What is Screen Printing?
Screen Printing, (also known as Silk Screening), is the manual process of creating custom t-shirts (as opposed to its digital counterpart 'DTG' which heavily relies upon computers and printers).
The process involves placing a stencil (also known as a silkscreen) over a t-shirt or a hoodie. Inks of vivid colors are trailed across the stencil or silkscreen to create the designs.
This process is quite labor-intensive and requires expertise to carry out efficiently. The most optimal results are given when this process is carried out by a professional custom t-shirt & hoodie screen printing company, like Tee Vision Printing.
The Process of Screen Printing
The process involves several steps, including creating the stencil, preparing the screen, applying the ink, and printing on the apparel.
Following are the steps explaining the process.
Preparing the design
It's time to prepare the artwork for manufacturing. Your design needs to be vectored before it can be screen printed. Then, a distinct layer is made for each color.
Creating film positives
Sending distinct layers to a film printer ultimately results in a positive film. Once films are printed, they are burned onto a screen coated with a light-sensitive emulsion. After each screen is washed out, the negative image remains open in the mesh.
Placement of inks
Standard inks are scooped out of their buckets, and custom inks are combined in separate containers. Careful placement of these inks in their designated screens.
Printing & Curing
A squeegee forces ink through a screen's fine mesh once loaded, registered, and pressed with the appropriate ink. After the ink has been pressed onto the fabric, the fabric is dried in a conveyor dryer to set the ink permanently.
After coming out of the dryer, the garments undergo a final round of quality checks before being refolded, bundled, and repackaged according to their respective sizes by our screen printing experts.
Understanding the Benefits and Drawbacks of Screen Printing
|High levels of accuracy and detail.
|Initial setup costs can be high because of the cost of screens, inks, and equipment.
|Prints that are both long-lasting and durable.
|A process that takes a lot of time because each color in a design needs its own stencil and print run.
|Lots of colors and inks to choose from.
|Not good for small runs because it costs more to set up for small runs.
|It can print on fabrics, paper, metal, and plastic, among other things.
|Only works on flat surfaces, so it's hard to print on things that aren't round or are three-dimensional.
|Businesses and organizations can save money on it because it can be used in large quantities.
|The process can be hard for fine details or photo prints, so only simple designs can be used.
|Good for branding and promotional items because it lets you make a lot of changes.
|Some inks can be dangerous, so they need to be used with proper ventilation and safety gear.
|It can be done in-house, giving more control over the process and schedule.
|Not good for gradients of more than two colors or photo prints.
Best Jobs for Screen Printing
- Custom T-Shirts: Tee Vision Printing offers custom t-shirts that are perfect for businesses, schools, sports teams, and other organizations. With our high-quality screen printing process, we can produce vibrant, long-lasting designs that are cost-effective for large quantities of t-shirts.
- Hoodies and Sweatshirts: Tee Vision Printing also offers custom hoodies and sweatshirts that can be customized with your company's logo or branding. These make great corporate gifts or employee uniforms, and our screen printing process ensures high-quality, long-lasting designs on these types of garments.
- Athletic Apparel: Our screen printing is frequently used to produce custom athletic apparel, including jerseys, shorts, and workout gear. The durability of our screen printing makes it an excellent choice for athletic apparel, which is often subjected to intense physical activity and repeated washings. Our designs are breathable, flexible, and comfortable for athletes to wear.
- Corporate Uniforms: Tee Vision Printing is a popular choice for creating branded corporate uniforms for employees. We can customize polo shirts, button-ups, and jackets with your company's logo or branding using our high-quality screen printing process. This creates a professional, cohesive look for employees while promoting your brand.
- Promotional Apparel: Our screen printing is also used to create promotional apparel like hats, tote bags, and other accessories that feature your company's logo or branding. These items are perfect for events, conferences, or marketing campaigns. Our screen printing can produce high-quality designs on a variety of materials, making it a versatile choice for promotional apparel.
Advantages of screen printing
One of the biggest advantages of screen printing is that it is a versatile technique that can be used on a wide range of materials, including paper, cardboard, and fabrics. Additionally, screen printing can produce high-quality prints with sharp, crisp lines and vibrant colors.
Another advantage of screen printing is that it is a cost-effective method for producing large quantities of prints because the stencil can be used multiple times, this makes the cost per print lower as compared with other printing methods such as DTG (also known as Direct-to-Garment).
This makes screen printing ideal for businesses and organizations that need to produce a large number of prints, such as t-shirt companies and event planners.
In addition to its versatility and cost-effectiveness, screen printing also allows for a high level of customization. Because the stencil is created specifically for each design, it is possible to print a wide range of designs and styles, including complex graphics and multi-colored prints. This level of customization is not possible with other printing methods, such as digital printing, which can only reproduce a limited range of colors and designs.
Screen printing is also a durable printing method. The ink used in screen printing is resistant to fading and wear, so printed items will retain their vibrant colors and crisp lines for a very long time(compared to other printing methods). This makes screen printing great for creating superior prints that will last.
Why Tee Vision Printing?
High-quality custom t-shirt printing and screen printing in Philadelphia
Wide variety of garments to choose from
Fast turnaround times
Excellent customer service
More than 10 years in the industry
Bonus: Tee Vision Printing also offers an online design studio, so you can easily create your own custom t-shirts and hoodies without any design experience.
Let's Work Together
No Artwork or Design
Frequently Asked Questions
What is screen printing?
Screen printing involves pressing ink through a fine mesh screen onto a surface, such as fabric, paper, or plastic. This method is often used for printing T-shirts, posters, and other items with detailed designs.
What is the process of screen printing?
The process of screen printing typically involves the following steps:
- Create an artwork that will be printed on the surface.
- Transfer the design onto a fine mesh screen using a photo emulsion process.
- Place the screen onto the printing surface and apply ink to the top of the screen.
- Use a squeegee to push the ink through the mesh screen and onto the surface below.
- Allow the ink to dry, and repeat the process for additional colors or layers.
Can you print on any surface?
Screen printing can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including fabric, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, and more.
However, some surfaces may be more difficult to print on than others and may require special inks or techniques.
It's best to consult with a screen printing professional (such as Tee Vision Printing) to determine the best approach for your specific project.
Can I provide my own design for screen printing?
Yes, you can provide your own design for screen printing.
At Tee Vision Printing we provide you with a Design Studio that can be used to see your custom design in real-time.
We also have a dedicated team of design experts who can help and guide you with the entire design and printing process.
How long does screen printing last?
The longevity of screen printing will depend on the quality of the ink and the care taken in printing the design. With proper care, screen printing can last for many years without fading or losing its sharpness.
At Tee Vision Printing, we only provide the best high-quality t-shirts to choose from for a long-lasting print.
Is it cheaper to screen print or vinyl?
Screen printing is often more cost effective for larger print runs, while vinyl printing is typically better suited for smaller quantities or more complex designs.
The setup cost for Screen printing is relatively high, but the cost per unit decreases as the quantity increases. On the other hand, vinyl printing has a lower setup cost and the cost per unit is relatively consistent, regardless of the quantity.
Is screen printing cheaper than embroidery?
Screen printing is typically more cost-effective for large print runs, while embroidery is often more expensive due to the added time and effort required to create the embroidered design.