A plain T-shirt has its own charm. However, if there were a printed design on it, the look would be even more attractive. The younger generation prefers the T-shirts with designs. There are usually two kinds of printed designs on a T-shirts. One would be the screen-printed design and the other, the digital printing designs.
We shall concentrate on the custom screen printing designs for the scope of this article. The screen printing method is the traditional printing method on garments. The printers make use of a stencil. They call it the screen in their industry. Using this stencil, they apply various colors according to the demand. In the case of the multicolored design, they use different stencils for different colors to avoid the overlapping of the colors.
The procedure is an interesting one. The first part of the exercise would be to create the stencil. The printers prepare the screen using a mesh. This mesh could be a synthetic polymer such as nylon. They create the stencil by blocking off parts of the screen. The open spaces would be where the ink would flow and form the image on the garment.
The pre-press process is a very important one. In this process, the screen printers use an emulsion and scoop it across the mesh. The exposure unit would burn away the layer of the emulsion from the exposed area thereby leaving a clean area having the same shape of the image. They check the screen again and block out the unnecessary holes to prevent the ink from leaking through and forming ugly marks on the garment.
Now the screen would be ready for printing the image on the garment. The printers place the screen over the garment. The place the ink on the top part of the screen and use the flood bar to push the ink through the holes on the screen on the garment. Multicolored designs are also possible. They use different stencils for different colors. The printers use the rubber blade, also known as a squeegee, to push the screen down towards the garment. The mesh opening would be full of ink. They use the capillary action for squeezing the ink on the garment. Usually, the screen printers use three different kinds of presses. The flatbed, cylinder, and the rotary are the names of the three printing presses.
One can use the same screen to print the designs on many garments at a time. They should take care to clean the ink. Otherwise, the dried ink would block the holes and affect the outcome. Custom screen-printing is a very popular kind of printing. Recently, the digital prints have made their appearance. However, there is still demand for the traditional screen-printing.
Nowadays, you find the schools, colleges, the sports teams, order for the printing of their logos, images, and names, etc on the garments. People know it by the name of custom screen-printing in the industry. This exercise would entail a sense of uniformity in the designs on the T-shirts. There is ample demand for the custom screen-printing of garments all over the world.
The screen printing technique has some distinct advantages over the digital printing techniques in the sense that one could use this technique to make bolder prints. The printing on the dark-colored shirts would be easier using this technique as compared to the digital prints. The layers of ink will be thicker in the screen printing technique.
Printing on uneven surfaces would be easy using the screen printing techniques in comparison with the digital printing. They use the digital printing when the subject requires many details. The custom screen printing technique would be the best bet when there is a need for many prints.