what stencil system you choose, it is essential that the mesh
material be prepared thoroughly to maximize stencil adhesion.
brand new screen, there are two steps that must be followed:
- ROUGHENING with
- DEGREASING with
Universal Mesh Prep
made of synthetic fibres are very smooth when first produced.
Polyester is chemically inert, so most of the stencil's adhesion
is physical. To increase this physical adhesion, the mesh must
be roughened to increase the surface area available for adhesion.
For used mesh, it is a good idea to use this procedure every fifth
use. Procedure: Use Autoprep, a grey paste containing an abrasive
perfect for roughening the polyester mesh.
- Simply wet the
mesh thoroughly and apply Autoprep to the screen.
- With a brush,
scrub in circular motions, until the entire mesh is coated.
- Allow to sit one
to two minutes, and rinse both sides thoroughly with water.
A word of warning: NEVER use scouring powder to abrade screens!
They contain very coarse particles that can get trapped in
the fibres and destroy the mesh.
tends to be greasy following its manufacture. Older meshes sometimes
get greasy residues from inks or from being stored too long. Degreasing
is necessary prior to putting the stencil on the mesh. A properly
degreased mesh will hold water on it like a film. If not properly
degreased, the water runs into rivulets and drains from the mesh
quickly because the water is being repelled by the fibres. It
is advisable that a screen be degreased with every use before
applying the stencil. Use Universal Mash Prep, a light brown fluid
for degreasing and improving the wetting-up characteristics of
- Rinse the screen
thoroughly with water.
- Apply Mesh Prep
using a rag (not paper towels) to both sides of the mesh and
rub in with a brush, rag, or glove using circular motions.
- Leave on one to
two minutes and rinse off with a strong spray of water.
in with a brush
of thorough mesh preparation can never be emphasized enough. It
should be looked upon as one of the basic ground rules when producing
stencils. Failure to pre-treat mesh can lead to costly breakdowns
in production, which can easily be eliminated by taking a few
extra and inexpensive minutes at the beginning of production to
roughen and degreases the mesh.