WHAT IS SCREEN PRINTING?
Screen printing is a fairly labour intensive process which involves getting separate screens (stencils) made for each colour in a design, tightly registered onto a printing press, loaded with ink and hand printed using a squeegee.
We’ll try to keep this as brief as possible, but here’s a rundown of what it actually is and how it all works. Here goes….
ARTWORK & PRE-PRESS
Firstly we need to separate your design into individual colours in an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop. After that, we print these separations onto transparent acetate sheets. Meanwhile, we coat some screens (aluminium frames with mesh stretched across them) with a light sensitive emulsion and when they’re dry it’s time to expose them. We line the acetate sheets up onto the screens and expose them to a light source for a couple of minutes. In effect, this process hardens the emulsion on the areas of the screen that have been exposed to the light source and consequentially leaves the areas blocked from the light by the printed acetate sheets water soluble. Now it’s time for developing.
We take each screen to a washout booth and rinse them with water. The water soluble areas blocked by the acetate begin to soften and break down and eventually washout out of the mesh entirely. As a result we have a perfect stencil with sharp crispy edges and a nice open mesh ready to go. That’s pre-press out of the way… now onto production!
REGISTRATION & TEST PRINT
Firstly we take each screen (stencil) that we made and load them onto the press. Each screen needs to be registered so all the colours line up. This bit takes some time. It has to be 100% perfect to pass the Fyahfly quality check! When we’re sure the screens are all registered correctly it’s time to run a test print. First we load a scrap t-shirt onto the press and load the inks into the screens. The first colour is printed by hand using a squeegee and flash dried using a quartz dryer. Then the second colour is printed, and the third and so on. We then carefully check that the registration is absolutely bang on. If it’s not, now is when we’ll make any final tweaks before taping off the registration marks and running a final test print. It all looks good, so it’s time to get printing!
SCREEN PRINTING PRODUCTION
Printing is done using a rotating carousel style printing press, and all garments are individually heat cured in a conveyor tunnel dryer once printed to ensure maximum print durability. Our press can accommodate up to 6 colours and we hand pull all our prints for ultimate quality control.
In terms of quality, flexibility and value, there really is no other form of garment printing that comes close when printing in bulk. Looking for embroidery? Although this is something we don’t offer in-house, we can outsource embroidery from trusted partners, making the buying process much simpler for you.
GET IN TOUCH to find out more.
WHY CHOOSE SCREEN PRINTING?
We offer a wide range of further customisations designed to make your brand stand out from the crowd. We have a low minimum order quantity of 24 pieces per design, which makes us a great choice for smaller print runs done fast.
SCREEN PRINTING PRICES
If you're looking something simple we do offer great value package deals based on single colour prints - these are usually delivered in around 10-14 working days from artwork approval and receipt of payment. Can't wait that long? No worries - we also offer a RUSH ORDER SERVICE