Screen printing is done manually or with an automatic screen printing press. A stencil is made and applied to a screen by exposing the screen with the stencil placed over it to ultraviolet light. When the light is applied, the parts of the screen that did not get any UV light (your stencil over the screen blocks the light) will wash out of the screen and expose the tiny screen holes that will allow ink to pass through and onto the shirts or whatever you are printing on. The rest of the screen will have emulsion cured on it that will block any ink from being pressed through. There are several ways of exposing the screen.
After the screen is washed and ready, ink will be pushed through the screen onto the material you would like to screen print on by using a screen print squeegee The squeegee can be done by hand or an automatic screen printing press can be used for easier and quicker production. An automatic screen printing press takes up more space, costs more money and has electrical and air consumption requirements. It does, however, greatly improve screen printing production capabilities.
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG):
DTG is a relatively new fabric printing method that prints an image directly onto a garment or fabric through what is essentially a modified version of a traditional inkjet printer. Think of a regular inkjet printer which has been modified to “accept” garments instead of paper. The ink is printed directly onto fabric which results in exceptional “hand” (common term in the industry referring to how a garment feels once the image or design has been printed on it), and offers more flexibility than screen printing in terms of color variation and turn-around time (especially for smaller orders).
Originally it was best suited for light garments as white ink was not available. As the technology continues to advance, however, major DTG printing providers are adding dark garments to their lists.
We offer both methods of printing at Miami Tees. With DTG printing, there is no need to burn screens, thus saving the customer money. Direct to garment printing also has no color limitations. Customers with smaller quantity orders, 72 pieces or less, that have multiple colors in their image, would be a direct to garment printing job.