Squeegee 101

Background:

Squeegee is a tool with a flat, smooth rubber blade utilized to push screen printing ink through the mesh onto the garment you are printing on. Squeegee’s can control the release rate, remove excess ink, and shear the ink. This tool is essential for sharp print edges.

Tips:

1. Maintenance:

The wrong squeegee or a damaged one can cost time and money. It is important to maintain, clean, replace, or sharpen the squeegee often, as the squeegee can be damaged over time and effect the sharpness of the print. A sharp squeegee works best, as the tool is used to guarantee the ink does not smear.

2.  Specialty Ink:

Squeegees have a durometer and depending on the ink that you are using you need to use different degrees. For example, if you are using specialized ink (metallic or glow in the dark ink) than this requires more force to get through the mesh. In this case, you would select a harder squeegee.

3. Harder Squeegee:

Other factors that determine which type of durometer to use include a smooth substrate versus an irregular or rough one, as well as the type of ink, color of garment, press you are using, and type of ink.
Smooth substrates, fine meshes, specialty inks, high speed automatic press all would require a harder squeegee.

4. Softer Squeegee:

This means a coarse mesh, irregular or rough substrate, and an increased amount of ink coverage you would need to use a softer squeegee. For example, if you are using an underlay and need a light color on a darker substrate, a softer squeegee is essential.

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