SCREEN PRINTING BASICS

Thanks for choosing New Duds Screen Printing for your upcoming print project! We thought you might like to learn a little about the different types of printing options. Take a look here and see what is possible and what we might recommend for your project! Let us know if you have any questions.


LIGHT ON DARK PRINTS

UNDERBASE: An extra layer of white ink printed under designs that are going on darker color shirts, to make the colors stand out and pop.

If you are printing on black shirts, and sometimes on other darker colored shirts as well, we may recommend using an underbase. Without this, bright colors will not be bright and the color of the shirt will mix with the ink, causing a darker print that doesn't pop. It is almost always better for your design to have an underbase when printing on darker shirts. If you have white in your design, we can sometimes pair it with the underbase and use the same screen. Each color of ink needs to be on its own screen, so often times if we need to add an underbase, your design will need an additional screen for that ink. This would be an additional setup fee for the screen and an additional color charge in the print fee. If you print your design on lighter colored shirts, you will not need an underbase and therefore won't have that additional cost.

 Lower left with no additional white ink underbase, upper right with an underbase of white ink under the yellow.

Lower left with no additional white ink underbase, upper right with an underbase of white ink under the yellow.


 Two hits of white ink make this print pop on a black tee.

Two hits of white ink make this print pop on a black tee.

WHITE INK PRINTS

TWO HITS OF WHITE

When printing with white ink, we have some choices to make about opacity. If you want the thickest, whitest print possible, we would do 2 hits of white ink, which we would flash dry in between to layer up the ink. For large runs of shirts, this will require an additional screen (acting as an underbase), so that we can print the 2 whites more efficiently. This would be an additional setup fee for the screen and an additional color charge in the print fee. Especially on black shirts, this makes the ink brighter and pop more.

ONE HIT OF WHITE

If you don't want the print to feel as thick or if you are okay with some of the shirt color coming through, we can do one hit of white ink. This would not have any additional fees associated with it. Sometimes, your design or shirt color might lend itself well to having a more tonal quality.

TRANSPARENT (REDUCED) WHITE

If you want a more transparent look to your white print, we can reduce the ink. This is a clear base added in that makes the color thinner and more transparent. We can get a more tonal print this way - a lot of the shirt color will show through. This would not have any additional fees associated with it.


FOUR COLOR PROCESS
CMYK PRINTING WITH HALFTONES

If you want to print a multitude of colors or have an image that is photographic, we may recommend using a four color process to do the print. Because of the challenging process for setting up this printing, we have a minimum of 72 pieces in this case. CMYK printing is similar to the way a computer printer prints, using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK ink. In order to get the colors to blend and make a range of other tones, the image must have a halftone pattern in it. This is a tiny dot pattern that we make digitally in photoshop. When you look very closely, the dots can be seen in your print, but from far away they blend to make a range of colors.

We sometimes need to print a white underbase for CMYK, depending on the shirt color and design. Each color of ink needs to be on its own screen, so often times if we need to add an underbase, your design will need an additional screen for that ink. This would be an additional setup fee for the screen and an additional color charge in the print fee. If you print your design on lighter colored shirts, you will not need an underbase and therefore won't have that additional cost.

halftone screen print
halftone screen print detail
halftone screen print

OTHER USES FOR HALFTONES

In addition to using halftones for the CMYK process described above, we can use them to make a variety of tones in the same color. If you have a black and white or one color photographic image, we would use halftones in the printing to achieve a range of grays. If you have other similar tones in an image, we may recommend a halftone to cut down on cost for you. For example if your image has a black area and a couple of gray areas, we can make the black solid but the grays a halftone, in order to print the whole thing as a one color with black ink.

Halftones 2.JPG

DISCHARGE PRINTING

Discharge printing is a special kind of printing where a chemical reaction bleaches the color in the fabric. This can be done with natural discharge which contains no ink pigments, or with color discharge where it is mixed with ink to replace the shirt color. In natural discharge, the color that remains is the fabric color without the fabric dye. In color discharge, the color that remains will be close to the original ink color. Because a new batch of ink must be mixed each time we do this process, and because shirt content can vary from shirt to shirt and brand to brand, there is a small amount of inconsistency when printing with this process.

Discharge (Natural).JPG
Discharge 2-Color.JPG
Discharge 1-Color 1.JPG

CUSTOM TIE DYE

When the standard colors available in ready-made tie dyed shirts won't work for you, we offer custom tie dye through a local partner. This will add time to your order, because we have to get them the white shirts and add time for the dying process before we can print them. Keep your timeline in mind and let us know if you have a specific due date.

Tie Dye Shirt.JPG