Screen printing was invented around 1900. It is a technique used to make custom-designed T-shirts, koozies, bags and other products, the options are virtually endless! During the screen printing process, a mesh-based stencil is used to apply ink to the item. Here’s a summary of the basic steps:
Step 1: Artwork
The first step is of course to decide on a design. If you already have a logo or artwork created, you can send it to us and we’ll format and print it for you. If you don’t already have a design, we have an awesome graphic design team that will work with you to create your dream artwork.
Step 2: Film Positive
In order for screen printing to work properly, a film positive transparency of the artwork must be created. This is what will be used to create the screen.
Step 3: Screen
Here’s where it gets interesting. The screen is made of polyester mesh stretched onto a frame (usually made of wood or aluminum). We then cover the entire screen with emulsion, which is a light-sensitive liquid. Once that is fully dried, the film positive from the previous step is positioned on top of the screen. We shine a special light down, and after several minutes the image is transferred onto the screen.
Each color requires a different screen, so if your design has multiple colors then we must prepare multiple screens.
Step 4: Position
Once the screens are ready, they are loaded onto the printing press. We place the colors onto the screens and lock in the squeegees. Your item is lined up perfectly on the pallet, and it’s time to start printing.
Step 5: INK PRINTING
The press raises the item to the screen. Once in position, the squeegees are used to push the ink through the screen and onto the item. This process is repeated for each color in the design.
Step 6: Final
After all the colors are in place, the item is then dried so that the ink can cure. After that, we do a final check to make sure the design is perfect, then it’s packed up and shipped off to you.