Screen printing is just one of many services we offer. As well as t-shirts, the screen printing process is also ideal for producing personalised hoodies and tote bags. But how exactly does it work?
As the name suggests, an important part of this particular process is the screen itself. This is basically a polyester woven mesh that is stretched over an aluminium frame. During a pre-press process, a stencil of your artwork will be made by printing the design onto a sheet of clear film and placing it over the top of the screen, which will be coated with an emulsion or film. The screen is then exposed and cleaned. When this is done, an open area of mesh in the shape of your design will be left on the screen, while the surrounding areas of negative space will be blocked out by the remaining emulsion.
Above: An exposed screen in the press, ready for the next stage of printing
Ink is then pulled across the entire screen using a squeegee. The fine mesh of the screen allows the ink to pass freely through the open areas of the stencil and onto the garment beneath, and the emulsion successfully prevents any excess from getting through.
Unlike other processes, such as DTG Printing which can be used for intricate full colour designs, during screen printing designs are printed one colour at a time. Each colour will require its own screen. For example, a screen printed t-shirt featuring a red, yellow and blue design will need three screens. The more colourful the design, the more screens it will need.
Before any printing takes place, it’s important that you prepare your artwork by separating it into different coloured layers. When setting up the press, we will add registration marks to the screens to ensure the colours remain in the right place and the design is aligned properly during printing. If you’d like your design to be printed onto a coloured garment then an initial base layer will be required to ensure the rest of the colours remain bright.
Above: Inks are carefully mixed to match the colours of your design
We can print up to 10 colours per item and have a number of different inks at our disposal. We are also able to match Pantone PMS colours, so your design will look as vibrant printed as it does on the screen.
We offer a variety of screen printing methods, each of which yield very different results. For example, there is halftone printing, which enables single or multiple coloured designs to be printed in gradients. There is also discharge ink printing, which replaces the colour of the fabric itself with another of your choosing.
If you’d like to find out more, please visit our page about screen printing. Here you will also find some pointers on preparing your artwork for print, as well as a full breakdown of our prices. If you have any other questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.