Author Topic: "Thick" Clear?  (Read 1308 times)

Offline mimosatexas

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4221
  • contributor
"Thick" Clear?
« on: March 02, 2018, 10:43:44 AM »
I have been doing more and more printing using translucent inks (basically adding clear to an ink) to create additional shades, but I am running into an issue specifically with black ink where the ink is just too thin. 

To expand a little, if I need two grays and a black and I'm printing on a midtone shirt like royal, I may end up printing a 30/70 black/clear where the ink makes a darker gray over a lighter gray and makes a slightly less dark black when directly printed on the shirt.  This method is letting me do higher color count jobs with fewer screens.  I'm liking it and clients are happy with the results.

The issue is the finish of the black is a little orange peel-y if you look closely on areas where it is printed on top of a base and there is a bit of extra dot gain vs what I want which is causing fuzzy edges.  I am printing using 300 T mesh.  If I use the same method with other inks that are inherently thicker than black inks the issue isnt there, so the thickness of the initial ink is the main problem logically, but the "thicker" black inks I have tried don't seem to play nicely with any of the clears I have used (fashion base, curable reducer, process clear).  The thicker blacks are all nonstandard inks though, like for poly or blocking bases etc.

Are there any thicker clear inks that would help this, basically giving me translucency without losing body?


Offline Colin

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1610
  • Ink and Chemical Product Manager
Re: "Thick" Clear?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2018, 10:49:15 AM »
First realllll question:

What black ink are you using - that lets us know your starter visc (hopefully)

What clear are you adding to your ink?

I make my own black here and I use a couple different opacities for halftone work :)
Been in the industry since 1996.  5+ years with QCM Inks.  Been a part of shops of all sizes and abilities both as a printer and as an Artist/separator.  I am now the Ink and Chemical Product Manager at Ryonet.

Offline mimosatexas

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4221
  • contributor
Re: "Thick" Clear?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2018, 11:03:33 AM »
I am mostly using River City's house brand inks (for both the black and the clear options), but I have tried triangle's batman black, and a thick one from Excalibur (I don't remember which).

The overlays aren't halftones typically.  They are printed 100% fill, just with translucent inks.  If you didn't know it was a based down black on top of a light gray to create a dark gray you would likely think it was a spot color dark gray (for example). 

The issues are basically just that edge definitely isnt fantastic due to how thin the inks are (even with 300T mesh, murakami statics, and I don't have access locally to higher mesh counts), and if you look very closely at the finish of the ink it isn't quite as even as a typical spot printed color (the orange peel texture, almost as if the pigmented ink and the clear are separated a bit at a very small scale).

I'll try to grab a pic in a bit.

I was hoping not to have to go down the rabbit hole of testing various blacks not available locally if I could find a thicker clear of some kind.

Offline Colin

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1610
  • Ink and Chemical Product Manager
Re: "Thick" Clear?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2018, 12:39:47 PM »
Since I don't know what the source of River Cities inks are, the quickest answer would be to use a mixing base clear.  That actually prints clear since you want that awesome translucency to stay intact.

Possibly look into Joe's Synergy Clear Base.  But if you are ordering clear from him... look into his black as well :)

Been in the industry since 1996.  5+ years with QCM Inks.  Been a part of shops of all sizes and abilities both as a printer and as an Artist/separator.  I am now the Ink and Chemical Product Manager at Ryonet.