Step 1 – Artwork
The screenprinting process begins with an idea or a piece of artwork. The art will be computerized and separated by colors onto a clear film positive. For each color in your design we will need a film positive. For each film positive, we will need a screen. In short, the less colors in your design, the less your printing cost will be.
Step 2 – Making the Screens
The screens are developed using a light sensitive emulsion to expose the screen with light for a short period of time. The dark areas (the image) on the film positive will prevent light from passing through and exposing the screen, The light will pass through clear areas of the film positive and harden the emulsion. Next, we wash out the soft areas that the light did not expose. The ink will pass through the open areas of the mesh.
Step 3 – Setup
Setup begins by setting the screens for each color into the press heads. We set them in order by color, light colors first in sequence to the darkest color. We need to align each print color to the other to ensure correct registration throughout the printing process. We then add ink colors to the screens and squeegees to the screen print heads.
Step 4 – Production
After the screens are placed and aligned into the press we are ready to begin printing. The squeegees will move across the screen to push the ink through and onto the T-shirt. Screen Printing ink consist of four major components. Pigment, (for the color). Oil (for the base). PVC’s and Plasticizers. When heated to 330 degrees, The oil evaporates and the plasticizers turn the PVC into plastic.
Step 5 – Finishing
After the garments have been printed they are inspected for quality and dried. They are then folded and ready for delivery.