Screen printing (also known as silk screening) is a printing technique that uses stencils and ink to create designs on fabric. Although it requires significantly more set-up time than digital printing or heat transfer, screen printing remains popular because it is the most economical method for producing large quantities and color matching. It is the ideal printing method for teams, organizations, large event orders such as family reunions, parties and businesses.
Why choose screen printing?
Screen printing has fewer limitations as to what products and materials can be printed on and is the perfect print method for large orders, unique products, prints requiring vibrant or specialty inks, or color matching specific Pantone values. 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.
Screen Printing Design Examples
From the beginning, our service was built with the customer in mind so that your ordering experience will be as easy and effortless as possible! Our online design studio makes it easy for you to customize apparel for your business, school, nonprofit organization, family reunion, and more!
Screen Printing Pricing
So how does it work?
With our user-friendly Design Studio, we offer you the creative seat to design whatever you have in mind, use one of our templates for inspiration, add clipart or text, upload a photo and even draw! Once you submit your design, our work begins!
A team member will review your submission and separate out the colors in your design using graphic software. A mesh stencil or screen is created for each color. This is something to keep in mind when designing – each color adds to the cost. We then prepare it for printing and send you a proof of your final design. After receiving your approval, it’s time to print!
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. It is then sprayed to remove the emulsion from the “burned” area and reveal the stencil. This process is repeated for each color. We now have a screen for each color in the design which are then used as stencils for printing onto the product.
Ink is mixed for each color in the design and put on the matching screen. The colors are layered on top of each other creating the design. Our flash-drying process between each individual screen ensures crisp quality and prevents color bleeding.
The product is then run through a large dryer to “cure” the ink for 25 seconds at 380 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent it from washing out, fade, peel or crack. Each t-shirt undergoes a rigorous quality assurance inspection by a team member.
We offer a wide range of garment sizes to fit all your needs. On a typical adult shirt, the design area is 12” x 15” however when creating your design, you may find the design does not fit on smaller shirts. To help resolve this sizing issue, we offer the following options:
- Create Two Different Sets of Screens – This option looks great because the design is scaled appropriately for each shirt size group. However, since each set of screens or transfers must be burned, set up and run separately this is equivalent to running two different orders. We will typically offer this option when there are at least 12 shirts for each set of screens (i.e., 12 youth and 12 adult). There is an additional screen fee of $15/color.
- Scale the Artwork Down – A more cost-effective option is to resize your artwork to fit on the smallest size shirt in the order. First you would need to know the range of sizes in your order. Then make the image as big as you can on the smallest shirt. This typically is an 8″ x 10″ print area. The downside to this approach is that the design can look smaller than intended on the larger shirts.
- Increase the Shirt Sizes – The last option is to adjust the shirt sizes in the order. Generally, this would be eliminating any Youth X-Small and Youth Small shirts from your order.
Screen Printing FAQ
Now that we’ve told you about our process, here are some of our customers top questions that may be of help to you:
What kind of ink do you use?
We use the highest quality plastisol inks which are versatile and durable. Using plastisol inks allows us to print a quality t-shirt and ensures it will last for years to come for continued wear and wash! We also offer water-based inks and specialty inks upon request.
Do you offer water-based inks?
Yes, these are offered upon request. Please contact us to discuss your options for water-based ink printing.
Will the ink come off when I wash it?
Absolutely not! We use high quality inks mixed with our time-tested screen printing and drying processes to ensure your t-shirts will stand the test of time.
Do you only print t-shirts?
T-shirts are our most requested garment however we offer sweatshirts, hoodies, caps and hats, sweatpants, bags, towels, women’s apparel, and so much more!
If you have questions, give us a call at 877-691-7728 to speak with a team member.