Screen Printing is perfect for larger quantities of apparel with low-detail designs and few colors. Your design is processed in Photoshop, where it is optimized for screen printing, and separated by color. For each color, an aluminum mesh screen is coated with emulsion, and a transparency film is created that represents only that color in the design. The emulsion-coated screen is exposed to UV light, and the ink on the transparency protects the screen from curing in those areas. A high-pressure wash process then washes away the emulsion from those areas that were protected by the transparency.
The screens for your design are then installed on the screen printing unit, with matching registration marks allowing us to ensure that all screens (colors) are aligned to accurately recreate your design. We use high-quality Plastisol Screen Printing ink on the screens, which is pushed through the open mesh areas of the screens we just created to apply the image to your shirts.
For dark-colored apparel, the first screen will always be white, to apply a base that will allow the colors in subsequent screens to be highly visible. Our current screen printing equipment allows us to create designs with up to 6 colors (5 plus white for dark-colored shirts).
Because the up-front setup is so labor intensive to set up for a screen printing job, the cost break-even point is usually around 25 shirts. Quantities under 25 are typically more cost effective to use Direct to Garment, Dye Sublimation, or White Laser Transfers.