Screen printing has been used for centuries
and although there have been many improvements with the technology,
the process still consists of forcing ink through a stencil
covered fabric or wire mesh which has been mounted in a sturdy
frame. The ink goes through only the open areas of the stencil
and is deposited onto a printing surface positioned below
the frame. Screen printing is very versatile and it is often
the only printing process capable of handling certain applications.
Screen printing is the most common form of printing onto
textiles. The vast majority of tee shirts sold in malls, department
stores, and at events are screen printed, and a long run of
screen printed items is exceptionally cost effective.
Since each color to be printed has to be on a separate screen,
the artwork and setup for requirements for screen printing
is quite complex and time consuming. The more colors and garment
locations that you are having screen printed, the more expensive
the process will be.
Due to the complexity of the setup involved, screen printing
may not be cost effective for producing just a few items.
We generally recommend producing at least 12 items for each
color and for each location. A less complicated job, such
as a one color item printed on just one side, may be resistively
cost effective with just a dozen pieces, however, if you desire
an item to be printed with six colors on two sides, our recommendation
would be to purchase at least 144 items.
When printing onto dark surfaces, an "underbase"
is usually required. This underbasing procedure is normally
a white layer of ink printed below the visible layers and
is typically completely covered by the other color(s). The
underbase allows for the visible ink to be clearly apparent
and not subdued or washed-out looking. Dark colored garments
printed with an underbase will typically have a heavier "hand"
(a thicker feel to the printed areas) than a light colored
garment printed without an underbase. The underbasing procedure
require additional art and setup time, and actually counts
as a color (so printing onto dark colored items will be somewhat
more expensive than printing onto light colored items). Please
take this into consideration when requesting printing on dark
The screen printing process is generally not well suited
for photo-realistic prints. Since the "dots" of
ink are much larger than in most other printing technologies,
when viewed close-up, halftone images may appear to be somewhat
"grainy", however from a viewing distance of a few
feet, the individual halftone dots are not distinctly visible
and do tend to create a natural blending of color.
Screen printing does not "wash out" like transfers
or digital prints, and can last for hundreds of washings if
washed in cold water and turned inside out (to protect the
print from abrasion).
Screen Printing FAQ's
Can you print of picture of my grandchild?
We can. But the screen printing process never gives you true
photograpic quality, screen printing is typically used to
mass produce a large volume of custom printed apparel and
is not well suited for making fine art reproductions.
Full color printing ALWAYS has to be on a white shirt.
If you are just looking for a few shirts, screen printing
is probably not the best option for your needs.
Will I get my shirts tomorrow?
No. Screen printing is a multi-step process, and we certainly
don't have your custom printed shirts printed in advanced
of your order. Please be realistic. We will never promise
an order in less than a week, and we recommend that you allow
two weeks or more. Remember, our free shipping offer is for
regular ground shipping using the carrier of our choice. If
you need the shirts in a hurry, we can ship them next day
air, but you will be responsible for the cost of the shipping,
and the cost of the shipping.
How do I know I am getting a good quality shirt?
All our products are first quality major brand names. We do
not offer second quality products. The truth is second quality
shirts only cost about a dime less than first quality, so
why would anyone want to purchase seconds? We proudly display
our catalog of products so that you can choose your favorite
What if I don't like your printing?
We have tried our best to explain screen printing on this
site. Please make sure that you understand the advantages
and disadvantages of screen printing before you place an order.
We are a professional company with a staff that takes pride
in producing a quality product, but there are limitations
and trade offs with any printing process. Go to any major
clothing retailer, ask them if they can show you some screen
printed apparel. If you are satisfied with the screen printed
apparel you see in major stores, you will be satisfied with
our printing, conversely if you are not happy with the screen
printing you see in the stores, you will not be satisfied
with our product either.
I need 5 different designs printed and 100 shirts
To us, that is 5 different orders of 100 each, not 1 order
of 500. Every design change results in having to change the
screen and thus results in an additional setup charge.