What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing, also known as silk screening, is a millennia-old art form believed to have originated in China, whereby stencils are used to transfer ink onto the surfaces of different objects (known today as “substrates”).
The process sounds complicated at first, but essentially, fine mesh fabric is stretched taught over a frame. After that, an ink-blocking stencil is applied to the screen using a light-sensitive emulsion process. The result is a crisp, clean, leak-free stencil. After this, ink is applied to the screen and pushed through the exposed mesh onto the substrate (t-shirt, hoodie, etc.) with a squeegee. The processes is repeated as many times as necessary, depending on the amount of colors in the design.
We recommend screen printing for most t-shirt printing orders because it is the most durable process and offers the widest range of options.
Our Silk Screen Printing Process
Twelve years is a long time for a business to “get it right,” and we take great pride in the simplicity and efficiency of our screen printing process. There’s a reason why we’re an industry leader, and while much of it has to do with our stringent quality standards, our lightning-fast turnaround, and safe and secure shipping, the bottom line is that we offer the best quality products in the industry. Here’s how:Step 1: You give us a design. We've optimized this process to make it as simple as possible for all of our customers. You can either submit your own design to us, create one using our state-of-the-art Design Studio, or select from a variety of easy-to-customize premade templates and fonts in our expansive graphic library. This is where your job ends, and ours begins.
Step 2: Next, the dedicated and visionary staff in our art and design departments analyze every single submission to see what works and what doesn’t. They separate every color into separate screens, clean them up, and prepare them for printing. After you approve the final design, we ship it off to the printers.
Step 3: Each screen gets “inked up” with the approved color, and each shirt is then printed in correct color order. Our flash-drying process between each individual screen ensures crisp quality and prevents color bleeding.
Step 4: The finished product is dried at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 seconds on one of our conveyer dryers. This process makes for a thorough and even curing of the ink to the fabric, which ensures your design won’t crack, fade, peel, or wash off.
Step 5: Each t-shirt is undergoes a rigorous quality assurance inspection by one of our floor managers. After every t-shirt gains their approval, it’s time to ship!
Step 6: We ship your order right to your door. Each customer is given a UPS tracking number, guaranteed delivery date, and email confirmation upon order completion.
Step 7: You get your beautiful t-shirts, fall in love with them, wear them often, and post nice things about us on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or just shout it from your rooftop.
Screen Printing FAQ
You know what screen printing is, how it works, and how we do it. Now, let’s tackle some of the most common questions we receive from our customers:What kind of ink do you use
We use the highest quality plastisol inks available. We prefer plastisol inks because they’re exceptionally versatile and very rarely need any kind of adjustments, they do not dry unless properly cured, and they’re very durable. Using plastisol ensures that your shirts will last for years of continued wear and wash.Do you offer water-based inks?
Yes! We aim to please, and that means offering our customers the best of everything. Water-based inks are certainly available upon request. Please contact us to discuss options for water-based ink printing.Will your screen printing come off in the wash?
Absolutely not! The high quality inks we use, mixed with our time-tested screen printing and drying processes, means your shirts will stand up to the tests of time.Do you only print t-shirts?
No way! While t-shirts are definitely our top-selling product, we print on a multitude of products, including sweatshirts, hoodies, caps and hats, sweatpants, bags, towels, women’s apparel, and more.Will you flash your prints on dark color garments?
The answer to this question is yes – always. Our superior attention to detail and stringent quality standards are two of the most important components of our business. We’d be willing to bet we have a better eye than our competitors when it comes to overall quality because we staff some of the country’s best screen printers. Every job is completed correctly and as efficiently as possible. But above all, we are confident the end product will be 100 percent satisfactory. And if it isn’t, we have a competent, courteous, and trustworthy team of customer service representatives standing by, ready and waiting to help.
If you have anymore questions, check out our FAQ page or give us a call at 1-800-620-1233 to speak with a customer service representative.