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Screen Printing – Print Flash Print


If you are going to be around screen printers for any length of time you will hear the phrase ‘Print Flash Print’ at some point! This well-worn phrase for screen printers means something really simple but absolutely essential when is comes to printing light colours on dark garments.


Simply put a white layer of ink called an underbase is printed onto the garment first. This layer perfectly matches the whole print and no more. The screen printing carousel moves around to the next station and goes under what’s called a Flash Dryer. This is a flat plate which heats up super quick (we use quartz flash bulbs in all three of our flash dryers). It changes the temperature of the garment from 30 degrees to around 110 degrees in about 3 seconds.


What this does is dry the surface area of the ink – we call this flash curing – this means that a second layer of ink (either another hit of white or a other colours) is laid on top of the underbase.


The reason this is done is to make sure that the bright coloured inks (white, reds etc) don’t look murky and faded on a dark garment. It’s an essential part of screen printing for those jobs where inks really need to pop on a dark garment.