Broadside Screen Printing: Vastex BigRed V30 from Dalesway Print Technology

Daniel Whiteland, owner

Tell us a bit about your business

Broadside Screen Printing was born out of a DIY punk ethos back in 2012, I started with zero experience and no understanding of what I was letting myself in for! The more I learnt about printing in the early years the greater the desire became to lessen my impact on the environment, make better ethical choices about garment production and create a higher quality of print. That shift in consciousness naturally led to working exclusively with eco- friendly, water-based inks and, whenever possible, promoting the use of Fair Wear and organic garments.

What dryer do you use, and when did you buy it?

I recently purchased the amazing Vastex BigRed V30 from the equally amazing Dalesway Print Technology. It was a significant upgrade on my old dryer, which was sadly not fit for purpose.

What other dryers did you look at before purchasing this one?

The new Vastex LittleRed series looks incredible and the X3-D was seriously considered.

Why did you choose your current dryer? What do you think are its main advantages?

In the end, the ‘make-up air’ feature of the BigRed made it the perfect choice as the correct use of heat is hugely important. The best analogy I can give is that a hairdryer and curling tongs are both tools that apply heat to your hair, yet there is no confusion over which one you’d use to dry it. The same principle applies to the curing of water-based inks and, sticking with the analogy, the BigRed is a hairdryer of industrial proportions! Removing the moisture from the ink is the priority and the make-up air facility does that perfectly. By replacing humid air that builds up within the drying chamber with fresh, clean air, it makes for a more efficient curing environment.

Is there anything you’d like to see in an upgrade or don’t particularly like about it?

The only comment I have is the analogue dial for the belt speed is a little sensitive and can be difficult to keep on the desired voltage.

What’s it like to use?

Even though it is as loud as hell (the fans are a necessary evil!) it’s a pleasure to use. It easily provides the correct temperature for the correct time, which gives absolute peace of mind that the image is going to stay right where it is on the shirt.

What sort of work is it used for?

As a user of a manual press my average print run is around 50 to 100. It works great on even smaller runs, as well as the odd 300+.

What other machines do you use?

I also use the Vastex Air Flash. Again, a small amount of airflow really helps to dry the ink sufficiently for a second layer or next colour.

What would be your advice to others thinking of investing in a dryer?

Always make sure that it is going to be fit for the type of inks you intend on using and that it’ll grow with your business and workload. I believe I was mis-sold my first professional dryer as it wasn’t able to achieve anywhere near the time required to cure water-based inks. I had to pass every tee back through the dryer a second time for the best part of four years. It was tedious, to say the least. Therefore, be sure the company you are purchasing the dryer from shares your goals and aspirations. Dalesway was flawless in the service it provided and product knowledge.