Working With Inferior Films For Screen Printing

I just have to say it. Don’t do it. If you want a great stencil and a great print with little effort, use opaque film. There isn’t any substitute that I know of for doing things the right way.

In my videos I have said this countless times; eliminate all variables. The easier you can print a high quality print job the faster it will go and thus you make more money per hour. Screen printing tee shirts is almost always about numbers. You have to print a lot of shirts before you will be able to retire.

So this brings us once again back to the subject of film and film opacity. I have been doing a lot of reading about this and I really can’t believe some of the things I am reading from very reputable people in the industry. Let’s go back for a minute and remember a time when film was made with a true silver nitrate photographic process and a stat camera or a process camera. Let me tell you that real film is killer! It is dense in the blacks and clear in the film areas. The absolute best! I never had as many problems as I do now trying to expose my screens with inferior film. And I hesitate to call it film.

Why have all the screen printers forgotten how easy it was using real film? Why do we continue to fight with products that are a cheap and not always economical? Laser/inkjet vellum, laser/inkjet films all fail to meet the needs of the screen printing process without a little help.

That help most always comes in the form of RIP software. I am always trying to figure out how to make great film without RIP software using an inkjet printer but the bottom line is RIP software will make things a lot easier. If I can figure out how to do it without $450 worth of RIP software then I will really have something to market, yes?

Ultimately at some point in your screen printing business development and growth you will realize and see it as practical and economical to purchase RIP software. The time and consumables saved in the darkroom and washout booth will pay for your investment. It should raise profit margins and your work day will be a lot less stressful. 

Thanks for reading!

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