Screen printing is a form of stenciling that can be used to create unique shirts, cards, and other items. It is also a great way to promote your business or brand. It’s a quick and easy way to stencil your design onto multiple products, making it a popular method for creating promotional product.
The Screen Printing Process
First, you will need a mesh screen to apply your image. Mesh screens are typically made from polyester but can also be made out of nylon or stainless steel. These types of screens are available in different sizes and will determine the amount of ink that will be transferred to the object being printed on.
Once the mesh has been placed on a surface, the printer will spread an emulsion over it. This emulsion is thick and green in color, similar to melted wax. The emulsion will sit on the screen for a set time under light and any areas that are not covered by the design will become hard.
After the screen has been exposed for a set time, any unhardened emulsion will be washed away leaving a clear imprint of your design on the screen. This step will give you a good idea of what your final design will look like on the item you are printing.
Next, the design is applied to the emulsion and a screen is lowered onto the printing board, with ink being added to the top. A squeegee is then used to pull the ink across the screen. This will imprint your design on the garment underneath and can then be repeated if you are creating multiple items.
If the emulsion is not removed, your design will not be permanent and the image may fade over time. You can prevent this by ensuring that the emulsion is thoroughly rinsed after each use. Some larger printing companies use tubs with special washing fluid to remove the emulsion, while smaller companies might just use a water hose or power nozzle.
Alternatively, you can draw your design on transparent paper to block the emulsion from getting through to the shirt or other object that will be printed on. This can be especially useful for complex designs that are difficult to cut out of an entire screen or stencil.
You should work with a Salt Lake City screen printer that has a dedicated team of design professionals. They’ll be able to help you create the perfect screen for your product and guide you through the process step by step.
The Inks and Tools
Before you can get started on screen printing, you will need to purchase the appropriate inks and other equipment. These items can be purchased at most art supply stores.
You can use any ink, but most printers prefer to use plastisol (water-based) inks. These inks are more resistant to fading, and they are also easier to clean off of the screen when it is finished printing.
After you’ve chosen the inks that will be used on your project, you should stir them to ensure that they are mixed properly and don’t contain any lumps or clumps. You should also check that they are of the correct texture and consistency for your screen printer.