- T-shirt screen printing is quality, long lasting & durable. Great value for large volume orders.
- Better suited to logos or designs with spot colours as opposed to photographs or full colour prints with gradients.
- A base layer is required when t shirt screen printing onto coloured garments in order to ensure the design is bright and vibrant – this means it’s cheaper to screen print onto white garments than colours.
HOW THE T-SHIRT SCREEN PRINTING PROCESS WORKS
Screen printing is a very popular and economical method for creating various quantities of customised garments, such as screen printed t-shirts or sweatshirts. This is also a good choice for customising tote bags and other fabric accessories with a company or team logo. Thescreen printing process is very precise, even though the general concept behind this process is fairly simple. Here’s how the t-shirt screen printing process works.
The first step is to either create a design or provide an existing design, such as a logo. Understanding a bit about the process, itself, will help you determine whether this is the best printing option for the design you have in mind. For example, it’s important to keep in mind that multi-colour designs require a separate screen for each colour present in the image to be printed.
The set up process behind screen printing t-shirts consists of electronic separation of each layer of colour in the design. This is accomplished with specialised graphics software. Then each layer of imagery is burned into a separate screen, which is made of some type of porous material (silk is a common screen printing material.) The screens are stretched across frames and prepared for printing. Because of the labor and materials involved in the initial set up for a screen printing run, there is usually a separate set up fee as well as a minimum quantity required, though minimum requirements can be as low as 25 items per run. Also, once the initial set up of a particular design has been completed, it can be saved for future print runs, as well.
SCREEN PRINTED T-SHIRTS
The printing process itself takes place through a process involving appropriately coloured inks applied through the custom screens. The image is pressed through the screen with a squeegee type tool, and each colour is applied in an individual step, from lightest to darkest.
In order for the inks to set properly (ensuring longevity), the screen printed items must then go through a special, high-heat drying process. This permanently sets the design, making custom printed t-shirt or other garment both wearable and washable. There are other options available for custom printed designs on garments, tote bags, etc., but screen printing is usually the most durable and economical option. Each and every design is completely customised per customer specifications, according to the imagery provided. Because of this, once you have established a professional relationship with a screen printing company, it’s easy to order future print runs. The same design can often be screen printed onto t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, duffel bags, and just about any other fabric item you desire.