Why does it take so long to screen print?
This is one question we get asked a lot. Though it's not on our faq's page because we would rather cover it here.
- First we need to design art
- Make film for the screen exposures.
- Reclaim screen if we aren't using new ones
- The reclaiming process requires cleaning old ink residue and tape out of the screen then spraying a chemical on the screen to soften the stencil so it can be washed out with a high pressure spray gun. Once the stencil has been removed we use another chemical to clean any ink stain from the screen and further degrease the screen so we can dry it and re-coat the screen with a new stencil and get ready for exposure.
- Expose the dried coated screen under a special light for a specific period of time using the film positives previously printed.
- Wash the undried areas of the unexposed stencil to create the stencil that will be used for printing.
- Let the screen fully dry again.
- After the screen has dried now we can put the screen on press, align it with the printing plate also known as the platen or the thing that your shirts sit on.
- Tape areas of the screen that you don't want ink to go through as the stencil does not cover the entire screen from edge to edge.
- Once aligned and taped, add ink pick a clean squeegee add print table adhesive to the platen so the shirts don't move during printing.
- Warm up the conveyor dryer and flash dryer if not already done so.
- Find and confirm the shirts with the order to be printed. Qty, color ect.
- Run a test print on a test pellon ( a special material that can be printed on to verify alignment for multi color jobs and correct ink color)
- And begin printing.
- So in about 14 steps that we could stretch out more if we wanted to be picky but we're not here to write the bible of screen printing as that's already been done several times, but more to give a brief overview of the process. Thanks for reading.