Silk Screen Printing

A very popular method for producing personalized garments, silk screen printing produces excellent quality, long-lasting results and is great value for large volume orders from 10 to 20,000.

Silkscreen Printing results.

What is silk-screen printing?

Silkscreen printing, is the most common form of commercial T-shirt personalization. This technique uses a custom-made mesh screen placed on top of the T-shirt for each design. The print is produced by moving ink over the screen with a blade, transferring the colour and desired pattern onto your T-shirt. As a special screen is made for each design, so large quantity orders help you make the most of your investment.

It has been used for more than 100 years in the commercial and artistic sector and is mainly used for printing images and designs on T-shirts, tote bags, paper, wood, ceramics and other materials.

Silk screen printing process.

In order to print using the silk-screen printing technique, different materials are used. To start with, the printing frame is created, or rather, the design is printed onto a sheet so that the ink can be transferred.

The frame is placed on the T-shirt and with the help of a scraper the colours are screened (one layer for each colour, up to a maximum of four colours).

Whenever applying a layer with the frame ink, it is left to dry and then can be used for another application.

In spite of its craftsmanship in recent years, silk-screen printing has become more modern, and there is now ink and machinery available that enables us to obtain results of superfine quality.

 

For this reason, nowadays there are more and more companies that decide to opt for silk-screen printing when creating T-shirts and other items with their logo.

Confirm design to be printed

To start, the printer takes the design they want to create on the finished product, and prints it out onto a transparent acetate film. This will be used to create the stencil.

Prepared for print

Take transparency and place on outside of screen, right side down, with clear tape. Locations on screen vary due to placement on textile. Place screen in exposure unit or in direct light to expose emulsion.

Printing board

Once the press is ready the inks are mixed to make the desired colours for your design.A squeegee is used to press the ink through the mesh screen onto the garment to print your design; a separate screen is required for each colour in the design.

Dried and checked

The printed product then passes through a dryer, which 'cures' the ink and creates a smooth, colourfast finish. The final product will be checked and washed thoroughly to remove any residue, before being passed on to its new owner.

Special Effects Silk screen printing

There are a wide range of specialty screen printing inks that can help make any project stand out.  While there are too many to list here, the following specialty screen printing inks are what we are asked for most often.  If you don’t see a special effect listed, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.  Just ask us and we’ll see what we can do!

Puff

Puff

Foil

Foil

Glitter

Glitter

Crackle

Crackle

Metallic

Metallic

Glow in the Dark

Glow in the Dark

High Density

High Density

Flocking

Flocking

Silicon

Silicon

Designing for screen printing

Design considersations

This list of guidelines will save you time and money as you make your design decisions.


Sticking to spot colours rather than gradients; spot colour images will save you money as fewer screens will be required and the print cost will be less.

 

Cost considerations

A separate screen is required for each colour in your design. Therefore, the more colours in your design the higher the set up and ink costs will be.

The more print positions there are in your design the more it will cost e.g. it is cheaper to print just the front, rather than both the front & back of a garment.

Use consistent colours in your file to save extra set up & ink costs i.e. use the same shade of blue for all blue areas.

Colours:                                 CMYK 

Pantone colour matching:     Not available

Artwork type:                         Vector, graphics & Photo

File formats:                          .png, jpg, .ai, .eps, .pdf

  • Ensure the print is 100% of the intended print size.

  • Design and save the graphic file at 300dpi.

  • Ensure the design is created and saved in CMYK format.

  • Make sure to save any PNG files with a transparent background.

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