Author Topic: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?  (Read 2928 times)

Offline OhNoPrinting

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Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« on: December 28, 2023, 02:58:47 PM »
hey,

i have a pretty simple, three color print on a light blueish hoodie. Thickness of the final print is not my biggest concern, but registration.

I figured there might be multiple ways how to print it, but because I started with vinyl, i am stuck a bit with cutting away instead of printing on top. But on the other hand, printing on top of plastisol is the idea of underbase, so it should work, no?

Here my idea:



Top row is the final grafik:

way1:

just layer the ink on top of each other, flash inbetween. /problem: the white might migrate with the red?

way2:

cut out the shapes, add a pixel or two /problem: registration

way3:

print an underbase, red (add a pixel) and blue on top (avoid some registration problems)

I am prefering way3 right now, because of the idea of underbase and getting the best red. But maybe it is overkill and the least amount of layers is best?
 


Offline Dottonedan

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2023, 04:49:10 PM »
The accommodations for registration should be applied to your base white only. (in most cases).


No matter what graphic program you are using, you want to "choke" or cut away from the base. Leac the toip colors as they are, (but you use the OVERPRINT feature to assist you in your separations. How much choke depends on the quality of your press and mesh tension but in general, you want about 0.25" choke on the base. You can do that with a color that does not print, or with a computer white (aka process white). There is no such thing as a process white ink, but...for separations, If you create a custom color in process and not as a spot color, that color can be used as a knockout color. Then you don't have to play with having a custom color that does not print...and use that for your knockout color. Don't really need it to be that way.


EXAMPLE:


You want your TOP WHITE on the flag to OVERPRINT so that it does not knock out the color below it. In that case, the color below it would be the base white.
In Illustrator this overprint feature is found in the ATTRIBUTES window ...under WINDOWS.  You just check or uncheck overprint to get it to do what you want for each element. Same for the strokes (if any).


You don't want to use too low of a mesh for this art since it's all solid. it would be caked on too heavy. But in general MOST people would print a solid but choked base and print the solid colors over top. You can flash in-between.


If it were me, I'd prefer a thinner mesh on the base, like on a 230 mesh (used only to support the colors)...and then print the top white even on a manual. This method might be different than some people would do on a manual. They may feel using two whites on a manual is overkill, considering that you can print the base, then flash, and print again, as much as you want to geta bright white. To me, I only want enough under the colors to support the color. It's very common to use a low mesh on a base white for a job like this but I would not. I think it all comes down to how you want to handle it. Personal preferences.   others can chime in on their preferences for that. I'd be interested to hear other people's thoughts on that.


If you used medium mesh, you might get away with less flashing.
The more ink you put down quickly, the more flashing you will need.
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Offline tonypep

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2023, 08:37:05 AM »
Since this is a fleece project 125 mesh for ub with a .5 choke, 196 mesh for top colors with .25 trap between the top colors so they do not perfectly touch and bleed into eachother. The dot gain when printing will make up for that. Or you could flash after every screen which would not be fun for a long run. My 2cents anyway

Offline Dottonedan

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2023, 10:17:45 AM »
I ran with the sep part and overlooked that it was going on hoodies. Tony, would you have a top white in this or rely on using the base white only?


Tony’s suggestion is an example of the different ways people approach a job. We can do it differently yet still achieve a good print.

At any other job I’ve had except the next one below, we didn’t add a gap of any size (between colors). We would choke .5 from the center line (on the base only) and for solid art only. For sim process, we did not choke “the colors” on the inside of the art. Even on the base, we would only choke the outside edges so that the base would not peak out. That’s for the sim process. I’ve got plenty of years of doing it this way successfully.  This goes to show that it’s just another way. A different method to achieve the same.

At one of my jobs, the prod mgr requested what’s known as a gutter space between colors (on the base only), but even for sim process. The colors were not gapped, but the base did have a gap of .5 (from the center line) giving .25 on either side for every type of sep.  I wasn’t fond of that method but it’s what he wanted. The downside of this method is when you had a dark garment, with light  colored ink you would see this darker shade of an outline around the whole color on the inside. Didn’t help the visual much at all in my opinion but I think he felt that helped production speed?  Not sure. It may have just been that this is how that prod. Mgr learned and kept with it.

Tony’s suggestions above, is to add a gap (on the colors also). I assume that is (in addition to the base)? That may be since it’s on fleece. Tony can elaborate on that himself if he happens to come back to this post.

This is a good post. A good example of “different methods” to approach the same job. There are no exact rules.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2023, 10:24:34 AM by Dottonedan »
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850

Offline Maxie

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2023, 05:09:16 AM »
We would print a base white with a choke on a 1`50 screen and then each of the 3 colors seperately on either a 220 or 175 depending on the quality of the shirt.
We obviously flash the base and would most probable have a second flash after the red then blue and white last.
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Offline OhNoPrinting

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2023, 02:59:02 PM »
thanks for all the replys. interesting to see, that there is many ways indeed to print a basic design.

I still don´t get the need for a second white? If I have an underbase white and cut a "hole" in the red shape, isn´t that working? or is an underbase-white really so different from a top-white? Like, underbase super thin layer and then thicker white on top?

If i go with the underbase, I will choke it, but because while I flash I can print the next hoodie at the same time so i don´t loose much, I will not trap the colors and will try to align them as close as I manage.

I will report back, with the result :-)

thx and have a great celebration and a happy new year.

Offline Frog

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2023, 03:52:44 PM »

I still don´t get the need for a second white? If I have an underbase white and cut a "hole" in the red shape, isn´t that working? or is an underbase-white really so different from a top-white? Like, underbase super thin layer and then thicker white on top?


Yes indeed! An underbase does not need to be a solid totally opaque layer (not even always white, but that's for another discussion).
In fact, you'll probably find that you actually get better behavior from the subsequent ink colors when it's not.
That rug really tied the room together, did it not?

Offline blue moon

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2024, 09:00:59 PM »
The accommodations for registration should be applied to your base white only.
No matter what graphic program you are using, you want to "choke" or cut away from the base.

Very, very strongly DISAGREE with this statement! Changing the underbase wil alter the look of the design. Choking will eliminate very thin lines.Try choking fine text and see whats left…

Underbase should be left alone and the top colors should be expanded to cover the underbase.



Pierre
« Last Edit: January 01, 2024, 09:48:42 PM by blue moon »
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Offline Dottonedan

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2024, 10:47:10 AM »
Again, the interesting part of approaching a job. One feels "strongly" about one method while others may not agree and do things differently.
If I understand him correctly, (as it appears in black and white), He disagrees and would change the top colors to apply a thicker element (a stroke) to the top colors and not touch the base white. He states that modifying the base...would be altering the look of the design). To me, it's FOR THIS REASON, (wanting to avoid altering the appearance of the original art)... that I myself, disagree with HIM on this as a rule.
But lets remember, it really comes down to HOW ONE PRINTS that dictates how we lean towards approaching a project.


I disagree with Blue Moon. Not "strongly", but I do, and I'll clarify where the NOT strongly comes into play and partially agrees with him. I feel he spoke by shooting from the hip...and may have needed to elaborate and specify where he disagrees. It currently implies that he completely disagrees "strongly" as in with all modifications to the base and that you should only modify the top colors as apposed to what I had stated.
I assume I read that right.



This registration accommodations in separation to me, is sort of the first rule of separations. You want to modify the base only, (as much as possible). Modifying the top, (the colors) in any way, degrades the integrity of the original image so you want to avoid doing that as much as you can as a rule. BUt there can always be a GIVE AND TAKE. There are exceptions and THIN line work and SMALL type are those exceptions. Some of the art that we must separate that is provided by the customer can be out of control with small detail. If we we are creating the art ourselves within the shop, we would be avoiding designing with tiny type and very thin lines.  Blue Moons experiences comes from customer provided art so he speaks with a lot of that experience.
 


In some cases, the type or line art can be very small and thin. Too small for print in some cases and must be re-created in order to make it work cleanly. Sometimes we have to address how to use what they provided and separate very small type. In these cases, we still want to leave the most attention, the most modification to the base...and not as much on the top colors.



What I will do, is treat the small type (separately) from what I would do with the rest of the larger art of the same color. On small type and thin lines, I will split the difference on my choke (on the small type). Instead of a .5 (from center line out), I will do .25 choke on the base (thin type) and add .25 thickness to the top color thin element. This modification to the cop color is minute. Adding .5 thickness to the top color of (small type) is too much modification IMO and should be avoided. (The above is for most people when separating their own work when in vector).




It's true that when you do have extremely small type, you then want to approach that part differently. But ONLY that part. In other words, don't apply the same technique to fatten a color across the board. Only for the small type.

For me, THIS subject of choking small type for registration is the epitome of why I use 600ppi resolution for my photoshop files. I choke 2-3 pixels IN and typically, I for the most part, I do not add to the outside. The 600ppi gives me enough CLEAN choke on small type (to allow for providing a good usable underbase that is choked, and holding the integrity of a very good under base for that small type in Time Roman and Helvetica type.  This is pertaining to about 8 or 10 pt type.  At the point I'm working with 6 pt type, (smallest legal type) and should be ridiculous for anyone to be using on apparel...I may add 1 pixel to the outside, and choke 2 pixels to the inside.  This is using LIVE type with anti-aliasing turned off to that it is SOLID with no blurred edges on the type if typing out yourself. If provided, then you are FUBAR with this small type with blurred edges.  I would then adjust levels or curves to make the type solid with no fuzzy edges and let it ride.


I'll say that I respect the need for others to do it differently and disagree with me. I may not agree, but I will respect your reasons for why.
I do know tho, that what I do, the way I do it, works for about 1500 jobs per year for me and my full time job and the wide variety of shops for my freelance customers. Both licensed/retail and custom work. I think that weighs heavily as a strong justification for continuing with the methods I do, but I do not claim that everyone should do it my way.
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Offline inkman996

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2024, 12:01:14 PM »
Not sure why its such a hot topic. I honestly just do it old school, I sep everything  manually so I can treat every part separately. I almost always just choke the white base but when there is small lines I will instead increase the top color. These details are so small to start with it will not effect the over all art work in any discernible way.
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Offline Dottonedan

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2024, 12:13:50 PM »
Not sure why its such a hot topic. I honestly just do it old school, I sep everything  manually so I can treat every part separately. I almost always just choke the white base but when there is small lines I will instead increase the top color. These details are so small to start with it will not effect the over all art work in any discernible way.


I feel the same.  Basically, only affect the small stuff in a small way on the top colors for the lease amount of change.
Artist & Sim Process separator, Co owner of The Shirt Board, Past M&R Digital tech installer for I-Image machines. Over 28 yrs in the apparel industry. Apparel sales, http://www.designsbydottone.com  e-mail art@designsbydottone.com 615-821-7850

Offline 3Deep

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2024, 01:16:22 PM »
Maybe I'm getting old and lazy but this was a really big discussion on such a simple looking print, but sometimes simply can be more of a pain than you thought,
 I know I've run into this before.
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Offline Dottonedan

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2024, 03:11:10 PM »
Maybe I'm getting old and lazy but this was a really big discussion on such a simple looking print, but sometimes simply can be more of a pain than you thought,
 I know I've run into this before.




I think it just gravitated towards getting deeper like this simply due to all of the subtle nuances of separation it'self that got us down this far. Rabbit hole.  LOL.  But what are we here for, if not to discuss.
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Offline OhNoPrinting

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2024, 03:05:35 PM »
to finish up:

I hate screen printing - no really, should have just use DTF...

but on a serious note, it was really stressful to print three colors on two locations on a hoodie, including large white areas. I def need to improve my white ink. Maybe reducer, or warming it up or not sure.. but because it was so sticky, printing the top layer was a nightmare (garment moved, uneven surface ...). I already used 2px choke on the white base*.

*I chose to use the choke for the "base" because only the heart element got printed on top and I didn´t need to fiddle with the top layer..

for the bigger print I used 43t mesh, the smaller 43t and 80t. 

Biggest problem: too much ink/thick print. movement of the garment, even so I used lots of glue. a couple of times the top black ink seems to bleed, not much but.. :-/ and yeah.. either i got a bit of white or an ugly darker frame: somtimes you loose and sometimes the others win



and smaller front



Offline Rockers

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Re: Plastisol: print in layers or cut out?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2024, 07:36:19 PM »
The accommodations for registration should be applied to your base white only.
No matter what graphic program you are using, you want to "choke" or cut away from the base.

Very, very strongly DISAGREE with this statement! Changing the underbase wil alter the look of the design. Choking will eliminate very thin lines.Try choking fine text and see whats left…

Underbase should be left alone and the top colors should be expanded to cover the underbase.



Pierre
Sometimes we do both. Especially if there is fine text. Really depends on the font too. But yes sometimes we choke the base just half of what we normally choke it by and then make up for it by adding some trap to the top colors. But we do this mainly on small text.