Screen printing is one of the most widely used methods of clothing printing, especially for large orders. Inks are pushed through a screen and imprint on the surface of a garment, creating a vivid and long-lasting design.
The Process of Screen Printing
Screen printing is one of the best methods of garment printing as it’s viable over large orders and creates long-lasting designs (can last up to 20 years)! Ink is applied directly to the fabrics through a stencilled design using a mesh screen and a squeegee. Fabric and paper are the most commonly used materials in screen printing, however, by using special inks, it is possible to use screen printing for designs on plastic, glass, metals and wood.
The process of screen printing can be completed within 6 steps:
- Firstly, you must create the design that you wish to be printed. If you want to use screen printing, try to keep the number of colours used to 5 or less. We will then create this design in a stencil.
- Now the design is ready, it is transferred to screens through a photo emulsion process. A different screen must be used for each colour that is present.
- Once all the screens have been set up, the garment will be placed underneath and the screen will be coated with the corresponding ink.
- A squeegee will then push the ink through the screens and onto the garment, so the ink only appears in the lines of your design.
- Steps 3 and 4 will be repeated for every screen with a corresponding colour as each colour needs to be applied separately.
- All that’s left is for the garments to be left to dry; if there is a rush for the order, a special drying machine may be used to speed up the drying process.
If you are printing on a dark garment, then a layer of white ink will be placed first to achieve a vivid design.
Depending on what you want to achieve and the inks you want to use, you may use one of the following screen printing processes:
- Water-based Screen Printing
- Discharge Screen Printing
- Metallic Ink Screen Printing
- Foil Ink Screen Printing
- Puff Ink Screen Printing
- Glow in the Dark Ink Screen Printing
- Reflective Ink Screen Printing
- Jumbo-Sized Screen Printing
Benefits of Screen Printing
Screen printing is a popular method of clothing printing because it comes with several different benefits including:
- An exact colour match to your design can be achieved by using pantone colour matching
- Long-lasting and quality designs that won’t fade or crack in the wash for many years
- A very cheap price for each garment if you have a large order
- Fastest print method for large orders
- Professional and vivid finish
- Being able to print onto dark coloured garments
- The screen-printed designs have a soft feel
- It’s versatile and can print on a variety of fabrics in addition to various other materials
When to use Screen Printing
If you want to achieve the best possible designs, you should use screen printing when:
- You have a large order – Screen printing becomes very viable over large orders and is quick to produce
- When you have a large design, as you are not charged for the size of the design
- You want to frequently wear the garment without worrying about the design fading
- You want a design that has a large level of vibrancy
- You want to print onto dark coloured garments
- There is a variety of different garments that you want to print on as you won’t be charged for having a range of garments if the design stays the same
- The garment being printed on has a composition of different material types
When Alternative Print Methods are a Better Option
Even though screen printing is a brilliant method of clothing printing, our other print methods may be suitable for you if:
- You have a small order – screen printing takes a while to set up and has a large setup cost, therefore, if you have under 50 garments, it isn’t a viable printing method.
- You have more than 5 colours – bach colour needs a separate screen to be printed and you need to pay for each colour that is used.
- Your design is intricate – because stencils are being laid on top of each other, it may be difficult for intricate designs to be printed successfully.
Screen printing is commonly used for a variety of different clothing printing needs. Here at The Funky Peach, we are experts in screen printing and can screen print for orders with over 10,000 garments! Get in touch with us on 01202 722333 today and we can arrange a screen printing sample for you.