How-To, PlatesMay 23, 2011
W/W Orange Photopolymer Plate Making Techniques for Apparel Tag Printing
Update: Technology has come a long way since 2010 when this blog post was written, in 2022 laser plate makers have taken over the plate etching scene. Visit our Laser Plate Maker page for the most current offerings available to etch plates.
At Inkcups, we have customers that make their own photopolymer plates for apparel tag printing. While there are many variations of exposure and baking times, we have tested many methods of photopolymer plate making with our water wash orange plates in order to determine the best method.
PLEASE NOTE: We are using our BPL1220 exposure unit. Exposure times may vary depending upon the power of your exposure unit.
Step 1 – 1-minute exposure with film positive (customer image)
Step 2 – 20-second exposure with 200 line screen
Step 3 – Washout with water for 1 minute
Step 4 – Blot dry with a lint-free towel
Step 5 – Bake plate in the oven at 170F for 10 minutes
Step 6 – Post-cure in BPL 1220 for 20 minutes
This combination produced a deep plate that works well for apparel tag printing. The plate was hard, doctored well, and the cup rode smoothly across with no bowing. Water wash orange plates are the best photopolymer plates to use for apparel tag printing because the plate is harder than other photopolymer plates when fully cured. This reduces the risk of problems that may arise due to soft plates.
Plates used in this project:
Type: Water Wash Orange Photopolymer
Brand: Inkcups Now