The Squeegee presents tons of benefits to those looking to do large high color runs — it’s quick, cost effective, and extremely versatile when it comes to customizations. It combines all of the great things about screen printing (cost, efficiency, and ability to print with specialty inks) with the benefits of DTG (photorealistic, quick set up). It can print on a wide array of garment types and materials but to get the best results out of your Squeegee prints, 100% cotton is the way to go.
The Squeegee uses a screen printed underbase with a digital print on top to produce colorful photorealistic artwork. Waterbased/discharge CMYK inks are used for the underbase to give the DS inks something to adhere to. “Anything with a high polyester count will not discharge very well, like 50/50 blends. We recommend using a garment that is 100% cotton facing. Being that cotton is a natural material, it discharges very well and stays vibrant,” says Tyler Barnes, Culture Studio’s screen printing expert. Along with maintaining vibrancy, it also results in a very soft print and shirt that is comfortable to wear.
With cotton garments, only two screens are needed — a discharge base and a digital top coat for durability. This leaves a lot of room on press to have fun and add multimedia special effects like metallic, puff, and gel.
“On a 50/50 garment, we end up doubling the amount of screens and flashes (waterbased poly blocker, waterbased white underbase, pre digital screen, then digital top coat). We can still achieve a great looking result using this method, but it limits our space on press for special effects. It also increases the hand feel because there are more layers,” Tyler explains.
So although the Squeegee can print on almost anything,100% cotton will always yield the best results in terms of print quality, vibrancy, and comfortability when wearing.
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