Are you interested in having something custom screen printed? GREAT! We would love to help you. On this page you’ll find some of the basic elements that making screen printing an amazing option for you project. We want you to be as informed as possible to make the whole process easy and enjoyable.
You can also jump straight to our Custom Printing Contact page here!
What exactly is screen printing?
Well simply put, it’s printing through a screen! Every design that comes through our shop is broken down by color of ink. If your design is red, blue and green, then each of those colors will be color separated by one of our staff and each made into its own screen! The more colors, the more screens.
Lets take it back a step. How do you go from file to print?
When you send us a file, the first thing we do is assess the amount of colors in the design. This helps us determine the cost of your job to make sure we are both on the same page. From there files are color separated like we mentioned above. That means we isolate each color in the design, and then print that part of the file in black on a transparent film. Some files are more complex than others but the process is all the same.
Now comes the fun part!
With our separated films in hand we turn to the exposure room to make the screens themselves. This is much like a photo dark room, and the process is fairly similar as well. Each film is place on the light table with the screen placed on top of it. Our LED UV light source from below turns on and “burns” the image into the screen. The emulsion (pink stuff) you see on there is a light sensitive material, when light hits it it hardens. The black in the film from your design blocks the light from hitting the emulsion stopping it from hardening in those spots. Once the lights shut off the exposure is done and we take it to the sink to rinse out. Remember all those spots that were blocked by the black in your design? Since those didn’t harden they simply wash away leaving us with a stencil for each designated color.
TIME TO PRINT!
Lets load up the presses! Each color is placed on one of the print heads on either our manual or automatic press. Our print team lines up each color to the next, otherwise known as registering a job. Once everything is perfectly lined up, we can tape off the registration marks and get to work!
Curing and finishing.
The last step in the process is to put the shirts through a conveyer dryer. The ink needs to be heat set to insure longevity in your print. The shirts roll through our 20 foot conveyer dryer running at 850 degrees, once they pop out the other side they are counted folded and boxed up. We can’t wait for you to see your product!
FYI: Our turnaround time for most jobs is 2 weeks from approval of mock ups and invoicing. We can in most cases get your job done faster, so definitely let us know if you have a specific "in hands" date. We like to get your file in a vector format (.ai .eps .pdf) but other types will work as well. If you are sending us a jpeg be sure it is sized at least 300dpi.
Check out some of our previous work below!