The Screen Printing Process
Screen printing your garment is a complex process composed of many steps.
These are the basic steps we use.
Creating The Design
The first thing we need to begin the process is a design of one or several
colors. This can be your design or one we create for you.
Making The Films
We separate the colors in the design to make one film positive image for
each color in the design. The color areas show up as dark areas on the
film positive image, thus for the "red" positive image, the image shows
black wherever there is "red" in the design. We have one film for each
Making The Screens
A screen is a rectangle of very fine mesh fabric stretched tightly in
a frame. There is a separate screen for each color. We go through several
steps to prepare a screen:
- We apply a special light-sensitive material called "emulsion" onto
the fabric mesh of each screen.
- We dry the screens in a dark cabinet.
- After the emulsion is dry, we place the film positives on the screens.
- Next, we place the screen in a light-exposing unit. The light "exposes,"
or hardens the emulsion under the clear areas of the film, but the dark
areas of the film block the light so the protected emulsion stays soft.
- We remove the screens from the light unit and wash them so that only
the soft emulsion washes away, exposing the mesh holes in the area of
your image. Now the screen has open mesh holes where we want that color
of ink to go on the garment.
- We dry the screens to get them ready for the press.
Setting up the Press
If the design involves more than one color, we set each color screen at
an individual station on the press. Then we carefully position each screen
so that each color will line up properly when we print all colors.
We spread one color of ink on each screen. The ink can only pass through
the screen where there are open mesh holes, so only the image receives
The press forces ink through the open areas of the screen onto the garment.
Each different color ink is pressed onto the garment in sequence, one
color after another.
We run a test print of all colors to be sure we have the screen positions
right. When the test print meets our quality standards, we are ready to
do the actual production run.
Each garment to be printed is placed on one of the stations of the rotary
press, and each color of the design is applied individually.
After all of the colors are applied, we remove the garment from the press
and lay it on a conveyer dryer. The conveyor dryer allows the shirt to
cure at the proper temperature and time, giving the garment a lasting,
durable design. Finally, we pack the items for delivery.