I Work & Play’s Direct-to-Garment Imaging Featured on KCCI

Epson F2000 for Direct-to-garment imagingI Work & Play, a great customer of ours from Iowa, was featured on KCCI’s “Karlin Covers Iowa” for their direct-to-garment imaging capabilities.  This company uses the Epson SureColor F2000 and the Lawson Digi-Dry Box for excellent direct-to-garment imaging applications.  They prides themselves on being able to offer their customers exactly what they need, as quickly as possible.  Adding direct-to-garment imaging to their already expansive capabilities has given them the ability to get a photo-realistic image from a customers phone to a garment and out the door in about ten minutes.  Fantastic stuff!

Lawson Digi-Dry Box for Direct-to-garment imagingScreen printing will still have the upper advantage when it comes to bulk runs.  However, for applications such as these where customers are wanting small quantities, direct-to-garment imaging is definitely the way to go.  Not only that, but when combined with specialized DTG dryers such as the Lawson Digi-Dry Box, you can obtain a better soft-hand feel than you can with traditional screen printing.

Pretreat Application and Use Instructions

General Information:

Our RFU (ready-for-use) formulas do not require any dilution – use full-strength, from the container.

Our Concentrate formulas you can use full-strength or dilute as desired up to 50%.

SHAKE the pretreat solution prior to use and before pouring into your pretreat sprayer.

If you “reclaim” any pretreat solution (not recommended) always strain to ensure no fibers, dirt, dust, or other contaminants remain in the solution.

Pretreat Application Instructions:

Apply the pretreat solution as evenly as possible across the image area. We recommend a professional pretreat spray device for best results.

Considerations and variables when determining how much pretreat solution to apply:

  • A good starting point is 1.5 – 1.7 grams per inch (based on a width of 16”). For example, if you are applying pretreat to a 16” wide x 20” long area, the amount of applied pretreat will be 30 – 34 grams for an average weight garment.
  • Always test to find your best operating procedures for your particular situation.
  • Heavier garments require more pretreat solution, and lighter garments require less. Likewise, darker colors require more pretreat than white and light colors. The weight of the garment itself and its construction is, perhaps, the most important variable to consider.
  • It is preferable to use a high quality, ring-spun garment, with a tight-knit weave. Remember, the smoother and tighter the weave of the garment, the better looking your DTG print will be.

Curing Instructions:

When using a Heat Transfer press to dry pretreat, DO NOT use a Teflon sheet or Silicone treated Parchment paper to protect the garment, and DO NOT clamp the heat transfer press too tight. Simply lower the heat press to lightly kiss the garment (light pressure), and use non-silicone treated parchment paper as a protective sheet. Press the garment for 5 – 10 seconds at 330°F (you will see the moisture still escaping from the side of the heat platen). Then lift the transfer platen, quickly remove the pretreat curing paper, and then press again for an additional 15 – 20 seconds with Heavy pressure.

Overall cure time is around 30 seconds – in stages (see above). If after 30 seconds there is still moisture trapped in the shirt, re-press in 10-second intervals until the garment is dry.

Pressure setting: You don’t need a lot of pressure for the initial press. Use light pressure to start (the kiss-method). Use heavy pressure on the final press, so you matte the fibers down and create a smooth printing surface.

Storage of Garments:

Shirts can be pretreated and stored in advance of printing. We suggest using the garment within 30 – 60 days of pretreat application.

Always re-press the garment for 10 seconds with light pressure just before printing to remove any moisture in the shirt, and to flatten any stray fibers. Shirts must be moisture-free before printing!

Note: Be careful not to degrade the pretreat application on the shirt by folding, bending, or scraping the print area where the pretreat solution is applied. Damage can occur to the thin film of pretreat solution, and you will be able to see variations where the pretreat application has been damaged. Remember, you want to print on a moisture-free, smooth image area.

Pretreat application and use instructions Click here to download a PDF of the Pretreat Application and Use Instructions.

 

Lawson at the September ISS Trade Shows

September 4-6: Orlando

Lawson Exhibiting at the ISS Orlando trade show on September 4-6

The first Imprinted Sportswear trade show of the month offers a real treat by teaming up with the Surf Expo show. This combination should offer a unique blend of exhibitors and show features including garment decoration equipment, promotional products, fashion shows, and a great line-up of special events during the show.

Lawson will be exhibiting at Booth #605; we hope to see you there!

Click here for more information on the ISS Orlando side of the trade show
Click here for more information on the Surf Expo side of the trade show

Not going to the show? Have no fear! You can still take advantage of great deals on Lawson equipment as if you were actually on the showroom floor! Give Ben a call at 800.325.8317 for information about special convention-style pricing.

September 18-20: Fort Worth

The second ISS trade show, this one taking place in the Fort Worth area, promises to gather together over 170 exhibitors to display the latest and greatest equipment and supplies in the decorated apparel industry. Learn a few new tricks from industry professionals, hone the skills you currently have, or just have fun mingling with about 5,000 attendees to build lasting bonds that will help you and your business succeed.

Lawson will be exhibiting at Booth #1031; we hope to see you there!

Click here for more information on the ISS Fort Worth trade show

Printing Multi-Tech Plastisol Color Charts

Screen Printing Plastisol Color ChartsThis week’s Photo-Friday image is of Glen printing a 64-color job on a Lawson Trooper automatic screen printing press. It’s a time-consuming and arduous task, but the end result is a wonderful Multi-Tech Plastisol Standard Color Chart to send to our customers in order to help them decide the perfect ink colors for their next screen printing job.

Don’t want to prep, coat and expose a separate screen for each and every one of your colors? Glen’s got a trick for that! Here he is utilizing only one screen for up to four colors by adding hand-made channel-spacers in between each color on the screen to keep them separate. He’s then using a custom-cut V-squeegee to stroke in each channel simultaneously. This technique is called “split screening.”

Do you have a job that requires that one special technique you haven’t quite mastered yet? Are you looking for ways to improve your shop’s quality and productivity? Keep an eye on Lawson’s Technical Support Articles section on our website or you can always feel free to give us a call at 314.382.9300 for support!

Infrared Panels vs. Quartz Tubes in Dryer Design

Ceramic Infrared Heater PanelWhen we are competing against a dryer that utilizes Glass Tubes as the heat source (these tubes are actually an infrared coil inside a heat-resistant quartz glass tube) vs. our Color-Blind Ceramic Panel technology, I have the following comments:

Let me explain why almost all industrial dryer manufacturers choose I.R. Panel Technology over I.R. Glass Tubes (sometimes referred to as quartz bulbs, although they technically are not, although the sheathing is).

  1. Ceramic panels evenly distribute the heat over a surface, typically 12” to 48” (or whatever the panel size is). This provides the benefit of a larger and continuous heating surface. Instead, tubes radiate thin lines/strips of heat because of the bulb design itself.
  2. Lawson uses a 3” thick ceramic coating, with the infrared wire embedded near the bottom surface of the ceramic material. This means that you essentially have nearly three inches of high temperature insulation that is “pushing” the heat downward towards the dryer belt.In contrast, Tubes radiate all the way around their entire surface – this means the heat goes upward as much as downward, and this is terribly inefficient from an energy perspective. Furthermore, Glass Tubes dissipate their heat immediately (i.e. there is essentially zero storage of energy) when the unit is cycled on and off for temperature control purposes. As a result, your dryer has “cold spots” everywhere there is no Tube, and even worse, your ability to maintain an even and consistent temperature is nearly impossible. As a result, wild temperature fluctuations occur inside the heat chamber.
  3. Ceramic Panels are, by nature, “color blind” because they do not “glow and reflect” their heat like I.R. Glass Tubes. Instead, I.R. Panels gently emit infrared through the ceramic material downward towards the garment, independent of ink color or garment color.
  4. Temperature consistency and regulation is far superior utilizing I.R. Panels vs. Tubes because of four primary reasons:
    1. Temperature sensing is more accurate because the thermocouple is in contact with the ceramic panel itself;
    2. The ceramic material provides even heat distribution across the entire surface of the element (12” x 48”) vs. strips of ¾” Tubes;
    3. There are minimal cold spots in the heat chamber, because of greater I.R. surface area – i.e. the surface area of the infrared panels are substantially greater than the small diameter glass I.R. tubes;
    4. I.R. heat loss from cycling a panel on and off is minimal vs. a bulb/tube because bulbs instantly loose all of their heat when cycled off (there is basically zero retention) – this means the thermocouple cannot regulate the inside of your heat chamber accurately. The only way to improve tubes to be somewhat comparable to I.R. panel technology is to us SCR controls and regulate the voltage to the bulb itself (which no one does because of the extra cost involved).
  5. Please note that no one other than Workhorse uses Tubes in their conveyor dryers. M & R, Lawson, Vastex, Brown, the old American, Precision, Sias, Svecia, Atlas, Elexon, etc… And for all of the above reasons and more!

Furthermore, quartz tubes must be heated to around 2500 degrees Fahrenheit to work , as opposed to a ceramic heat panel that heats to around 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, it is likely the use of quartz bulbs may increase your utility bill, but will not increase your production.

Here are some other facts: Since quartz bulbs have a filament in them, they are sensitive to vibration. It is not uncommon for the filaments to break if the dryer is bumped or if the bulbs are mishandled. These bulbs require a reflector to direct the heat. You will be cleaning these reflectors frequently when lint bulbs up and is carbonized by the high operating temperatures of the bulb. The quartz bulb manufacturers state an average 1000 hours of use before replacement. This means you will be replacing these bulbs, minimally twice a year with one standard shift. If you run 2 or more shifts, expect to be servicing these bulbs more often. If a bulb goes out in the dryer , it will create a dead spot and not properly cure your ink. How will you know when a bulb is not working?

I.R. heats objects – quartz tubes do not, they simply radiate heat.

3” of ceramic material insulation, allows I.R. to radiate throughout the surface of the ceramic panel.

Bulbs are simply “hot strips/rods” and do not offer even distribution.

With quartz tubes/bulbs there are many cold spots in the heat chamber.

I.R. wavelength is in the proper spectrum for rapid ink/object curing.

Directed Energy is generated from our I.R. panel technology.

Panels are “Color Blind”…bulbs are not because of the “reflection-bounce.”

Reflectors get dirty (customers often don’t clean them and this leads to even greater energy loss)

Taking these facts into consideration, including our standard warranty on ceramic heating panels of 3 years with the option to extend them for 10 years, why would anyone consider a quartz conveyor dryer?

Hit Promotional Products Wins Lawson Print Quality Award: Uses Lawson Automatic Presses & Dryers

Lawson Equipment at Hit Promotional

Pictured above: Jake Gaines and Mel Hyman

Lawson is pleased to have Hit Promotional Products featured here, as they won the 2013 Quality Print Award by Lawson. Hit is one of the largest ASI suppliers in North America and offers a wide range of screen printed items including: bags, sport bottles, glassware, pens, umbrellas, folding chairs, eyeglasses, key chains, backpacks, notebooks and much more.

Hit has been a valued customer-partner for over 20 years. Click here for their web site: Hit Promotional Products

Even snow can’t keep Lawson away from the new Epson F2000 DTG printer!

Snow tried to keep Lawson away from the Epson F2000Lawson recently received an Epson SureColor F2000 DTG printer from Epson for some in-house testing and training. We’ve been busy since, and there is still so much to be done. With the excitement of getting to play with this advanced direct-to-garment imaging machine, not even extreme winter conditions such as heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures could keep our techs away! In the images above, Ben, David and Hank are busy shoveling the snow away to find their way into the main Lawson warehouse in St. Louis. In some areas, the snowdrift reached up to four feet high against the side of the building.

With the first customer shipments of the Epson F2000 DTG Printers not shipping out until the end of this month at the earliest, we completely understand if you are unable to contain your excitement as well. Give us a call at 314.382.9300 if you’d like any more information. Or if you’d like to come take a closer look and see the Epson F2000 Direct-to-Garment printer in action for yourself, come on by. Have no fear, we’ve cleared a spot in the parking lot for you!

Winter Weather Around Lawson

Snow around LawsonThis year has started off with a few inches of snowfall on New Year’s Day, and much more snow and cold weather is on its way this weekend. Even though the cold is not the most enjoyable thing, the snow gives St. Louis a visually appealing winter landscape.

Be sure to keep the winter temperatures in mind when ordering screen printing supplies! Some supplies (such as screen printing emulsion, some stencil removers and other products) are freezable items. This means that these items could freeze in transit while they are being shipped and could be ruined. If you’re not sure, give us a call and we will let you know what items are freezable, and which days will be alright to ship. If you’re in the St. Louis area, you’re always welcome to come visit us to pick up your orders. Better yet, give us a call about our free shipping offers for select orders!

Stay warm, be safe, and be sure to have a wonderful year!

Lawson Announced as a Distributor for the Epson SureColor F2000 Direct-To-Garment Printer

Epson SureColor F2000, Distributed by LawsonLawson Screen & Digital Products, Inc. has been announced as a distributor for the Epson SureColor F2000 Direct-To-Garment inkjet printer series. Often, it is cost-prohibitive to print one-of-a-kind designs on t-shirts and other garments. Starting at $19,995.00, the addition of the Epson SureColor F2000 direct-to-garment machine can create a whole new segment of customers looking for one-of-a-kind t-shirts or small run prints.

This new DTG machine utilizes the high performance Epson MicroPiezo® TFP® print heads to offer reliability, reduced nozzle clogging, and highly accurate dot shape and placement. These print heads are optimized specifically for Epson’s specialized direct-to-garment inks to significantly improve the print head life. Epson’s exclusive direct-to-garment inks, the UltraChrome® DG series, is a water-based ink technology able to deliver reliable performance and excellent image quality. In addition to all of these technological advancements, the SureColor F2000 also boasts quiet operation, interchangeable platens, easy maintenance and a one-year warranty.

The SureColor F2000 comes in two configurations, the White and Standard versions. Each version utilizes the same number of print heads in two different configurations. The Standard version (with cartridge configuration C C M M Y K) is configured for printing on light colored garments only. Being that twice as many nozzles in the print head are dedicated to color on the Standard version, it will print on light colored garments much faster than the White version. The White version (with cartridge configuration C M Y K W W) dedicates some of the nozzle on the print head to white ink, allowing it to print on light or dark colored garments with a white underbase.

Expected shipping is early 2014; pre-order one of these amazing machines today by visiting http://www.golawson.com/EpsonDTG or give us a call at (314)382-9300.