If you're in the textile industry or just looking to master the art of screen printing, understanding squeegee durometer will help you make informed decisions when it comes to selecting the right squeegee for your textile printing projects.
Durometer refers to the hardness of the squeegee blade. Measured on a scale from 0 to 100, a higher durometer indicates a harder blade. Softer blades (lower durometer) conform better to uneven surfaces, making them suitable for printing on fabrics and textured materials. Harder blades (higher durometer) are ideal for flat surfaces and detailed prints. Experimenting with different durometers will help you find the right balance for your specific printing needs.
WATCH VIDEO: Understanding Squeegee Durometer
Screen Printing Squeegees from Chromaline
Chromaline offers squeegees pre-assembled or blade only. All our Chromaline squeegees have excellent UV and solvent performance with a premium cut edge that is excellent for re-sharpening. Our high quality squeegees are made in Italy and come in a variety of sizes and durometers.
Our pre-assembled single durometer squeegees come with a curved, wooden handle for easy two-hand maneuvering. The 2" x 3/8" squeegee blade is firmly secured within the handle with a cyanoacrylate adhesive. Our blade-only squeegees are available as single durometer or triple durometer.
Choosing the Right Durometer:
Choosing which durometer to use can feel overwhelming. Most textile printers will be using a 60 or 70 single durometer squeegee. Soft durometers are excellent for high ink volume, while stiffer durometers are preferred for detailed prints and high-resolution work. Higher mesh counts may also benefit from a slightly stiffer durometer to ensure precise ink deposit. Here are some more things to consider when choosing which squeegee is right for your shop.
1. Consider Fabric Texture: If you're working with textured fabrics like fleece or mesh, opt for a softer durometer to ensure the squeegee conforms to the material's surface.
2. Ink Type Matters: Different inks have different viscosities. Soft durometers are more forgiving with thinner inks like water-based, while hard durometers work well with thicker inks such as plastisol.
3. Mesh Count and Detail: For fine details and high mesh counts, a softer durometer may be preferable to avoid damaging the intricate screen details.
4. Balance for Versatility: If you're printing on a variety of textiles, consider a mid-range durometer. It provides a balance that works reasonably well across different fabric types.
5. Experiment and Test: Every printing setup is unique. Experimenting with different durometers and conducting test prints will help you identify the optimal hardness for your specific textile printing needs.
Single Durometer Squeegees: Unraveling the Numbers
Single durometer squeegees come in various colors, each representing a specific durometer. They are one solid piece of polyurethane.
- 60 Durometer (Flexibility): A 60 durometer is softer and more flexible. Ideal for depositing a significant amount of ink, making it suitable for designs where a higher ink volume is desired. Chromaline's 60 single durometer squeegees are orange.
- 70 Durometer (Versatility): A 70 durometer strikes a balance between flexibility and rigidity. Often considered a go-to for many textile printers due to its versatility across various applications. Chromaline's 70 single durometer squeegees are yellow.
- 80 Durometer (Stiffness): An 80 durometer is stiffer, making it suitable for scenarios where fine details and high resolution are paramount. Chromaline's 80 single durometer squeegees are dark blue/green.
Triple Durometer Squeegees for Automatic Press
With a triple durometer squeegee three durometers are sandwiched together. This configuration offers versatility and rigidity, making it a popular choice for automatic press operators.
- Preventing Ink Mishaps: The distance of triple durometer squeegee from the substrate to the squeegee handle is crucial for automatic presses, preventing ink from making a mess during the back-and-forth motion.
- Maintaining Rigidity: The central spine in triple durometer squeegees maintains stiffness, ensuring consistent printing quality even with automatic machinery.
Contact Chromaline Today
Understanding squeegee blade durometer in screen printing involves understanding of the material, ink type, and printing requirements. Whether you opt for a single or triple durometer squeegee, the choice depends on your specific needs and the specifics of your printing projects. Remember, when in doubt, don't hesitate to reach out to Chromaline or consult with experienced printers.
Chromaline's line of premium screen printing emulsions and products stands out as the top choice for screen printers seeking exceptional results. If you have any further questions about how to coat screens or any of our Chromaline screen printing products, please contact us today.