Screen Printing

Screen printing is a printing technique that’s been around for decades and is still used today to produce various types of graphics on garments and textiles, such as the majority of the shirts sold in retail outlets.

The first step starts with a graphic that a customer provides or we can design for them. Once the graphic is completed, the number of colors in the graphic need to be determined. For every color in the design, a screen will be created with a stencil of the graphic. Before this is done, the colors in the design are separated using a software application such as Photoshop or Illustrator. Once the colors are separated on screen, it will need to be printed on a transparency and output as a film positive.

The screens will then be set up using emulsion which is applied to both sides of the screen in a light safe room. The screens with emulsion are set aside to dry. Once the screens are dry, the stencils will be created by placing the film positives of the graphics (each color) on the surface of the screen and will be exposed under a very bright UV light. Any part of the emulsion on the screen that is exposed to the light will cure and harden. The screens are then washed with a pressure washer which then leaves a stencil of the graphic on each screen.

Once the setup process is complete, the screens are attached to a screen press which consists of platens where the shirts are placed. Each screen is then moved and placed on top of the surface of the shirt and a squeegee is used to push ink through each screen producing an image of the final graphic on the shirt.