Screen Printing

Screen printing is a printing technique where a design is printed onto a product like a T-shirt. The method of printing a t-shirt will start with each color of a design being separated out and burned to an individual fine-mesh screen to create a stencil. The mesh is placed on top of the T-shirt, and then ink is applied with a squeegee. Ink is then transferred to the shirt through the screen. The most common type of ink used is called Plastisol which is used for textile printing.

How does it work?

It all begins with the artwork and the design. The more ink colors there are in a design, the more screens will need to be created. From a pricing perspective, this also equates to the more ink colors a design has, the higher the cost. A mesh stencil (screen) is created for each color in the design. To create the stencil, we begin by coating the fine mesh screen with an emulsion. Once dried, we "burn" the artwork into the screen by exposing it to a bright light. Each color in the design will have a screen that is used as a stencil for printing. The screen will then be lined up on the T-shirt; proper alignment is important for the overall design. Ink will then be forced through the open mesh onto the T-shirt. Once the printing is complete the T-shirt with the printed design will be placed in a special dryer for curing.

Why choose screen printing? 

Screen printing is the perfect print method for designs that last longer on the printed material. It is a very cost effective decoration method for large orders, designs requiring vibrant color or specific Pantone values. The fast run times can make it a very economical option for large orders. However, the labor intensive setup can make it expensive for small runs. 

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