We are Screen Printers!
What is screen printing?
A screen is a stencil made by stretching a nylon mesh tight over an aluminum frame. The screen is cleaned thoroughly and then coated with a photo-emulsion. Once dried the screen is ready to have a film exposed onto it using uv light. The light hardens the emulsion and burns the image that is printed onto the film transparency onto the screen. By washing the exposed screen with water, the image that was burned onto the screen breaks down and the mesh opens up creating a stencil. At this point it can be loaded and printed with any color ink on a printing press by pressing ink over the screen with a squeegee. By layering up to 7 screens on our press we can print just about any image onto any single layer of fabric.
ITS A PROCESS! Printing requires an enormous amount of detail to be considered every step of the way and one mistake or changed variable can mean total failure. Every shop must dial in the process using the equipment and different supplies they use. Here are some of the variables considered when setting up your order:
We use high resolution nylon screens that to ensure the best quality representation of your design. Each image is different and we select different screen mesh counts according to the amount of detail that needs to be retained in the print. Ink colors have different viscosities from each other and this also plays a roll in what mesh we choose to print through.
The brightness of the image ultimately depends on how much ink is deposited onto the base layer of the fabric. For a nice bright image on a dark garment we print multiple layers of the same image on top of each other until it is as bright as it is desired. For a softer vintage looking print we can print a single layer of ink and allow the fabric to breath a little more.
The amount of colors in your design determines how many screens we must make per print location. We use the latest color separation software and years of experience to portray the image you provide us as close to the way you give it to us. We can mix any color of ink you would like or order in a specific Pantone color.
Cotton, Tri-Blends, Hemp, Bamboo, Polyester, and fabrics made from recycled plastic all use different types of inks to ensure they cure correctly and have longevity. Each fabric and ink is sensitive and requires different heat and time settings to get the perfect cure. To much or too little heat or time can mean have seriously different results. If your t-shirts are cracking or are faded after washing them or just by stretching them a little, we are ready to help you!
The Future! Each order is documented in detail so it can be reproduced exactly the same anytime down the road. If you plan on reprinting the same design frequently we can store the screens and have them ready to restock again. The films with your art are stored as well and the screen and be replicated over and over as screens start breaking down after a few thousand prints.
Branding: We can remove the itchy tag from the clothing brand we are printing on and replace it with a printed version of the Size, Fabric, and Washing Instructions including your logo and website. It adds another level of professionalism to your product.
We have a team of skilled printers operating our print shop and you are likely to catch us with our hands full during business hours. Please contact us to set up appointments regarding your order.