In a world where you can get just about any t-shirt you could possibly imagine off the internet, many people are familiar with screen printing. However, their knowledge usually doesn’t go much further than knowing things can be printed on shirts. Anyone in the Jersey screen printing business knows things aren’t that simple. So what exactly is screen printing and how does the process work?
What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing, aka silk screening, is a way of printing images and designs on shirts using thick ink that sits on the shirt fabric rather than soaking into it. Most companies use screen printing and its a great way to affordably make large quantities of shirts. Screen printing is best used for designs with only a few colors, compared to direct-to-garment printing (DTG) which is better suited for complex graphics with many colors.
During screen printing, a thin mesh is stretched over a frame and a negative of the graphic is printed on a screen that is pressed against the shirt. When the screen is in place, ink is then rolled over the screen. The ink only slides through the areas where the design is printed. The ink then sets on the shirt and is left to dry. Keep in mind that this is a very basic description of Jersey screen printing. Each step of the process is complicated and best left to a professional. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how Jersey screen printing actually works.
The ‘screen’ used is like a high-quality, fine screen window material that is contained in a wooden frame. The screen is first covered in a layer of protective emulsion that prevents ink from seeping through. Next, your Jersey screen printing professionals will mix the ink to match the exact colors for your design. A press operator will then align the screens and stretch the shirt over an ironing board-like device.
A laser alignment tool is used to make sure the designs are printed in the exact position as desired. The screens are lowered onto the shirt and custom ink is poured over them. The press operator will then use a rubber squeegee to move the ink from one end of the screen to the other. As the ink is moved across the screen, the design will appear over the shirt. Depending on the number of colors used and the complexity of the design, the process may be repeated multiple times. The shirts are then inspected for mistakes and loaded into a conveyer belt dryer that is temperature-controlled so the shirts dry in one pass-through and colors don’t bleed together.
The Very Best in Jersey Screen Printing
We have only provided a very basic outline of the process of screenprinting, the full process requires extensive knowledge of screen printing chemicals, printing equipment as well as art and design. If you want to be sure to get beautiful shirts printed every time, you’ll want to go to the pros. For the absolute experts in Jersey screen printing, go to NJ Ink Shop.
From screen printed apparel to customized signage and promotional products, NJ Ink Shop can bring your vision to life. Don’t let your brand blend in with the crowd, let us set you apart with custom-made artistry. Not exactly sure what you are looking for? Our talented designers can lead you in the right direction – we can even do the designing for you! It’s time to get creative, it’s time to get inked.