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The basic principles of screen printing are fairly easy to understand as can be seen in three images shown below.

Once explained well, the screen printing process is relatively easy to understand  and the rest depends very much on you putting the theory into practice. Don’t worry, if you make mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process. Remember, you don’t have to waste t-shirts when you first start
learning, simply print out onto cheap blank copier paper!

We supply screen printing machines from the basic one colour table-top variety to six colour - four board carousel system. There are others in between too!

Which machine you opt for will depend very much on the followings factors:-

a) Do you wish to print small runs in one colour only?
b) Do you wish to print multiple colours onto white t-shirts only, or
c) Do you wish to print onto white and dark t-shirts?

For example, if you wish print in one colour only for short runs, then a one colour table-top machine should suffice. However, if you wish to print multiple colours onto t-shirts, then a four, five or six colour carousel system may be a better option.

If you are looking to print a four colour process onto white t-shirts only, then a four colour carousel system should be fine for your needs. However, if you are looking to print in the four colour process onto dark t-shirts, then you would certainly need a five or six colour carousel system.  The reason behind this is that on dark garments, you have to print the entire design with white ink first, followed by layering other colours on top, otherwise, your print will not appear so vibrant.

You can print using air drying inks where, once you print and hang your garments, they will  often air dry overnight. Whist this is a benefit in some ways, the downside is  that your screen will easily clog up if you stop printing for a while. If you have to stop and start, you will have to clean your screen more often.

You could on the otherhand use plastisol ink which never dry unless heat is applied to the ink/garment using a Spot Dryer. This means that the screen will not clog up so easily and once dry, your garment could be ready to ship/wear same day.

Create artwork and ‘burn’ onto
your screen

Apply ink to your screen and print

… and there you have it, a nicely
printed t-shirt!

Using ‘Process inks’ (Cyan, Megenta, Yellow and Black), you will be able to print t-shirts in full colour.

To print in full colour you will need to separate the artwork using a programme such as CorelDraw. This will create four pieces of artwork for the four colours which go into making full colour.

About screen printing