MS APR 041018

Screen Printing Checklist

Screen printing is the process of creating a stencil (printers call this a “screen”) and then using that stencil to apply layers of ink on the printing surface. Each color is applied using a different stencil, one at a time, to achieve the final look. Screen printing is the best option for designs that require a high level of vibrancy when printing on dark shirts, or specialty products. The ink in screen printing is applied thicker than digital printing, which results in brighter colors.

When receiving custom apparel printing services, it’s essential that you work with a partner who understands the do’s and don’ts of screen printing. Here is a checklist that any professional should follow when providing screen printing services.

Don’t Print Over Seams, Pockets, or Zippers

To get the best quality print when screen printing, you need a flat surface between the pallet (an item that clothing lays on) and the screen (holds your design). The fronts and backs of shirts are consistently smooth and the same thickness, allowing for the perfect print every time. However, when printing over a seam, pocket, or zipper, it creates inconsistency because these are thicker portions of the garments.

Know What Types of Shirts Work Well with Jumbo Prints

Most people want as big of a print as possible on their custom printed t-shirts. A professional knows that on standard unisex or men’s tees, this is not a problem. However, some shirts are not the best choice for jumbo prints. The following don’t work well with jumbo prints:

  • Tank Tops. Tank tops are cut low at both the neckline and the sleeves. Printing jumbo prints could cause print defects from printing over seams.
  • V-Necks. The neckline of a v-neck may cut out a large design.
  • Girls Tees. Jumbo pallets are wider than most girls tees. Screen printing presses won’t fit the tee onto the press unless the tee is stretched.

Know What Type of Material Works Best

Even though screen printing advancements have allowed t-shirt companies to recreate a level of detail that was previously unattainable, some garments still do not work well. The following types of material don’t print as cleanly when screen printed:

  •  Ribbed Garments
  •  Canvas Material (aprons, bags, etc.)
  • Burnout Tees
  • Pique Polos

Custom Screen Printing in Chicago with Marathon Sportswear

You need a partner with experience in screen printing if you want your custom designs to come out perfectly. Marathon Sportswear has over three decades of experience in providing high-quality screen printing services that our partners love. To represent your favorite local team, create quality company apparel, or design shirts for your next fundraising event, contact Marathon Sportswear.