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Last Updated on: 26th November 2021, 09:46 am

Screen printing is a skillful printing job. And, that brings more room for mistakes. Especially beginners who often make these mistakes that must be avoided.

However, it is not always easy to point out mistakes but a few are listed and identified here. Peek into these mistakes and minimize and eliminate altogether.

1. Do not keep Quiet while you need help:

Keep quiet and everything will be “ok”. The mistake that every beginner makes. They aren’t aware that problems won’t decrease but multiply further.

Do not hesitate to contact me and ask for help from your product vendor. Your vendor is the domain expert who can help you for free. Because you are paying for the purchases, and advice comes for free.

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You may find the internet as an alternative. Had it been that effective, everyone would have been a master today. In fact, many tutorial videos can be misleading, hiding steps, and most importantly screen printing is not a child’s play to just plug and play.

For instance, there are several different ways to coat or expose a screen, but which is best for your situation?

You can push a squeegee rather than pulling it across the screen, but should you? What’s the best off-contact for a job, or what squeegee durometer should you use? Unless you really know what you’re doing, there generally is no perfect answer.

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Again, it is difficult to answer such questions unless you have an in-depth discussion about the scenario and maybe share photos of the particular issue.

Otherwise, you may get the wrong advice. Remember, do not instantly put into practice what you learned. Learn and examine its authenticity. Whether it is the exact solution to the problem you faced.

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There are various incorrect printing techniques as explained in online videos. Beware of that. Ask an expert nearby.

2. Opacity Problem in Films:

The film opacity defines that, how much light a film can stop to pass through it. It is one of the most important aspects of the film.

When holding it up to the sun, for instance, how much light is visible through the
dark areas? The less, the better.

Unless your film isn’t as opaque as it needs to be, you might lose some information on the design. One solution is to minimize exposure time, but doing so can result in further pinholes, or during a print job the emulsion can break down prematurely.

The subtle halftones might not have the desired look, either. There is some forgiving for film opacity in the real world but the target is an absolute blackout.

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With opaque films, things are easier, faster, better, and more productive and forgiving. The amount of image degradation from the original all depends on the quality of the processes
that occurs before the ink is applied to the substrate.

3. Not using sufficient Emulsion:

Often less-experienced printers on the shirt side of the screens don’t use enough emulsion or they dry them incorrectly.

The bottom of the panel must have enough emulsion so it can properly prevent the ink from spreading.

Emulsion’s job is to hold back the ink so that it can accurately duplicate the design on the film. Remember, the film is a copy of the art and the screen is a copy of the film.

The printed picture does not differ from the original but emulsion is an important step in making a print as similar as possible to the original.

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To gauge if you have enough emulsion sheet, feel the edge where the pattern is located. When you’re not getting a distinct edge, that’s not enough.

4. Dry the Coated Screens:

Usually dry with the ink side up, the coated screens horizontally. Consider using fans to shorten the drying time, as this only allows the accumulation of dirt and debris on the glass, which can create pinholes etc.

Appropriate quantities of the emulsion can also influence the volume of the ink-deposit, thereby impacting its opacity. Apply extra emulsion to the shirt side of the screen to reduce the number of print strokes needed to produce a more opaque display.

This also may save printing time and increase your shop’s bottom line.

5. Using Just One color:

In many cases, starting printers usually only use one color, white ink for their designs.

During screen printing, however, it is ideal to use several types of white ink: one for cotton, another for low bleed ink, another for 100 percent polyester, and more.

Using one white ink for everything could lead to a troublesome scenario. White ink intended for cotton can bleed when printed on a colored substrate that contains polyester.

6. Ghost Image:

The low-bleed and polyester white ink could create a ghost image when used on tinted cotton clothing.

A low-bleed white ink may not be strong enough to block dye migration when used on 100% red polyester fabric. Such scenarios continue when more fabric types are considered.

You may be wondering why there isn’t just one ink line for everything you may need to print. The reality is that decorators, and even their customers, want different types of prints.

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Some are strictly concerned with opacity, while others prefer a matte finish. Some may require more adhesion for nylon duffle bags, for instance.

How about the ones who want a great fit for Pantone colors? Some prefer a lighter look. The situation becomes much more complicated as cotton, non-woven polypropylene, dyed polyester, and stretch swimsuit fabrics are all known to need different types of inks.

7. One Squeegee Do not Suffice All:

Another misconception among some first-time printers is that one squeegee durometer will suffice for all their needs.

However, at least three different squeegee hardnesses are needed for various print sizes: a few types for left-chest or pocket-sized prints; a few more for children’s shirt-sized prints; and some
for adult-sized prints.

Why invest in different forms of durometers? Let’s assume you have only a 65-durometer squeegee and you need more coverage of the ink on your print.

You would probably need to double-stroke the ink to get enough. When you’ve used a 60-durometer (softer) squeegee, however, you can achieve the ideal coverage in only one stroke, saving time and money.

The opposite is also true; if you have too much deposit of ink, less ink can be deposited using a tougher, 70-durometer squeegee.

You ‘d save time and money by not changing the 65- durometer squeegee to make it work.


These screen printing problems we discussed are one of the most common mistakes. Because these are based on screen printing fundamentals.

And the solutions have not changed over time. Again, you can ask for help from a screen printing expert.


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Do you have printers? Are those printers sitting idle?

Become a Print-on-Demand dropshipping app like Printful or Printify. Dropship your merchants' orders.

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