A Step-By-Step Guide To Screen Printing

A Step-By-Step Guide To Screen Printing

The screen printing process consists of a stencil (also known as the screen) that is used with layers of ink. The ink is applied to the printing surface one layer at a time. For each new color or layer, a different screen is used. Screen printing is very versatile, and the technique can be used to print on many different types of materials such as textiles, plastic and latex. Deadline Apparel offers professional screen printing for T-shirts, promotional goods and other clothing and apparel. Here Deadline talks more about the process of screen printing and all its many uses. 

Why Use Screen Printing?

There are several reasons many people use screen printing. One of the main reasons is that screen printing produces vivid colors on all mediums. The ink or paint applied is usually in thick layers on the surface of the shirt or other medium. This gives the product a higher quality and allows for more use before showing normal wear and tear.

Since the same stencil can be used to replicate a design multiple times, screen printing is very useful for creating multiple copies of the same garment or accessory. This makes screen printing a very efficient technique for creating large batches of custom clothing for sports teams or uniforms.

Benefits Of Screen Printing

  • Color – Screen printing uses plastisol and water-based inks, the most vibrant colors available, while digital printing is limited by the CMYK color gamut. It is also easier for screen printers to color match, especially when using the Pantone Matching System.
  • Durability – Digital prints can deteriorate over time, especially if doing laundry in hot water. Screen printing does not have this problem. If done correctly, your print will retain its color and vibrancy for years to come.
  • Versatility – With screen printing, you have the ability to print on many different textiles, garment styles, locations and placements. Digital printing is limited to the type of textile and placement.

Step-By-Step Process

There are a few different methods of screen printing, but they all involve the same basic technique. Here, we talk you through the screen printing process step-by-step. 

  • Step 1: Create The Design - A printer takes the design and prints it out onto a transparent acetate film. This will be used to create the stencil.
  • Step 2: Prepare The Screen - Choose a mesh screen to suit the complexity of your design and the texture of the fabric. The mesh screen is then coated with a layer of light-reactive emulsion, which will harden when developed under bright light.
  • Step 3: Emulsion Is Exposed - The acetate sheet is laid onto the emulsion-coated screen, and the whole thing is exposed to a very bright light. The light hardens the emulsion, so the parts of the screen which are covered by the design remain in liquid form. To create multi-colored products, the printer must design each stencil, and line them up perfectly to ensure the final design is seamless.
  • Step 4: Create The Stencil - After the screen has been exposed to light, the areas of the screen not covered by the design will have turned hard. Any unhardened emulsion is then carefully removed. This leaves a clear imprint of your design on the screen for the ink to pass through. The screen is then dried and is now ready to be used.
  • Step 5: Prepare For Printing - The screen is placed on a printing press. The item or garment being printed is laid down flat onto the printing board, underneath the screen.
  • Step 6: Press Ink Through The Screen - The screen is lowered down onto the printing board. Ink/paint is added to the top end of the screen, and a squeegee is used to pull the ink along the full length of the screen. This presses the ink through the open areas of the stencil, imprinting the design on the product underneath. The process is then repeated.
  • Step 7: Drying The Product - After printed, the product passes through a dryer, which 'cures' the ink and creates a smooth finish. 

Call Deadline Apparel Today

Deadline Apparel is a veteran-owned custom screen printing shop located in Canton, Georgia. We specialize in large quantity T-shirt screen printing, heat transfers and custom embroidery. Our primary focus is to provide high-quality and affordable apparel to our customers with beautiful colors, various styles and one-of-a-kind designs.

We offer a perfect mix of products and services to help promote any event, organization and everything else in between. From advertising your business to family reunions, sports teams or church functions, we can provide the apparel you need.