SCREEN PRINTING

Screen printing is the process of running ink over a specialist silk screen, pushing it through the fine holes and onto the garment. A separate screen is used for each colour in the artwork, up to a maximum of 10 colours on a white garment and 8 on a dark garment.

PRO’S & CON’S OF SCREEN PRINTING

PRO’S

  • Most cost-effective printing method for medium to very large runs of garments, i.e. 15 – 200,000
  • Good quality finish, both aesthetically and in terms of practicality and durability.
  • Long lasting, rich, deep colours, which do not lose their vibrancy when washed.
  • Spot colours can be used from the pantone library, ensuring 100% accurate colour fidelity to your artwork.
  • Ideal for artwork containing large blocks of colour and clearly defined imagery.

CON’S

  • Not cost effective or very small runs of 1-14. For these numbers, consider DTG or transfer printing.
  • Cannot reproduce gradients and subtle shades as well as other methods (such as DTG).
  • While ideal for vectored artwork, it can be less so for non-vectored (low-res) artwork. DTG could be considered.
  • Does not print intricate detail or tiny text as clearly as transfer printing can.
  • Unsuitable for high plastic content garments or multilayer garments (e.g. garments with padding). For these, transfer printing may be advisable.

TYPES OF SCREEN PRINTING

Using spot colours is the best way to achieve bright, vibrant colours. We use Plastisol inks, which work well for large solid areas of colour and reproducing exact brand colours through the use of Pantones.
CMYK inks offer a cost effective way of screen printing full colour artwork. Please note, however, that this is usually only possible on white garments, and for artwork which does not have large areas of a single colour.
This ink is plastisol-based, but is mixed with flax to give it a shimmering look. Although it comes in a range of colours, the most common uses for this are silver and gold.
This method uses ink which sets into the garment and gives a soft smooth finish. Prints are usually darker with more of a worn or vintage look. Discharge inks, however, only work on full cotton garments.
Water based inks give a similar feel to discharge inks, being soft and smooth on the garment. No white underbase is printed under colours (as it is using other screen printing techniques), meaning that the print colour on dark garments will look darker. These inks are often used for printing tea towels.
This method uses spot colours mixed with an expanding agent, which makes the print raise up from the garment, giving a highly tactile effect.
This process involves screen printing a special adhesive onto the garment, upon which the foil is then added. This sticks to the relevant areas of the artwork. Once the excess is removed, a reflective print is left on the garment.
Phosphorescent ink is printed like regular plastisol inks, however it glows in the dark. It is available in a limited range of colours.

ARTWORK REQUIREMENTS & CONSTRAINTS

  • Vectored artwork is strongly advised. For an explanation of what is meant by vectored artwork, please click HERE
  • Non-vectored artwork needs to be provided in the highest resolution available
  • Artwork should be saved at no smaller than the required print size
  • Where the artwork is in vectored format, all text and strokes should be outlined
  • All linked images should be embedded into your artwork file
  • Artwork ideally needs to be supplied pantoned
  • Minimum line width needs to be a thickness of 1 point (0.4mm)
  • To guarantee legibility, the smallest letter in any text must be a minimum of 3mm high
  • Any gradients will be printed as half-tone
  • Print cannot go over seams or edge to edge