The Basics of Screen Printing for Merchandise

Screen printing is an art form in which ink is transferred onto a piece of material using a stencil. This stencil is typically made of silk and must be flat and positioned on a printing board. In order to ensure that the ink transfers onto the material, the stencil must be perfectly aligned. Once the screen is positioned correctly, ink is applied to the top of the screen and a squeegee is used to push it across the screen and through the stencil.

Screen printing, also known as silk screening, originated in Asia and reached Europe in the 18th century. It initially took a while to catch on as a method of fabric printing, but the emergence of the Silk Road made silk more affordable and widespread. The use of screens as a printing medium grew, and the advent of photo-sensitised emulsions made it possible for artisans to create intricate stencil designs.

This process is highly versatile and can be both manual and automated. It works with a variety of inks and materials and is capable of printing on nearly any surface, including fabric and paper. Even wood, plastic, and leather can be printed using the process. Among its many uses, screen printing is suited for printing dark-colored fabrics.

Before screen printing, it is important to choose the right type of mesh screen. Screens must be cleaned to remove all traces of emulsion. A larger printwork will use a large tub of special cleaning fluid or acid to get rid of the emulsion, while smaller printworks can use a water trough, sink, or power hose.

Screen printing is a time-consuming process. Unlike digital printing, the process requires special screen designs for each element. Colors are then applied to the screen layer by layer. Generally, the more layers the design has, the longer it takes to complete the printing. Additionally, the design will have a thicker look than a digitally printed product. Screen printing is most cost-effective when ordering in bulk.

Screen printing is an excellent choice for simple designs and logos. It also works well with lighter-colored t-shirts, while DTG tends to have problems with dark-colored shirts. It also adds a sense of recognition to the product you are selling. However, screen printing is not always the best choice for many colors.

Screen printing is one of the more affordable methods of custom printing. It is easy to set up and produces a high volume of finished products in a short time. In addition to being cheaper than digital printing, screen printing is faster and more efficient. It can be used for larger orders, and is especially economical if you’re generating high-volume orders.

The process of screen printing uses stencils that contain the image to be printed. Different stencils are used to create different shades of a design, for example, a four-color logo would require four different stencils. These screens are placed on a rotary press for the printing process. The rotary press ensures proper alignment and placement of the prints. Some screen printing services offer fully automated presses, which require zero manual labor. For more details on screen printing visit Tacoma Printing.