Mis-print Monday: Why Is the Ink Not Cured?
We got some photos today from a shirt company and they had a printer reporting that the shirts looked like crap after washing. You can see the photos at the end of this post.
The ink is not cured from what I see and this is what I told them can be the causes:
Undercuring can be from:
1. Shirts did not spend enough time in the dryer.
2. Shirts that are colder than normal. (If you normally send shirts through when they are 70 degree F. with the dryer set at 350 degrees and they cure, then you send them through when they are 40 degrees on a cold fall morning, they may not cure.
3. Thicker ink deposit. (The ink has to cure all the way through.)
4. The dryer temperature may be fluctuating or not high enough.
5. The shirts can be damp even if you can’t tell this by touching them. This happens with thick shirts or canvas most often. The moisture then evaporates in the dryer and that cools the shirt and this causes the ink to not cure.
6. Too much of certain additives to the ink. This seems mostly to happen when somebody puts something in the ink and doesn’t label it and somebody comes along and uses it like it is straight out of the bucket.
7. Rarely, but I have seen a shop that has the doors open and the breezes disrupt the dryer.
8 All inks are not the same and one may cure and another not cure at the same temperature.
9. Certain fabrics reflect or absorb the heat in the dryer and you have to adjust your time and temperature accordingly, same with certain inks, particularly metallics or reflective inks.
You can stretch the shirt, probe your dryer, and any number of methods to check for cure, but nothing works like putting it in the washing machine and seeing if the ink sticks on there.
Shirts with prints that are washing off because the ink is not cured: