Everybody always wants to tell you how great a specific process is, but nobody wants to tell you the downsides. No worries… I’m here for you. Feel free to call me “Negative Nancy” today. I’m here to ruin your day!
I do promise to tell you my favorite PROs about each process as we go along. And, since this is my blog… well, I’m gonna write what I want.
Let’s start with the one of oldest forms of garment decorating… screen printing.
It became a popular form of application in the US around the 1960’s. In Artistic screen printing, stencils are used. Ink is then pulled across the screen using a squeegee and as the ink enters the open areas it will create an impression of the image.
With Commercial screen printing, there is a chemical emulsion that is applied to the screen, then the artwork is printed on a vellum like material and it’s attached to the emulsion. The screen is then placed under a light (a powerful one), which burns the image from the vellum material to the screen. When the vellum is removed, the screen is sprayed with water, which will reveal the open image area created in the emulsion.
Confused? Yeah, me too… so let’s get down to the heart of this process.
There are 6 major steps to screen printing:
1. Create your artwork
2. Create your screen
3. Develop your artwork using stencil prep
5. Cure/Dry item
6. Finished Product
CONS: It’s messy, so have your clean up attire ready! It’s time-consuming, so small jobs aren’t a good idea since each color has to be printed separately. Most screen printers will charge a setup fee to make those screens – those take time! Simple designs only, there’s no fancy-pants printing going on here! The frames warp, so you do have to replace them after some time! You have limited colors to work with! And finally, screen printing is NOT suitable for photographic reproduction!
Now… I told you I would be nice in every department, so… believe it or not, screen printing does have quite a few positives. It was a tie on my top two, so my friend Positive Peter stopped by to help. He suggested I give you both!
PROS: It’s great for mass production! Screen printing will keep your cost down and your profits high! It offers excellent durability – washing and rewashing many times over and over usually won’t affect the color or the application!
Just to let your suspicion grow… I‘m going to make you check back for Part II!