Mastering the Art of Flashing in Screen Printing


This article is about mastering the subtle art of ‘flashing’ in screen printing, a process involving the rapid drying of ink layers to enable additional printing. It requires careful balancing of several factors, including temperature, distance, duration, and the unique properties of inks and fabrics. With patience and practice, one can turn the complexities of this process into profitable opportunities.

In screen printing, ‘flashing’ is a crucial step that involves rapidly drying ink with a special flash cure unit. Mastering it is a bit of a juggling act as it requires the careful management of several variables.

The heat from the drying unit needs to be just right. Too much, and you risk ruining the print; too little, and the ink won’t dry as needed. Striking the right balance is vital for a successful print.

The position of the drying unit also plays a big role. Adjusting the distance can help spread the heat more evenly and ensure the ink dries uniformly.

The duration of exposure to the heat also matters. Like Goldilocks, you don’t want it too long or too short – it needs to be just right.

Ink and fabric types can throw another curveball into the process. Different inks and fabrics respond differently to heat, meaning you’ll need to adjust your approach based on these factors.

This may sound complicated, but don’t be discouraged. Although the process requires patience and testing, with a good understanding of these components, one can turn this complex task into a valuable skill.

NOTE: If the plates heat up over time in production, it may very well be necessary to shorten the flash cure time.

Question & Answer

What is 'flashing' in screen printing?

Flashing is a process in screen printing that involves rapidly drying ink layers using a special unit to allow for additional printing.

What are the key factors to consider in the flashing process?

Key factors include the temperature of the drying unit, its distance from the print, the duration of heat exposure, and the unique properties of the inks and fabrics used.

Why is the temperature of the drying unit important?

The temperature needs to be perfectly balanced. Too hot, and the print could be damaged; too cool, and the ink may not dry properly.

How does the type of ink and fabric affect the flashing process?

Different types of ink and fabric respond differently to heat, which means adjustments need to be made based on these factors to ensure successful flashing.

Can mastering the flashing process be profitable?

Yes, with patience, testing, and understanding of the process, the complexities of flashing can be turned into a valuable, profit-generating skill. As it goes faster to set up.

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35 years of screen printing have taught me a lot. I would like others to benefit from this as well. I strive for accuracy, use professional writing aids, and personally review all content. Affiliate links marked with (#) support my work without incurring additional costs. If you have a question or suggestion, please leave a comment. Thank you for your support!

Over the decades, I've had the privilege of printing for a range of clients, from startups to recognized brands like:

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