Hello all - I'm sure this has been discussed before so I'm sorry to be repetitive. I'm interested in producing wall decals (wordings and images). I hear Seramark is an excellent product - can anyone who has used it comment on the texture? By the description it seems to be more of a fabric than a slick vinyl look.
A lot of the print vinyls I've researched say not to print to the edge - I don't want a white releasee around most of this stuff. I see Oracal has a easy to remove cut vinyl product but I find the colours to be kind of limited. Any suggestions?
Using Mask with Seramark:
I use mainly Seramark in my business (average 2 rolls a week). I use this to mask with:
I try NOT to use mask with Seramark. But I offer names with many of my products - so they do need to go out masked. But for the most part I try to design things that do not need any masking to go on the wall because there are issues with using masking with Seramark. They changed their backing paper on their product in October and it has caused me more than a few headaches since then.
I ship everything - so I have to roll it and put it in tubes to ship. So I mask, then squegee the heck out of it, flip it over and pull the backing paper mostly off and just lay it back down. Then I start at one end rolling, applying pressure as I go, you will see a bubble form that you will keep pushing along. The backing paper is extremely thick - so it needs to completely separate from the seramark and mask, allowing them to roll up separately from each other. Otherwise it is a mess, the Seramark will pinch together and fold on itself in between the mask and the backing paper. I hope it was understandable what I am trying to explain. If you arent' going to ship it - it will be much easier for you. Because when you unroll it - it is not pretty. You have to work to get the bubbles out and get it flat and hope that the Seramark does not pinch on itself while doing it.
I just ordered a roll of Photo Tex because I am so frustrated with the changes in the Seramark. It has similar issues with using the Mask with it. On top of that, I had shredding when it cut (I have never had Seramark shred). The other issue I had with the Photo Tex is the opacity. I printed back to back designs on both the Seramark and the Photo Tex. They looked fine on the backing paper as far as color matching - but when you put it on the wall you see the difference. The Seramark blocks the paint color from behind. The Photo Tex is opaque - so the color shows through. I was not thrilled with that.
Last issue with Seramark I should mention. The change in backing paper has caused one other problem as well. The Seramark bubbles up separating from the backing paper when it start to come off the roll to print. I have been re-assured that the drag marks I see is not actually my head dragging across the bubbles - that the head on my machine is recessed. But I think it was explained that is the case because I have the new VS. It also causes issues with the cutting. The material pinches when the blade tries to cut through the bubbles. It happens mostly at the beginning and ending of each roll. I also notice that it happens when I take the roll off - let it set - and then put it back on. I always use clamps on the beginning and ending of the roll. It doesn't really help - but I think it makes me feel better!
So - there is my experience for what it is worth. I want one of them to fix their issues so my life is easier. I have spent a lot of time looking at other people who's businesses are like mine - and basically they are doing their darndest to design everything so it can go on the wall without any mask.
Ok, well you have me totally bumbed out now ;-( I definitely am using a roll older than the newer one you are describing. Have you spoken with anyone concerning these issues since they changed it? I would think that they would welcome the feedback. BTW, where do you get your shipping tubes?
Yes I have definitely spoken both with Imprintables and with Seramark. Imprintables has run lots of tests to try find solutions. Everyone is aware that the change in the backing paper had an impact. As I said - most people who are doing mainly what I do are purposely trying to design things so that no mask is needed. I started out designing and doing everything in the indoor vinyl and when I purchased my VersaCamm and moved to Seramark I just figured it would be just as easy as the vinyl. Well not so much. But I have all these designs and am muddling through because I want to offer them to my customers. At this point I just re-send pieces and parts that get ruined in the process.
I buy my shipping tubes from Staples. I searched online and although I can find them cheaper at places like uline. The shipping is what kills me. So I purchase from Staples and they ship for free.
I started using the free triangle tubes from USPS - but they often get crushed in the shipping. In the end I figured it was costing me to keep re-shipping things that were damaged so I switched to the tubes. Not one tube has been damaged in shipment.
I have the new paper Seramark made with the new backing and I just masked a few things and had no problem. I just masked a sun and some grass without issues.
I am using R-Tape Conform Series 4075-RLA (yellowish translucent paper tape)
I think clear mask have problems with seramark. I say this because I tried a clear mask (Clear Choice R Tape brand) and it wouldn't stick to the material well. There was curling, etc. I tried the clear long before this new batch of seramark paper came out and it just didn't work well. I was using the translucent tape I mention above originally but figured I'd go clear so customers could see the design better during the application process. However, it didn't work well so I just use the Conform 4075-rla and have no problems.
Printchic aka Angela
PhotoTex is actually coming out with a semi-opaque version sooner or later. Walt was supposed to send me a sample of the new stuff back in November, and I totally forgot till I read this topic. Shot him an e-mail today and he said they're still working on it, so I'll keep you guys updated when I hear more.
Now you tell me. I just ordered a new roll of Seramark yesterday. Hopefully this won't be an issue since I don't ship wall graphics yet. I'll be interested to see if I get the lifting and head dragging issue.
All - the media lifting off when masked will happen with all of the wall graphics medias. I recommend a paper tape for mask vs. one of the clear masks out there as it will lay flatter. If oyu do not need to mask the project, it should not have any issues lifting off the carrier.
Seramark is aware of the issues and is evaluating different backing medias to use in the future to help with this.
Ok I feel much better now :-) I just ordered a new role. I have been primarily doing "fat head" types of things where I'm not masking. When I do have to mask, I have been using the paper masking which I run through my weeder/sheeter system. I do have to pay attention but the sheeter does a great job of applying the paper mask. Every once in a while I'll ruin a job but it's primarily because I didn't load it correctly or straight and once you start the process you can't stop. The best part of the seramark is that you can print right up to the edge without any issues.
Kathy - What kind of paper mask are you using? The kind I'm using adheres to the media but tends to curl all around the masked area.
Hmmm Ken I'm confused :-) " adheres to the media but tends to curl all around the masked area." Aren't you masking it to the media? Do you mean that it is curling around the areas that you have weeded and you just have the paper lining? I'm feeling very blonde this AM! Mine sometimes curls but the "sheeter" system seems to put enough pressure on it. I do though usually trim the edges to clean it up. As far as what type of paper mask, I have no clue other than it is a medium tack, but I will try and figure it out!!
Ken, like Kathy, I try and use paper mask whenever possible too. So much easier to work with.
It does curl up a bit on the already weeded areas but I've never come across anything that can't be dealt with
I have no idea what exact brand I use, either............I more or less just order whatever is available, from whomever I happen to be ordering from at the time.
Very informative, huh?