How Screen Printing Works: Let’s Break It Down

By |2018-03-14T18:04:45+00:00March 14th, 2018|News|Comments Off on How Screen Printing Works: Let’s Break It Down

Screen printing is an art, and there’s no doubt about it. It takes focused attention, skill, and people who care deeply about their craft. The attention to detail that goes into the screen printing process is crucial, and because we understand the importance of that, we know how to deliver high quality products. There are a lot of moving parts that must fit perfectly together in order to achieve the best end result.

The basic idea behind silk screening is pretty simple and works similar to a stencil. Instead of cutting out shapes individually, you coat a screen in photo emulsion, then cut an image out using a bright light.

What is screen printing?

Screen printing, also know as silk screening, is a method of printing graphics on garments using thick inks that lay on top of the fabric rather than soaking into it. It is the process that most companies use and, back in the day, was the only major way to create bulk amounts of custom apparel.

Screen printing will make these colors pop out at you like jack in the box! The thick ink has a soft feel to it and can make for a really amazing, bold look if designed right! It is a great method for a minimal colors and is often more affordable for larger quantities.

Where do we start?

We start with YOU. Your vision and design idea is how a screen printing project is born! Whether you are having our talented in-house designers come up with your graphic, or you’re sending one to us…we will set-up a proof of the shirt for you to see a clear digital mock-up of what the We start with YOU. Your vision and design idea is how a screen printing project is born! Whether you are having our talented in-house designers come up with your graphic, or you’re sending one to us…we will set-up a proof of the shirt for you to see a clear digital mock-up of what the finished product will look like. Once the proof is approved, the technical fun can begin!

How does it work?

A thin mesh is stretched tightly over a frame, mostly made from polyester these days. A negative of the design is printed onto the screen to be placed against the shirt. Once set properly, ink is rolled over the screen and only the areas where the design has been printed allows ink to slip through. Finally, each piece is run through a large dryer to cure the inks. Regardless if a machine or a person performs it, the process is pretty much the same:

Manual Screen Printing

As the name implies, this process is done by hand. It can be performed by just one person or for better results, by two people. One person uses the squeegee, while the other one holds the screen, for example. The quality of the garments is not affected if it’s done by hand or by machine, in fact, some people may argue that the manual labor has a better finish since it is done with more care.

Automatic Screen Printing:

The automatic process is the same as the manual one with the human factor being the only difference. While some are not fans of the automated presses, they do have their advantages. They have significantly cut down production time thanks to:

• Larger screens, which allow more design space
• Drying systems
• Rotatory screens for continued production

Overall, the screen printing method works really well on both light and dark shirts, and we recommend using this method for simple company logo, team names, and garments with text. Ultimately, we will help guide you on what the best course of action and the best technique for your order will be. Give us a call or send us an email today to get your order started!

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