What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is a print method that makes use of a ‘screen’ through which ink is pressed onto the surface of the fabric.
This is a technique that requires three things:
- A screen
- A squeegee
Screen printing uses a polyester woven mesh to maintain an ink-blocking stencil in order to achieve a particular image. The stencil allows ink or other printable materials to be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image. A squeegee is then manoeuvred across the screen stencil driving into the mesh openings for transfer onto the substrate.
Here at Colours screen printing is available in both manual and automated versions. Regardless if it is performed by a machine or a person, the process is pretty much the same.
Manual Screen Printing
This process is done by hand. It can be performed by just one person or for better results, by two people. One person uses the squeegee, while the other one holds the screen, for example. The quality of the garments is not affected if it’s done by this method or by the automatic one.
Automatic Screen Printing:
The automatic process is the same as the manual one with the human factor being the only difference. This process has some advantages such as significantly cut down production time thanks to:
- Larger screens, which allow more design space
- More screens can be used, which means more colours can be added.
- Rotatory screens for fast production
For the most part, the designs are generated on a computer using the specialised software. Because screen printing is a technique that requires colours to be placed on one layer each, designers need to work with programs that allow them to separate them. Vectors are generally preferred since they are easy to manipulate and unlike pixels, can be stretched many times over its original size without losing quality. Here at Colours, we work with Photoshop and Illustrator although Corel Draw is also a popular one.
The price of your artwork
Because the technique doesn’t allow for more than one colour to be applied at the same time, we have to create a different screen for each tone, which means, the less colourful your design, the cheaper it is. This is why the larger your order the cheaper it is, as we will be using the same screen multiple times.
Here some… thoughts
1. Great Finish
Screen printing produces vibrant colours that are hard to replicate by other printing techniques.
2. Long lasting
Due to the thickness of inks used in screen printing, designs placed with this method will have a better quality of print which means that can withstand far more stress than others without losing the print.
3. Large production Friendly
Since this is a method requires the fabrication of screens for every colour used in your design, it might be beneficial for your budget if your order is big. The more garments placed in an order then the cheaper the cost per unit will be. *using the same design*
Screen printing is a basic process that does not change regardless if it’s automated or not. The tools are not hard to replace and won’t become obsolete as fast as other technologies.
It is hard to find a printing method as functional as screen printing. With this method, we are able to print on almost any surface as long as it is flat, fabric, wood, plastic and even metal, among many others.
1. The more colours you want, the more expensive it is
As we already mentioned before, turns out that having to create a screen for each colour is difficult enough. Colourful designs make it more expensive, that is why it is better to keep designs for screen printing with a few tones as possible.
2. Not practical for small orders
Here at Colours we do have a minimum order for screen printing as we already mentioned, this technique needs more prep than others before going into production.
Screen printing can be quite complex depending on the design and project because it has more steps than other methods.
Colours International is a T-shirt printing company based in Dublin 12 that delivers all across Ireland and around the world. So, if you’re looking to get T-shirt printing or custom clothing, get in touch with us.
For more information:
Visit our website: www.colours.ie
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or +353 (01) 450 4377