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  • Screen Printing Glossary Part 2

    Plastisol: A screen printing ink primarily for textile printing composed of the following components: PVC (polyvinyl chloride), color pigments, and plasticizers.

    PMS : Pantone Matching System a system for mixing various inks to achieve the specified color as determined by Pantone.

    Positive: Also known as film or film positive. Any media used to completely block out UV light in the design area during the exposure process.

    Pre-Press: All processes performed prior to actual printing.

    Print-Flash-Print (PFP): Screen printing technique used to achieve an opaque print result by printing, flash curing the print and then applying another print stroke.

    Print Side: The side of the screen that touches the substrate being printed on.

    Proof: A sample print. Also known as a test print.

    Puff Ink: A special effect type of plastisol ink that “raises up” or expands dimensionally during the curing process.

    Reclaim: To remove old emulsion from a screen so the screen can be reused.

    Reducer: A colorless ink additive used to lower the viscosity of the ink making it easier to print.

    Registration: The process of lining up the screen image to the original art and/or separations on a printing press and/or exposure unit.

    Registration Mark: “Crosshair” target marks used for aligning a screen image to the source art.

    Retensionable Frames: Special frames that allow the mesh to be applied over the screen without the use of adhesives or stretching equipment. The mesh is drawn tightly over the frame using either a roller or telescopic tightening system.

    Safelight: A light that should be used when working with photosensitive materials like emulsion or capillary films to prevent accidental exposure to ultraviolet light. A yellow “bug light” works well for this purpose.

    Scoop Coater: A metal trough used to dispense emulsion for the purpose of coating screens.

    Screen: A wooden or metal frame with mesh tightly attached to it.

    Solvent: A liquid that dissolves a solid.

    Squeegee: Wooden or metal handled tool with a rubber blade used to drive ink through a stencil by pulling the squeegee across the screen.

    Squeegee Side: The side of the screen the ink is applied to.

    Spot Color: Color reproduced by an opaque, premixed, standard ink chosen from a color system such as the Pantone Matching System

    Stencil: The portion of an exposed screen containing the image to be printed.

    Step Wedge Test – Exposure test to determine proper exposure time with a series of stepped exposures on one screen.

    Substrate: Term for the item that is being printed.

    Tension: The “tightness” of the screen mesh, measured in newtons.

    Underbase: A thin coating of ink printed first and cured to act as a base for which all other colors are to be printed on. Underbasing is usually required when printing multi-color designs on colored shirts.

    Underexposed: Insufficient screen exposure time, resulting in a soft stencil that can break down prematurely during the print run.

    Vector Art- Images that use points, lines, curves and shapes based on mathematical expressions. These images are usually created in programs such as Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Freehand to name a few.

    Viscosity: Commonly perceived as the “thickness” or “thinness” of an ink.

    Water Based Ink: Non plastisol inks that can be air dried.

    Wash Test: Laundering a printed garment in a washing machine to determine if the print is fully cured. The ink will wash off of an undercured garment during the wash test.

    Washout Booth : Booth used for washing out stencils and reclaiming screens.

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