Bulk/Group Orders, Specific Color Matching, Larger Variety of Products
Screen printing is probably what you think of when you think about t-shirt printing. It’s the traditional t-shirt printing method in which each color in a design is separated out and burned to individual fine-mesh screens. Ink is then transferred to the shirt through the screen. Teams, organizations, and businesses usually opt for screen printing because it’s extremely cost-effective for printing large custom apparel orders.
How does it work?
The first thing we do is separate out the colors in your logo or design using graphic software. A mesh stencil (screen) is then created for each color in the design (keep that in mind when ordering screen prints because each color adds to the cost). To create the stencil, we begin by coating the fine mesh screen with an emulsion. Once dried, we “burn” the artwork into the screen by exposing it to a bright light. We now have a screen for each color in the design which are then used as stencils for printing onto the product.
Now that we have our screens we need our ink. Similar to what you’d see in a paint store, ink is mixed for each color in the design. Screen printing allows for much more exact color matching than other print methods. Ink is placed on its appropriate screen and then we squeegee ink through the mesh screen onto the shirt. The colors are layered on top of one another to create the final design. The final step involves running your shirt through a large dryer to “cure” the ink and prevent it from washing out.
Why choose screen printing?
Screen printing is the perfect print method for large orders, unique products, prints requiring vibrant or specialty inks, or color matching specific Pantone values. Screen printing has fewer limitations as to what products and materials can be printed on. The fast run times can make it a very economical option for large orders. However, the labor intensive setup can make it expensive for small runs.