Screenprinting is a stencil method of print in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or otherfine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade or squeegee and by wetting the substrate, transferred onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. As the screen rebounds awayfrom the substrate the ink remains on the substrate. It is also known as silk-screen because silk was used in the process prior to the invention of polyestermesh. One color is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicolored image or design. For each colour of design you will require a separate Film & Screen and a base if printing onto Dark Garments, therefore this print method is better for larger runs (100 plus) or if you have to matchprint colours to Pantone Ref’s.
Please see below for more information about the Screen Printing Process:
Turning out the lights
All of the art is then pre-registered and checked for detail and quality:
Once the art is completely approved in-house we send the job to our screen dept. The first step in the screen department is to coat the screens with a photosensitive emulsion
Next, the screen dries, and it is placed on the vacuum light table and exposed with a 3000 watt metal halide light.
The Final Touches
After being exposed the screens are then washed out with a pressure washer at around 1300 psi. Once the image is washed out, it is double checked with the films for accuracy.
The Actual Printing Process
Each colour in the design needs a screen and each screen must be blocked, taped, setup, and squeegeed. Just imagine if we had to do this each time a t-shirt was ordered. You can see why screen printing was designed to print quality garments in bulk quantities.
For smaller runs, we may use one of our manual presses. For larger runs with more colours, we use our 8 head automatic press. By "flashing" or drying the ink between each colour layer, we are able to give you bright, professional quality printing, with years of wear and tear. Other options include cad-cut vinyls and digital transfers for shorter runs.