The Process - Expanded
Screen printing involves a squeegee pushing an ink through an image on a screen onto the surface to be printed. Although called silk screen printing, the screens now are generally made of polyester and stretched over a wood or metal frame. The screen is coated with a light sensitive emulsion which allows the image to be burned onto the screen using a film positive and a UV exposure unit. There is one screen for each color and location that is printed. The exposed screens are mounted on the press and registered to each other so that the images line up correctly. The screens then are filled with the proper ink and a squeegee pulls the ink across the screen, depositing the ink through the stencil onto the printing surface. After all colors are printed in this manner, the garment is then passed down a conveyor dryer in order to cure the ink properly for a lasting image.
Screen Printing is among the most versatile of graphic processes. Thousands of different types of garments, ad specialties, and promotional items are screen printed. There are eight basic steps for each screen printed job.