Is Screen Printing The Right Option For Your Custom Clothing


There are many things in life we wish we could have a concrete answer for, knowing if screen printing is the right option for custom clothing is probably not the highest on the list but for someone who is going to get some custom clothing made, it’s certainly up there!

There are of course many variables in deciding if printing your logo/business name on your garments is a viable option, and we’ll look into these. But, before we do, do you really know what happens in screen printing? Having screen printing explained can also take a lot of ambiguity away.

What is it?

Working like a stencil method, screen printing is done “onto fabric via a fine that has been coated with an impermeable solution. Using a squeegee, the ink gets pushed through only where the mesh allows it to, creating the design.”

In order to create a design that has multiple colours, requires time however as each colour must be applied individually and before you can start a layer of white ink must be printed first and then all the other colours placed on top. This is called underbasing and is a common approach to printing on clothes.

Remarkably, screen printing is the oldest form of printing imagery and logos onto garments available to this date. We have since moved into digital printing which naturally, reduces time. This technique can even be traced back to ancient China and commonly in Europe since the 18 Century.

The process

There are several ways to create the design but the process in all of these steps is multi-level requiring paints, squeegees, pressurised water, brushes and transparent materials that will do the job perfectly.

Home kits are a good way to get started if you were thinking of doing the designs yourself, however, the materials are expensive and it does take time to learn.

The pros and cons of screen printing

Screen printing has lots of fans for lots of reasons. Primarily, it is simple and allows for lots of colour and vibrancy in design, but it also has its detractors. Let’s look at some of the pros behind screen printing.

Pros

  • Vibrant designs & colours

The inks are better quality leading to better graphics and colours on the final print.

  • Speed and efficiency

            Once a screen has been made, designs can be replicated quickly so much so that some design printers can make upto 5000 per hour!

  • Variety

Lots of inks can create different effects and textures as well as some screens creating all over print which is great for the end use.

Cons

  • Set Up Costs
    The time to set up each machine is compared to digital prints is immense. It takes a lot of preparation to make it work and each screen costs a lot of money to get right which then has an impact on final cost to consumer. It is therefore not suitable for small orders.
  • Unsustainable
    It can be messy and requires a lot of water and more often than not, the inks used can be toxic to the environment.
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