Ghost Story

I’ve posted about ghosting before, but here’s a quick refresher as I have been asked three times in the past week to help a shop with ghosting problems.

A ghost image is an image from a shirt that appears faintly on another shirt (or rarely but sometimes on the back of the same shirt, or around the print)

Ghosting is caused by heat, moisture and whatever the bleaching agent is that is in the white ink you are using. The solutions:

– Longer out feed from your dryer to cool the shirts.

– Fan(s) pointed at the shirts to cool them as they exit the dryer

– Stack the shirts at the end of the dryer in a series of piles, so that the stacks don’t get as hot, and again, fans help

– Use a cotton white ink, or a non-ghosting white ink. Definitely don’t use 50/50 or poly white inks if you have a ghosting problem, and some inks are worse than others. We use Rutland M3 9000 which is a non-ghosting white ink to totally avoid ghosting problems.

– If you are worried about dye migration AND ghosting, then I recommend the new Rutland “Endurance” grey as an under print and then a non-ghosting white over that.

– For many years I only heard of ghosting happening at the end of the dryer. Now I am hearing of ghosting happening in the dryer, either around the print on the same side or even on thin shirts going through the shirt to the back. Yikes! The only solution for that is non-ghosting white ink.

– This problem often is worse in the summer. Humidity can make it worse. Heat definitely makes it worse. You may put the shirts out earlier in the shop to get some of the moisture out. You may be able to turn down your dryer. The same settings are not needed when your shirt is going into the tunnel at 90 to 100 degrees that was needed in January when it went in at 55 to 75 degrees.

A ghost image on the back of a shirt, mirroring the white ink print on the shirt under it in the stack.

A ghost image on the back of a shirt, mirroring the white ink print on the shirt under it in the stack.

Another form of ghosting, oxidizing agents in the ink spread a bleaching around the white ink, here seen spreading into the green of the shirt around the print.

Another form of ghosting, oxidizing agents in the ink spread a bleaching around the white ink, here seen spreading into the green of the shirt around the white print.

Don't be afraid of ghosts, use a non-ghosting white ink.

Don’t be afraid of ghosts, use a non-ghosting white ink.

 

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