Screen printing is a method used to apply ink to apparel using a mesh screen and squeegee. The advantages of screen printing over other methods are that the screen holds the image in place between prints and is much easier to swap out the paper and clothing. Screen printing can be done on a large or small scale, and is ideal for a wide range of applications. It also offers great vibrancy, a quick turnaround, and affordable pricing. Screen printing uses a high-tech ink that allows for precise control over the drying process and prevents color bleed from one color to another.
The most common complaint about thermal transfer printing is the high price per print. It is also not a very good choice for dark colored garments, as most of the inks used for thermal transfer printing are translucent. However, there are newer heat transfer papers that can be used for printing on dark garments. Another option is to use sublimation printing, which is a type of dye transfer. The dye passes from the solid state to the gas state, imbedding itself in the fibers.
The first step in the apparel printing process is the preparation of the design. The screen printer first prints a stencil on a transparent acetate film. Next, he or she prepares a mesh screen suitable for the design. The screen is then coated with a light-reactive emulsion, which hardens when it is exposed to bright light. After this, the acetate sheet containing the design is laid on top of the emulsion-coated screen. Once the design is completed, the printer moves onto the next step in the process: application of separate color layers.
Another popular option for apparel printing is direct-to-garment printing, which uses a modified inkjet printer with special ink to produce full-color prints. However, it is not suitable for clothing made from polyester or other moisture-wicking fabrics. However, there are newer systems available that can print on a wider range of fabrics.
The next step in apparel printing involves choosing the right method for the application of ink. Digital printing is an efficient way to print on fabric, although it has some limitations. The ink used in this process is often heat-sensitive and therefore won’t wash out. The printer will also consider the type of fabric when selecting an ink. Some inks work better on certain fabrics than others.
Sublimation is another option for printing on clothing. This method is more expensive per garment but allows for the printing of all-over designs. The downside to this method is that it is only suitable for white 100 percent polyester shirts. Embroidery is another option for long-lasting designs, but it is limited to small designs and doesn’t reproduce detail very well. In addition, it doesn’t make as big a statement as screen printing does.
The benefits of screen printing include speed and quality, and the ability to repeat the design over again. It is also highly efficient for creating large quantities of custom clothing. Expert printing services are able to create intricate multi-colored designs. However, there is a limitation to the number of colors that can be used in a design.