What is Screen Printing?
Simply put, screen printing is the process of putting ink onto a garment by pushing ink through a screen using a squeegee. The screen acts as a stencil. Each print color requires its own screen. For example, a 4 color image will require at least 4 screens with each color of ink placed on an individual screen. A garment is sent around the press, and each screen prints a color onto the garment one by one.
It all starts with you the customer. You provide us with all the information needed for us to give you a price quote. There are numerous garment, color, print location, and ink options to choose from, and we are more than happy to help you with this step.
Once you are satisfied with your choices, the artwork has been given, and a payment has been made, we move straight to the production process.
Production starts with the ordering of your shirts. The shirts arrive shortly and are unboxed by one of our team members, counted, and stacked in preparation for printing.
Next our art department prepares the artwork for the screen tech.
The screen tech takes screens that have been coated in photosensitive emulsion, and prints the artwork onto the screen(s) using a CTS (computer to screen) machine. This machine prints a solid black ink onto the photosensitive screen, acting as a blocker. The emulsion is then exposed under ultraviolet light, hardening it so that it is no longer water soluble. The black ink blocker is sprayed out of the screen using a power washer, leaving a perfect printable graphic. The screen is now ready for production.
The printer grabs the work-order corresponding to your job, and looks up ink formulas to get an accurate ratio for mixing inks. These formulas are based on the ink colors, garment type, amount of garments and artwork coverage. The inks are mixed, and the screens are taped off and placed into the printing press. Each screen is then meticulously aligned with each other, and a test print is made. Further press adjustments, and ink color adjustments are made as necessary until everything looks perfect.
Once all of the setup is finished, the printing begins. The printer puts shirts onto the press, they are printed, and a second person pulls them off the press and places them onto a conveyor belt, sending each garment through a large dryer running at 420 degrees F. The dryer cures the ink into the garment, and a 3rd person at the end of the dryer grabs the finished shirt and stacks them into neatly counted and folded piles. This person is responsible for quality control and keeping accurate counts. If there is another print location needed such as a back print, the entire process is repeated. If not, then the shirts are boxed up, and customer service is notified that the order has been finished.
You are then promptly notified that your order is complete. Hurray!
If you are ready to get shirts printed, then we are here to help.