Branded has more information about the screen printing process
Screen Printing inks are the most durable and lightfast available compared to most of the other printing processes.
Screen inks are available to adhere to a wide range of materials, including t-shirts, koozies, signs, hats, and more. The inks can also be formulated as metallic, florescent, glow in the dark, etc.
Screen printing inks are some of the most bright and opaque in the printing business.
Because of the simplicity of screen printing, it can be used in a wide variety of applications, such as 3D products, parts and other materials.
Screen printing is very economical in both manual and fully automated systems.
SCREEN PRINTING PROCESS
Branded Screen Printing wanted to give everyone the full screen printing process used to create the designs or company logos on T-shirts.
Step 1: Artwork
Artwork is one of the most important parts of screen printing. It determines the end result of the shirt and affects the entire process. Artwork is created in house by one of our graphic designers or sent to us directly from the customer. It is then placed on a proof sheet and sent to the customer for final review and approval. This process can be done several times until the customer is completely satisfied with the computer generated proof.
Once the artwork is approved, it is printed out as a positive onto a transparency. Each color requires a different transparency and a screen is created for each of the transparencies printed.
Step 2: Screen Preparation and Exposure
Screens consist of a mesh screen that is stretched over an aluminum frame. The mesh determines the detail of the design. For example, for thicker inks (i.e. white, opaque yellow), we use a lower mesh count and for thinner inks (i.e. process ink, black) we use a higher mesh count. They usually range between 80-305 mesh.
The screen is coated in a photosensitive emulsion. The transparency positive is placed on the screen after the emulsion has dried and when it is exposed to our metal halide light, the parts that are covered in artwork stay soft while the rest of the emulsion hardens in the light. After the screen is exposed to light for the alotted amount of time, it is rinsed with water. This is to make sure that the parts not exposed to light rinse out all the way. The emulsion that was exposed to the light is now chemically bonded to the screen. Once the water has dried, it is ready to be set-up on the press.
Step 3: Screen Printing Your Shirt
The screen must be taped to block any areas that are not supposed to have ink come through, especially around the frame. The screens are then placed on the press in the order that they will be printed. We are capable of printing up to 6 screens with our manual press or 7 with the automatic press. This means 6 or 7 spot colors or we can print 4 color process or index to achieve the full spectrum of color.
The screens are clamped into either of our presses and aligned to create the image intended. Once this is done, the correct ink color is added to the correct screen and a “practice print” is done to make sure everything is lined up and ready to go for full production. We use a rubber squeegee to press the ink through the mesh and onto the T-shirt. Once each of the colors have been placed on the shirt, it is run through a conveyor dryer. The ink on the shirt must reach 320 degrees in order to properly cure. The t shirt is finished once it comes out of the dryer.
The screen printing process can be used for a number of items, including t shirts, sweatshirts, fleece, jerseys, koozies, bags, signs, stickers and other apparel.
Call Branded Screen Printing if you have any questions about screen printing, 775-453-1921 or email email@example.com.
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