The Screen Print Man

I am back from the ‘City of Joy’ after attending two exhibitions, namely, Garknit-X - related to garment finishing including stitching, embroidery, printing) and Eastern Print Pack, related to printing and packaging (offset, screen and digital included).

05 Dec 2014 | By Shripad Bhat

Let me briefly tell you what happened in garment exhibition (Garknit-X), while restricting my blog to textile and garment printing. Textile printing refers to full printing on textile/fabric using rotary screen or digital textile printing machines.

Garment printing refers to partial printing on t-shirt, kids’ wears, women’s wear, jerseys, etc. Garment printing is not like commercial printing on paper. It is necessarily done as part of ‘garment decoration’ or say value addition because you all know that without print you can comfortably wear garments or clothing.

Direct to garment printing is done using both screen (manual and automation) and digital technology. Then there is indirect to garment printing which includes heat transfers (can be printed with digital and screen technology) and sublimation printing (using digital technology).

Some portion of Garment decoration is also done with embroidery.

Like other garment exhibition, in Garknit-X expo, there were several embroidery stalls demonstrating how garment can be decorated with speed using automatic machines with result as good as garment printing.

At Garknit-X expo Grafica was the only company to demonstrate live direct to garment printing on their nano-prinTex, 6 color/12 pallet screen printing machine.  Hundreds of garment printers especially the one who use manual screen printing got the glimpses of printing CMYK on garments using plastisol and water based inks.

Grafica had printed two designs, London City and Lady to demonstrate the technique of printing CMYK on light and dark garment.

1.    Lady design: CMYK printing with 85 LPI, using plastisol ink using 120 T mesh.

2.    London city design: CMYK printing using water based ink, with 65 LPI (79 T mesh) and discharge printing, using 53 T mesh

There was also live demo of Grafica nano-prinTag to demonstrate how on an automatic machine perfect registration can be achieved quickly for 4 colour direct to garment printing job with small fonts line artwork.

Let me tell you what happened at Eastern Print Pack, Kolkata (27 to 30 Nov 2014). Since this event widely covered by PWI Dy. Editor, Noel D’Cunha, I limit my blog to screen printing only.

Team Grafica made best efforts to enthrall the visitors by constantly performing live demo of screen printing UV special effects to demonstrate value addition concept for packaging.

Four types of boxes (Mint box), decorated with two special effects each, namely, Texture/3D reflective, wrinkle/fragrance, gold glitter/ glow-in dark, Rhine-stone/Raise effects, were distributed to knowledge seeking visitors as free samples the much talked about value addition concept.

The Mint box printed on 280 gsm cardboard (16” x 24” sheet), duly silver foil laminated, spanning all four days of the exhibition.

Matt UV was first screen printed on Nano-Print plus machine using 120 T mesh followed by Transparent Yellow, Transparent Pink, Transparent Green, Orange, Blue – all using 180 T mesh. The live demo was continued next day with printing of Reflective UV and Black UV (using 180 T mesh); followed by Sensation UV (120 T mesh), Texture with abrasive UV (79 T mesh), and then Wrinkle UV (79 T mesh) and Glow in Dark UV (43 T mesh). The demo continued on third day with screen printing of Fragrance UV (63 T mesh), Crystal UV to get high raise emboss/high density (24 T mesh) which required use of 200 micron Phat film. The live demo was concluded with printing of Glitter (golden) UV using 24 T mesh.

The mint box printed using multiple up techniques, that means, 250 sheets were printed each having designs of 4 boxes, to make 1000 Mint boxes (duly die cut, folded, pasted).

This all about what happened at Grafica stall!

Let me take you further. In a first of its kind experience, I witnessed, photographed and interviewed three offset printers – CEI Print Pack, Arihant Printers and Kohinoor Printers - who had put up their stall at Eastern Print Pack to demonstrate their capabilities in packaging (rakhi boxes, garment boxes and sweet boxes), and calendar printing in a big way. They had showcased huge collection of value addition samples.

Interestingly (an inspiration to offset printers), all these three printers have 4 or 5 colour offset and at the same time Grafica fully automatic swing cylinder press with inline UV and complete screen making set up. All the three printers revealed that almost every job has some amount of value addition, vis a vis, UV special effects treatment (not the typical old system of gloss and matt UV anymore). Hundreds of printers were gathered at their stall to get the glimpses of value addition. The glittering wall and table calendars, diaries, rakhi boxes, Haldiram Sweet Box, or Rupa innerwear garment boxes said it all .. the kamaal of UV special effects.

I shall post independent stories on each of these offset trio offset printers from Kolkata who dared to showcase their value added packaging and calendars at Eastern Print Pack.

I used the word ‘dare’ because not many of the printers come out so openly to demonstrate their print capabilities at exhibitions… I remember some printers such as Pragati, who show case their print power at exhibitions such as Print Pack (and Spectrum at Media Expo).