What is screen printing? The simple answer is a method of garment inking.
But what screen printing really is relies heavily on one major component: The screens. The screens in screen printing are the key, and how they work is pretty incredible. We’ve already shown you the step by step process, but let’s explain how these magic tools work.
It all starts with a blank screen. Each of these screens has a different amount of “pixels,” if you will. Certain colors are more potent or thicker, and thus need to be applied through a certain type of mesh to look good on a garment. If you have a more intricate design, you want a higher mesh or “pixel” count in your screen so the detail is more visible. We also use specialized inks for certain materials—the same ink won’t print the same way on cotton, polyester or nylon!
This is the machine that blasts the screen with light, “printing” your design directly onto the screen. We then wash the screen, peeling off any excess paint. We scrub the screen down dry and make sure it is absolutely transparent where the design will go.
If you have a multi-color design, your job isn’t over yet! For every color in screen printing, a screen needs to be made. If you look at the screens below, all for the same design, you’ll notice that they’re different layers of the same design.
Multiple screens are one of the most important aspects of screen printing. Each screen has to match up precisely to its counterparts to ensure the design looks the way it’s supposed to. That’s why there are marks on the top of each screen to denote placement.
It gets even more complicated when printing the same design on separate colors. Certain layers disappear depending on the background color. Look at the proofs for this Burn Outs design, you’ll notice how we adjust the screens because of background color.
We won’t necessarily ink black or red shirts with black or red ink—but we have to have those screens ready for the gray versions!
Once we have all of the screens we can finally print the garment. But, those screens get re-used for other jobs! We wait roughly two weeks before clearing screens and getting them ready with a new design.
Once we blast away the old design, we can paint the screens our solid blue and then get ready to do it all over again!
Still have a question about the way AMBRO Manufacturing uses their screen printing screens? Call us! 908-806-8337. If you’re interested in placing an order, email us at Sales@Special-Ts.com.