The screen-printing process, used today worldwide for printing on garments, was basically developed in China over 1000 years back and in essence, has changed very little. Developments in materials, inks, and chemicals have refined the procedure but the basic approach to passing inks or dyes by way of a mesh screen onto the printable surface remains the same.
It is possible to have similar quality prints if you are using homemade manual equipment in your garage or operating large automated machines in a manufacturer – a very important factor that’ll vary greatly though is production times. The following explains the basic’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 separate your lives the colors in the design using standard software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw – or even to employ the services of any among numerous graphic designers advertising on the internet. Us Space Force T-Shirts For each color, a screen has to be produced that will be utilized in turn with all the others to print the image (if printing onto dark garments an additional screen to make a’flash’undercoat of white ink will undoubtedly be needed to make the colors in the design more vivid). When the colors have been separated they are printed to scale in black onto acetate sheets, together with registration marks, using a standard ink-jet printer. The blacked our artwork then has to be transferred to the prepared screens.
The typical screens used have a steel or wooden frame with a tightly woven mesh, usually made from nylon or polyester, stretched across them. Screens with different mesh counts are employed with respect to the intricacy of detail in the design (generally speaking higher mesh counts are accustomed to reproduce more 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 a place free from UV light. When this solution is dry the screens are ready to truly have the artwork’burned’or exposed onto them.
A lightbox is now used which will be basically a field containing UV light-emitting tubes, an obvious glass surface above and a material lid. Each acetate is placed upon the glass area and a prepared screen laid at the top – mesh side down. The material lid is closed and drawn tight within the screen using a vacuum pump – a timer is then set while the image is developed onto the screen. The emulsion on the screen now reacts and hardens where in actuality the UV light hits it and stays soft where in actuality the aspects of opaque black areas on the acetate block it. Once the timer has stopped (anywhere between 1 and 20 minutes with respect to the intensity of UV light) the screen is ready to be washed off with water using a hose or low powered pressure washer. The water washes away the aspects 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 around the edges to prevent 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 bit of material is placed within the platens (boards which hold 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 onto dark coloured garments the flash coat of white is printed and then passed under a temperature lamp to touch dry before the colours are applied. The registration marks which are printed onto the scrap material are arranged consequently until the finished, registered image is produced. To cure the ink the printed garment is placed on the conveyor belt of a tunnel dryer and heated to 320 degrees F (160 C). This may stop the ink from washing away ensure the image will remain for so long as the garment lasts.
If numerous garments are to be printed time is saved by dealing with a colleague, one T-shirt printing and one loading/unloading. To make sure of having the very best reproduction of one’s designs and logos always use the very best quality T-shirts and inks that your budget can accommodate.Read More