Mysteries of textile screen printers in India
After my long technical vacation I am back with full confidence and enthusiasm to share some of my insights, views and opinions about the direct-to-garment screen printing industry which I experienced from my last workshop and our companies participation in two exhibitions – GTE 12, New Delhi and KnitWorld, Ludhiana.
But first I would start from where I left…
THE LAUNCH PARTY…
The launching of Grafica’s nano-prinTex was a full house with more than 150 invitees from garment screen printing industry across India …
The event began with my welcome speech, product presentation, live demo followed by cocktail-dinner. Apart from textile screen printers I had also invited DMI’s Sponsors, our dealers and distributors, industry associates and existing Grafica customers. I was really thankful to all those who attended this event and a special thanks to all our distributors, dealers for their supports. My special thanks to DMI’s sponsors (Sericol, Skyscreen, Colors, Technova, Adobe & Indian Dyes and Sales Corporation).
Upon my request Anil Brahmbhatt (Skyscreen), Raghav Rao (Sericol), Mustafa Kapadia (Colors) and Jayesh Shah (IDSC) openly shared the kind of benefits they are deriving from sponsoring their products and services to DMI.
After my presentation live demonstration of nano-prinTex was arranged in the factory…
Following the launch of nano-prinTex, we were flooded with requests from many garment screen printers to conduct an exclusive workshop on direct-to-garment textile screen printing. I was eager to announce my first 3-day workshop on direct-to-garment screen printing at DMI. Finally this workshop was successfully concluded on 5,6, 7 April 2012. Due to this unexpected scheduling of the workshop, I really had very limited time because there was too much of reading and meeting with experts, garment screen printers, ink suppliers to understand what sort of difficulties each one is facing related to their products and services so that all those issues could be covered in my theory and practical.
Screen printing is not a new subject for me but refreshing my knowledge in textile printing within a very short time was a big challenge. In fact my experience and knowledge in screen printing began with Industrial screen printing and thereafter I learnt many new tricks of process color graphics screen printing. That’s the reason why I found textile screen printing too easy for me to understand, because the only technology which changes apart from artwork, screen making and press parameters was inks and substrates i.e. fabrics. So my main focus all the time was to spend most of my time in understanding the chemistry of inks and the behavior of inks on the fabrics. I spend most of my time in DMI to standardize the process of inks, mesh count and press parameters to achieve consistent result.
Considering the high level of quality standards required in Industrial screen printing (e.g. PCB’s, Automotive Decals & Dials, Graphic overlays, Membrane keys, Glass and Ceramics etc.) and even in process colors graphics, especially in areas like screen making, pre-press and screen printing is much challenging and different in these segments as compared to garments / textile screen printing. That’s the reason why I do not compromise on printing quality.
In the last two exhibitions and in my first workshop I was surprised to hear from many big players in textile printing that they are not aware about the mesh count they use nor they knew anything about types of fabrics like Nylon or Polyester. When I asked them what mesh count they use few of them replied by saying 18 no. mesh or 20 no. mesh. When I explained that we use 77T or 90T or 120T they were confused???… Even when I asked the same question in my first exclusive textile workshop, the same answers came from the participants albeit with same confusion about mesh.
And, Dual-Cure Photopolymer emulsion remains a mystery… :
If I compare the level of understanding about emulsions, mesh count etc. between graphics / Industrial screen printing with textile screen printer, I personally feel that percentagewise, garment screen printers have less knowledge and understanding about screen making compare to industrial and graphics screen printers. I was really concerned that many printers use butter paper (tracing paper) to make positives in A3 size for a 12 color job. Often, few so called ‘intelligent garment printers’ ask me about the registration accuracy of nano-prinTex and my answer to them was to first check the accuracy of your positives with each colors before you want to know the accuracy… Butter paper hhmm..
This clearly makes me understand that at DMI, I have to focus more on screen making parameters to explain the importance of screen than just printing. Because the screen is the heart of screen printing, GOOD SCREEN = GOOD PRINTING.
World’s first exclusive workshop for 3 days on garment screen printing…
Complete new slides with new contents, theory and practicals. All new pre-press parameters and screen making techniques…quite challenging but was easy due to our years’ of experience and expertise.
On the first day I completely spent on pre-press, process color screen printing, artwork, separation techniques, positive linearization and press linearization techniques, and on second day I focused on Spot Process Techniques printing on white and dark garment. On the last day we printed with Special effects and water based inks on dark using metallic, glitter, puff, high density etc…
This time we had couple of participants from nearby countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and many far distant places across India. To me one of the interesting participants who came all the way from Ludhiana was Mr. Ashok Jain of Miniking Knitwears Pvt. Ltd., one of the biggest and reputed garment manufacturers in the northern region. He came along with his son and two of his key production people. Being an owner he showed keen interest and enthusiasm to learn various techniques we demonstrated at DMI all three days. Very few owners like him take interest to learn technology with so much patience and very few owners send their people to learn. Most of them are afraid of teaching or sending their people outside to learn. Such printers have very conservative approach towards growth. I think teaching and training is an ongoing process and should be taken in a broader prospective if companies want grow their business. Towards this objective, Mr. Ashok Jain’s approach was very much positive because he told me that, “the company is being run by people and everyone in the company should be aware of the right process and technology to progress and it’s they who handle day to day problems and what I want is results”.
Like him there were many CEO’s, MD’s from reputed companies who took keen interest by participating in my workshop.
But, I urge all CEO’s, Owners, MD’s in garment/garment screen printing industry to also send their printers, managers, supervisors, graphic designers to DMI to learn correct process so that they can deliver quality output and you can reduce your day to day involvement in production and quality issues.
I remember that from the moment we announced our first workshop, within 15 days it was houseful. There were many wait listed participants who will get the chance for the next workshop. This shows the eagerness of textile screen printers. I wonder why there is not many institutes like DMI in the world to teach proper technology in screen printing.
I have incorporated many new and improved contents based on my first experience and requirements of screen printers at large. This time we will be screen printing process color using plastisol and water based inks. We also plan to demonstrate discharge ink on dark garments and special effects using water based and plastisol inks. Inks like metallics and glitters will also be included in few designs to demonstrate how to make attractive garments.
DMI sponsors have always shown their keen interest to support all my workshops but this time I would like to specially thank Jayesh Shah of IDSC, Raghav Rao of SERICOL & Mr. Konkane & Mr. Kamat of PIDILITE. In fact Mr. Kamat was keen to deliver his technical presentation on water based ink, pigments and on green environment. IDSC have supplied all plastisol inks for Spot Process on dark garments and SERICOL have supplied PVC-PHTHALATE free Plastisol Inks, Water Based Process Color Inks. PIDILITE have supplied their water based medium, binder and various pigments to make our own colors and some special discharge pigments to demonstrate discharge printing. They also included one magical water based ink which can be directly printed on any dark garments without under base white or discharge, still it can achieve bright colors.
In our next workshop we will refine our technique with great improvements to get the best result out of all these varieties of inks and chemicals.
I specially thank all my students and DMI faculty members who worked day and night with me. These boys were so curious and enthusiastic. That’s the reason why I could also work non-stop along with them without getting tired.
There are many surprises for garment printers coming soon…
So be in touch with us. After my second textile workshop which is scheduled on 17-18-19 May 2012 I shall announce in my blog about further exciting developments.
If you have not registered for the next workshop, then what are you waiting for, just log on to http://www.graficaindia.com today and reserve your seats.
Meanwhile, thanks DAWN HOHL of Uncommon Enterprises LLC, USA for sending many tips and technical information on water based discharge inks and many other parameters related to garment screen printing. DAWN has always been very cooperative since the inception of DMI and very few technical experts like her would share their information with others.
Thanks DAWN for your continued support…
Then, thanks to MARK COUDRAY of TShirtSuccess,LLC, USA (www.coudray.com) for helping me with solutions to my queries related to mesh selection, inks many other factors related to garments. In fact he was so much supportive that whenever I asked him any questions he gave me accurate and prompt reply which helped me to complete my R&D quickly.
Thanks Mark for your prompt replies and showing keen interest in my developments.
Finally I cannot end my blog thanking The Great CHARLIE FACINI of Freehand Graphics (www.softwareforscreenprinters.com) who was quite generous to donate free licenses of SEPARATION STUDIO and ACCURIP to DMI for our research and trial purpose. With his great innovations we could achieve fantastic results using SPOT PROCESS TECHNIQUE and we could print dramatic photorealistic images on white and dark garments
Take care and have a great week ahead.
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