The screen-printing process, used today worldwide for printing on garments, was basically developed in China over 1000 years back and basically, has changed very little. Developments in materials, inks, and chemicals have refined the process but the essential approach to passing inks or dyes via a mesh screen to the printable surface remains the same.
It’s possible to get similar quality prints whether you are using homemade manual equipment in your garage or operating large automated machines in a manufacturer – a very important factor which will vary greatly though is production times. The next explains the essential’spot color’process from somewhere in between, ie dealing with a small-scale professional set-up using an information printing carousel:
The first step is to split up the colors in the style using standard software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw – or to employ the services of any certainly one of numerous graphic designers advertising on the internet. For each color, a display needs to be produced which will be utilized in turn with all the others to print the image (if printing to dark garments an extra screen to make a’flash’undercoat of white ink will undoubtedly be needed to help make the colors in the style more vivid). After the colors have now been separated they are printed to scale in black to acetate sheets, together with registration marks, using a standard ink-jet printer. Space Force T Shirt The blacked our artwork then needs to be used in the prepared screens.
The conventional screens used have a metal or wooden frame with a tightly woven mesh, usually manufactured from nylon or polyester, stretched across them. Screens with different mesh counts are utilized with respect to the intricacy of detail in the style (generally speaking higher mesh counts are accustomed to reproduce greater detail as less ink can pass through the screen). Screens are prepared by coating them with a photo-reactive (light-sensitive) emulsion and then left to dry flat in an area free of UV light. When this solution is dry the screens are ready to have the artwork’burned’or exposed to them.
A lightbox is currently used which can be basically a field containing UV light-emitting tubes, an obvious glass surface above and a material lid. Each acetate is positioned upon the glass area and a prepared screen laid at the top – mesh side down. The material lid is closed and drawn tight on the screen using a vacuum pump – a timer is then set as the image is developed to the screen. The emulsion on the screen now reacts and hardens where in fact the UV light hits it and stays soft where in fact the areas of opaque black areas on the acetate block it. When the timer has stopped (anywhere between 1 and 20 minutes with respect to the intensity of UV light) the screen is able to be washed off with water using a hose or low powered pressure washer. The water washes away the areas of emulsion which have not developed, creating areas on the mesh for the inks to pass through.
Following the developed screens have dried masking tape is applied across the edges to stop ink seeping through areas that it should not. Each screen is then clamped onto a supply of a carousel, mesh side down, and special’plastisol’or water-based ink in each corresponding colour applied on top. To register, or fall into line, the screens a scrap little bit of material is positioned on the platens (boards which contain the garments to be printed) and an examination print is produced. This is performed by forcing the ink through the clear spaces in the mesh using a hand-held rubber’squeegee ‘, printing the lighter colours first. If printing to dark coloured garments the flash coat of white is printed and then passed under a temperature lamp to the touch dry prior to the colours are applied. The registration marks that are printed onto the scrap material are prearranged in turn before finished, registered image is produced. To cure the ink the printed garment is positioned on the conveyor belt of a tunnel dryer and heated to 320 degrees F (160 C). This may avoid the ink from washing away ensure the image will remain for provided that the garment lasts.
If numerous garments are to be printed time is saved by dealing with a friend, one T-shirt printing and one loading/unloading. To be certain of having the very best reproduction of one’s designs and logos always use the highest quality T-shirts and inks that your budget can accommodate.Read More