditto - I'm testing different ink systems right now and although they cure well, pull test, scratch test - even home wash test mulitple times - I'd love to simulate 20+ washes at my shop - I lose sleep over the thought of less-than-quality work leaving my shop.
Meridian Printing & Promotions

Screen Printing, Embroidery, Promo Items, and Merchandising Programs