SCREEN PRINTING TECHNIQUES

 

Spot Color Printing

Plastisol ink is the most common form of printing, spot color printing uses a full-tone of color to create an opaque image. When heat-cured the ink bonds with the fabric of the shirt to create a permanent impression on the garment. Each color in the image is printed separately on its own screen; up to 8 spot colors, per location, for light garments and 6 colors, per location, for dark garments. See process printing for full color prints.

  • Yields Vibrant, Professional Quality Prints

  • Print on any color garment

  • Our special ink chemistry & post roll techniques produce a softer hand than traditional plastisol imprints

  • Good Pantone Matching System (PMS)

  • Price: Less Expensive to More expensive, depending on the number of colors printed

  • Used For: Most standard print of logos, graphics, and text

 

Simulated Process Printing

When printing a full color logo with many shades and tones of colors and a more vibrant, sharp print is desired, a simulated process is used. Unlike the 4-Color CMYK process, Sim-Process prints use a combination of spot colors and half tones to create all the colors in the image.

  • Yields vibrant, professional quality prints

  • Print on any color garment

  • Price: This is a more expensive option to print multiple colors and shades than the 4-Color CMYK process, but it is still less expensive than using individual spot colors for every shade. Typically it involves the use of 4-8 colors to create the design.

  • Used for: Full color images with many tones of color when printing on a dark shirt

 

CMYK (4 color process) Printing

When printing a full color image or photograph that involves many colors and many gradients or shades of colors, process prints are used. The 4-Color CMYK process uses the basic colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black to create the image, much like an inkjet printer.

  • Yields more muted, lighter colors (additional spot colors are recommended for text or items that need to stand out in the print)

  • Print only on white garments

  • Price: The lesser expensive way to create full color prints when many colors or shades of colors are involved

  • Used For: Photographs or Multi-Colored images with many tones of color when printing on a white shirt

 

Grey Scale Printing

An inexpensive way to make a photograph or other multi-color image into apparel. A grayscale of the image is created using full and half tones of black. Then the image can be printed in that "grayscale" version on a garment in any print color you choose.

 

  • Yields a Combination of Vibrant and Muted Color, Quality depends on size and resolution of photo

  • Print on any color garment, recommended for dark prints on light color garments for best results

  • Price: Inexpensive - the cheapest way to print a photograph or multi-colored image

  • Used For: One color versions of photos and multi-color images

 

Distressed Printing

In order to achieve a cracked, worn-in, eroded look, artists utilize filters prior to printing to remove parts of the images in a way to give it that vintage look. This technique can be combined with water based inks to give a super soft hand making the worn look truly realistic.

 

  • Yields professional quality, eroded prints

  • Print on any color garment, recommended for dark prints on light color garments for best results

  • Price: There is no additional fee for making a print look eroded

  • Used For: Vintage-looking prints

 

Waterbase Printing

Water based ink is a special type of decorative ink that literally soaks into the fabric instead of sitting on top of it, as our bold ink does (plastisol). SuperSoft ink can be used on light or dark colored shirts and allows for a bright print that has a “pop” factor. Since the fabric isn’t compromised by the ink, garments are left with a super soft touch and feel. You literally won’t even feel the print on the shirt, which is one of the many benefits of our SuperSoft inks.

 

  • Yields Vintage (muted), Professional Quality Prints

  • Print on any color garment with proper ink series

  • Our special ink chemistry produces a super soft hand for maximum comfort

  • Poor Pantone Matching System (PMS)

  • Price: (premium inks) Less Expensive to More expensive, depending on the number of colors printed

  • Used For: Retail-ready clothing, tri-blends, performance clothing

 

Discharge Printing

Discharge printing is a form of waterbase printing using a “bleaching” agent. This is used only for 100% cotton garments since the active agent is “bleaching” the cotton shirt back and cannot effect sunthetic materials such as polyester, spandex, etc. Natural discharge is a common technique on its own however discharge printing can also use pigments and other additional additives to “fix” color into the garment fibers permanently once the bleaching has finsihed. This is the least eco friendly option since there is a lot of waste and chemicals involved.

 

  • Yields Vintage (muted), Professional Quality Prints

  • Print on any color garment

  • 100% cotton (only)

  • No hand after first wash

  • Poor Pantone Matching System (PMS)

  • Price: More expensive

  • Used For: Retail-ready clothing, 100% ringspun cotton preferr