Choosing the right clear film is a simple game of A, B or C.
B. Print density
Once you have determined which characteristic is most important to you, match the compatibility with your printer. Simple right? Don’t worry if you are still confused? We’ll help you through it.
Before you squeegee any ink on a t-shirt or expose your screen to light, you need to produce a film positive that is clear to UV light to create a clean unimaged area, has rich blacks to enable the shortest burn time, and is on a stable material that feeds consistently through the printer to create accurate registration and dot placement.
Used in the screen printing process, the film positive or negative is the first and most critical step. You want to select a film that can deliver maximum clarity (Dmin) to allow for the UV light used in exposing the screen. You also want a film that can deliver maximum print density (Dmax) to block that same light.
If you have a clear window surface it is usually there for some aesthetic or functional purpose. You probably don’t want to cover it with an opaque graphic. So why would you settle for a clear graphic film that is not as clear as your glass surface?
After weeks of work, you are finally ready to send your artwork to another printer for the press run. One final check to make sure all the photos and vector art colors are correctly specified is a separation proof. At least 4 layers of clear film, each simulating a plate on the press, which can be proofed together to show the final composite and make sure all elements have separated correctly and are on their appropriate color plate.
Whatever the final application, when you need to print full color graphics, most clear films can’t handle the inkload. The ink smudges, bleeds, or just simply doesn’t dry, making the print unusable. You need a clear film that delivers instant dry performance, even with white or metallic ink.