Silk screen printing is the most used method of garment printing because it is very cost-effective, versatile and durable compared to other types of garment decoration. Set up can be time-consuming if we have many colours in a design, but once set up it’s quick and easy to print each garment.
Some prints on dark colour garments need to be passed twice and heated/flashed in between to maintain vibrancy, and may need an under base which is included as an extra colour. All colours in a design need their own screen made, and we pass ink through the stenciled image on the screen onto the fabric using a squeegee.
Silk screen printing originated in China about 1000 years ago and is still the number one method used today.
Screen Print methods are:
Spot Colour – The most common type of screen printing is spot colour printing where each colour in the image is a solid colour, like a logo or cartoon type image.
Greyscale – Is where the image has gradients or tones/shades of a colour so we need to make the image passable through the screen by turning it into different size dots to create the impression of shading/depth.
CMYK Process Printing – Is basically printing a picture like image or anything with many colours, this can be reproduced in screen printing by using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black colours that are mixed in the way of little dots some crossing over each other to make other colours.
Types of Ink;
Plastisol ink – Is the most commonly used as it’s very easy to use and versatile. The most favored ink used by screen printers.
Water-based ink – Best used on light colours, the finish is more of a washed in effect. Less preferred to be used by printers as the ink can dry in the screens and creates more work to wash out the screens.
Discharge ink – Is the effect of having the image dyed into the fabric and is like a water-based finish but can be used on dark colours. This ink is more expensive and gives off some fumes when used.
Glow in the dark ink – We are lucky to be one of the few people in the UK to have a selection of glow in the dark inks in different vibrant colours. It originated in America within the safety industry and military. As used recently by some big fashion brands, the results are extremely impressive and creative possibilities are endless!
Metallic ink – We have metallic silver and gold ink for that extra bling effect! Be different or make something stand out in a certain design.
Puff ink – We have an additive that we can use with our ink to give it a raised effect, works well in creating dimension to some designs.
Soft hand base – We use this in some of our inks, mostly requested by fashion brands as it gives a softer feel finish to the print.