Have you ever wondered with the process of screen printing on t-shirts and how is it done? Involving a lot more work than what some individuals will think, the t-shirt screen printing is a fascinating process.
It involves a great deal of creativity, accuracy, and using the appropriate T-shirt screen printing tools is what the manufacturing process involves. So that you can observe exactly how it is carried out, we will reconsider the T-shirt printing process.
We need to have the design in mind at first. From simple text and all the way to an elaborate drawing and even a mixture of both, is what the plan would be. Your creativity is the only limitation with t-shirt printing your designs.
What is the technique involved in t-shirt screen printing?
Suiting the flat surfaces, the screen printing Vancouver or silk screening is a printing technique. A fine mesh or screen which is tightly stretched around a solid frame is what the core of the process constitutes of.
On the screen, the areas which need not to be printed are masked off. By positioning the framed screen over the item which is to be printed along with a small quantity of thick ink, the print is created.
To press the ink through the screen, a metal blade is then used. While the masked areas prevent ink from passing through, the unmasked areas allow the ink to be imprinted on the material.
Sending the item on a conveyer belt which passes through a heat tunnel is the last stage of the process. To make sure that the ink dries off fast so as to allow the materials to be packed or stored, this process does the same.
For more colors, the process is repeated if there is a need for this. The process should be repeated for each and every color is what this means.
Allowing different color prints to be properly aligned or merged with each other, the screens are placed on a revolving press. It does not require any manual labor except for the setting up and the loading and unloading work as these days automatic screen printers are available in the market.
To mask a screen there are multiple options. Applying the masking liquid directly on the screen is the most popular among them. When only one or two colors are required, this method is best suited. The best alternative is to use photosensitive emulsion for more colors to be printed.
T-shirt printing is now made easy
For nearly decades, t-shirt screen printing or silk screen printing as it is often called has been around. To large fully automated presses, the principle remains essentially the same from the simpler hand printed method.
From $8,000-$35,000 is the usual cost for a typical screen-printing setup. The cost depends on the number of stations which you use and the complexity of the press itself.
To dry the t-shirts a large conveyor heater is required. A makeshift dark room and a washing station to clean the screen is an exposure unit.
Over the other alternative methods which are available, t-shirt printing Vancouver has one distinct advantage. It is a lot faster. From a simple 6 color press, between 30-90 t-shirts an hour can be produced.
Most companies charge the client a one-time setup fee for each color separation as it is time-consuming to set up and clean the screens. In case the customer ever needs to reprint, the screens are usually stored.
A very clean solid color print is what the pros of screen printing are. This technique is the best for logos and sharp text. In keeping the price of printing low, they are perfect for mass production.
Before fading, they have excellent durability for washing. Rather than its counterparts such as digital printing, it will last many more wash cycles.
When it comes to the cons of screen printing, they are not really suitable for photographic reproduction unless you are willing to have a lower grade of the photo image.
There is a separate screen which has to be made and stored for each color as each color has to be printed separately. When it comes to screen printing, the business is a bit messy. Over the years, environmentally speaking, the t-shirt screen printing industry has cleaned up considerably.
Enviro-friendly soy-based plastisol inks will only be used by many companies. These are usually water soluble and odor free. No air-polluting solvents or volatile organic compounds are contained in them.
How does this printing work?
You will probably find some screen printed t-shirts while you look through your dresser, closet, or dirty clothes hamper. The popular casual shirts are the tees with images, sayings and company logos.
The bold graphics on the t-shirts are mainly due to the technique of screen printing. For screen printing ink, there are several different options. Plastisol is the ink which is usually used.
These inks are easy to work with as they will not dry up if they are left out in the open as they are made of particles of PVC suspended in an emulsion. It feels like more of a plastic.
The complete overall process of screen printing usually determines how the t-shirts are priced. In creating and setting up the screens is usually known as “screen charge”.
Whether you are printing 10 shirts or 10,000 shirts this is the same process which is involved here. Since there is additional labor for each additional color, and the quantity of the shirts, the per-piece price depends on the number of colors in the design.
With the additional colors, the price goes up and it is brought down with the rise in their quantity. There are even alternatives available for screen printing. For polyester t-shirts, dye sublimation printing is used.
Transferring the image from heat-resistant paper onto the shirts where extreme heat turns the ink into a gas that binds to the fabric at the molecular level is what is involved in this method. It allows for vibrant full-color images that cover the garment completely as it is a slow and labor-intensive process.