Youth Sports and Vacation Travel – Screen Printers are Back
The Covid-19 virus is beginning to come under control in the US and consumers are returning to pre-Covid activities. These include getting back to youth sports and the return of vacation travel. As a result, demand is returning for the screen printing services that support these two activities.
Youth sports account for a high volume of screen printing business. Player's names, team names and numbers all need to be applied to jerseys. Screen printers are also busy printing clothing highlighting particular tourist areas. Vacationers usually want to commemorate their visit with a tee shirt from where they vacationed. It gives them something to remember the experience. Since we are seeing returning demand for screen printing it is a good time to revisit how Thermolabel temperature labels are used by screen printers around the country to dial in their curing processes.
So how are temperature labels used by screen printers?
There are two main applications for Thermolabel temperature test strips in screen printing. The first is in curing ovens. After the ink has been applied to the garment it needs to be cured to a specific temperature to set the ink. Ink manufacturers will specify the temperature that the ink needs to reach to be correctly cured. If the garment gets too hot it can scorch. If the curing temperature is not high enough, the print will not be durable and will degrade after a few washes. This curing temperature is not the oven temperature but instead is the temperature that the ink/garment must reach. A shirt entering the curing oven does not rise to the oven temperature instantly. It likely will never fully reach the temperature of the oven. That is why it is critical to use a indicator label to find out what temperature the garment is actually reaching. This allows you to adjust oven temperature and conveyor speed to achieve a quality result for your customer. Also, different materials will take different settings to reach the required cure temperature. A hoodie may not be fully cured at the settings that cure a tee shirt perfectly. This makes it crucial to regularly dial in your curing when switching jobs.
The second use of temperature labels in screen printing is actually not technically screen printing but is transfer application. Transfers are a popular garment decoration method employed by screen printers. A heat press is used to apply a transfer to a garment. The transfer needs to reach a specified temperature to produce a quality finished product. Often the heat press platen temperature is dialed in by placing several temperature labels on a surface such as a sheet of paper, which is then pressed in the heat press. The result will show if all areas of the heat press platen are reaching the needed temperature. Often there are cold spots on the platen requiring the temperature to be increased to make sure the entire transfer will reach the correct temp. There are great videos out there showing how to set up and run a platen temperature test using Thermolabel temperature labels.
Whether you are running a seemingly endless stream of “Maui, Hawaii” tees through a conveyor oven or you are using a heat press to apply the player numbers to a stack of lacrosse jerseys, Paper Thermometer temperature labels will help you achieve the results that will keep your customers happy.