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Three Things to Know - Screen Printing Edition

Screen printing.

You've definitely heard of it. You might even know that's how your favorite graphic tee was made.

But if someone asked you HOW it's made, you're probably like ...

But that ends today! Understanding even just the basics can empower you to make informed choices when ordering your custom apparel.

So, here's three things you need to know about screen printing.

The Process

Screen printing is a dynamic process that involves transferring ink onto fabric through a mesh screen with a stencil that was prepared in a UV light safe room to create your design.

  1. The process begins with preparing a screen, usually made of synthetic mesh stretched tightly over a frame.

  2. A design stencil, representing the image to be printed, is applied to the screen using light-sensitive emulsion.

  3. Screens are mounted on a printing press, which holds them securely in place.

  4. The fabric to be printed is laid flat on the press's print area called a platen.

  5. Ink is applied to the screen, and an operator uses a squeegee to evenly distribute the ink over the stencil, transferring the design onto the fabric.

6. After printing, the garment goes through a curing process on a conveyor dryer to set the ink permanently.

Advantages of Screen Printing

  • Durability: Screen prints are known for their durability, making them ideal for long-lasting designs on various fabrics.

  • Versatility: This method accommodates a wide range of materials, from cotton and polyester to more unconventional fabrics.

  • Cost-Effective for Bulk Orders: Screen printing becomes cost-effective when producing large quantities of custom apparel.

  • Vibrant Colors and Special FXs: The process allows for the use of vibrant colors which can be printed alone or with a special effect additive like puff print to ensure your designs stand out.

Considerations When Ordering Custom Apparel

  •  Design Complexity

Screen printing is excellent for bold and detailed designs.

However, intricate details will require additional attention during the preparation phase which may raise costs.

  • Fabric Type

100% cotton-based garments work best with screen printing, although some cotton blends can be printed on too. Make sure to discuss your fabric choice with your print shop to ensure optimal results.

  • Color Count

Consider the number of colors in your design. Each color requires a separate screen, impacting both production time and cost.

  • Order Quantity

While screen printing is cost-effective for bulk orders, it's essential to assess your specific needs to find the most suitable printing method.

Ready to bring your custom screen-printing ideas to life? Get a quote from Icon Ink Printing today! Fill out our Quote Tool or contact us directly to discuss your project and receive personalized assistance. Let's turn your vision into reality!



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