What Is Screen Printing?

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Screen printing has been around for centuries; the process has just changed. “What is screen printing?” Screen printing begins with top designed artwork which is transferred to a screen for printing. Sounds simple but there is actually an art to the entire process. You want your final image to be a vibrant masterpiece.

Process

The colors of the artwork designed for a client are separated by a computer into film layers based on color. The output layers are sensitive to light. A dark room is utilized during this part of the process. Each screen is placed into a light box; the toner cannot pass through the film.

The next step is creating the stencil out of the output layers. The screens are removed from the light box, placed in a wash out booth and rinsed with water. The rinsing of the wet emulsion will allow the stencil to be revealed.

The screen is ready for the printing process where ink is placed on each separated screen. Each apparel product must be aligned properly onto the platen with every color step to get the correct design. If the alignment is off; the entire print will be ruined. You will have a misprint which costs both time and money.

A squeegee will add the colors of ink to the screen with excess being wiped away for the next step. Each time, the step is repeated the ink will add to the design on the apparel. The ink is a heavier feeling than a regular digital print. You can actually run your hand over the final product and feel the raised design.

Drying

After the print process is completed, the apparel will be inspected for any types of imperfections. Only the best quality apparel items are given to clients. With Plastisol Ink the drying process must reach 320 degrees for the ink to be bonded with apparel which aids in creating a long lasting garment.

Resources:

Embroidery & Screen Works (EASW) – http://www.easw.com/services/screen-printing/

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