As you know, screen printing can produce some fabulous results. We've all got proper excited at the prospect of getting our sticky mitts on the bestest badest tour Tee Shirt we've ever seen when we get to the gig, and man, were some them awesome!
Getting that image on a garment though can be a dark art!
The screen printing technique allows you to push ink through a silk screen, where it becomes part of the fabric. This gives the print it's enduring qualities, and supersoft feel. Without wanting to bore you all too much, the top and bottom of it is, get the artwork right, and you will get an awesome result! Ideally, you need to be producing your image in a vector based programme. Adobe's Illustrator or Corel Draw are the industries favourites. Because these programmes work on numbers, rather than pixels, images can be resized and manipulated easily without loosing any detail, plus, they are much easier to colour separate when it comes to producing the screens required for printing (they should all be on separate layers during creation). Raster based programmes, such as Photoshop, rely on pixels to produce their images, and as a consequence are far more susceptible to distortion if and when they are adjusted. They're also more tricky to colour separate (though this is our problem). We use up to four colours to produce our screen prints, which gives us ample opportunities to create stunning images without breaking the bank.
There is a set up cost involved with screen printing. As mentioned above, each colour has to be separated from the other on it's own screen (C Cyan, M Magenta, Y Yellow and K Black - though you don't need this screen if you're printing on to a black garment) to produce a full colour image. Along with the set up cost, there's also a minimum order quantity of 30 items to make it cost effective. Once set up though, you can produce thousands of identical garments, and thus reduce the cost per item to a more reasonable price for re-sale, and justify the set up cost's. Bear in mind if your design is suitable, and you're not looking to produce hundreds of them, then Digital Printing (DTG) might be a better solution for you. Even Vinyl printing could be the answer, but your design needs to be simple, or (ideally) just text based (and you're only looking for up to 10 items).
Screen printing is also used when heat is not an option when it comes to some materials/fabrics (and a whole host of other applications that we don't do here). The last thing you need is to lift the heat press up on a beautiful Softshell Jacket just to reveal a big blob of melted polyester on the bottom! So take what you're hoping to have your design printed on into account when deciding what process you might be looking at. Having said all that, (obviously) we are here to help you when it comes to everything to do with your design and garment choice, so I wouldn't worry about it too much for now, we can discuss all that when we get back in touch with you.
You can use the contact form below to let us know what you're thinking of doing, and we'll get back to you within 24hrs (usually the same day)