In spite of the fact that there are different methods of screen printing, they all utilize the same basic technique. As we’ll see below, light-reactive emulsions are used to create stencils; this form of commercial printing is the most popular, since intricate stencils can be created.
The following steps will guide you through the printing process. Btw, Prints R Us T Shirt Printing Shop provides the best priting services.
Creating the design
Printing begins with the printer printing the design they want on the finished product onto transparent acetate film. The stencil will be created using this.
Preparation of the screen is complete
Depending on the complexity of the design and the texture of the fabric being printed, the printer will select a mesh screen. When developed under bright light, the mesh screen is coated with a light-reactive emulsion.
Exposure of the emulsion
As soon as the emulsion-coated screen is exposed to bright light, the acetate sheet with the design is laid onto it. As the light hardens the emulsion, the parts of the screen covered by the design remain liquid.
To apply each layer of ink, a separate screen must be used if the final design includes more than one colour. Printers must use their skills to design each stencil and align them perfectly in order to create seamless multi-coloured products.
Washing off the emulsion creates the stencil
As soon as the screen has been exposed for a set time, the areas not covered by the design will harden. Rinse off any unhardened emulsion. The ink can pass through the screen after the design is imprinted.
Following drying, the printer will make any necessary touch-ups or corrections to make the imprint as accurate as possible. Now you can use the stencil.
Preparing the item for print
Screens are then placed on printing presses. Lay the item or garment flat on the printing board, beneath the screen.
Many modern commercial printers use automatic rotary carousel printers, which allow several screens to work at once. There are manual and automatic presses available. It is also possible to apply the separate color layers in succession using this kind of printer.
Ink is pressed through the screen
On the printing board, the screen is lowered down. Squeegees are used to pull the ink along the entire length of the screen after adding ink to the top end. In this way, the stencil imprints the design on the product underneath by pressing the ink into the holes.
The printer raises the screen and places a new garment onto the printing board if it is generating multiple items. Repetition follows.
To reuse the stencil mesh, the emulsion is removed using a special washing fluid after all the items have been printed and the stencil has served its purpose.
Drying, checking, and finishing
Afterwards, the printed product passes through a dryer, which ‘cure’ the ink and creates a smooth, colourfast surface. Before being passed on to its new owner, the final product will be thoroughly cleaned to remove any residue.
Digital printing is more cost-effective than screen printing for small batches of clothing or single items since there is less setup required. The computerised image it uses instead of a stencil makes it ideal for creating photographic or highly detailed designs.
Because CMYK-style dots of colour are used instead of solid blocks of ink, it doesn’t provide quite the same intensity of colour as screen printing. In addition, digital printers cannot create texturized effects.