Screen printing is one of the many processes we use to brand products and garments with a logo or design. It is one of the most popular ways to print due to the affordability and finish you receive. Screen printing is recommended if you have a design which has around one to four spot colours as it ensures that you will receive a vibrant, accurate reflection of your chosen Pantone colours. Screen printing is traditionally seen as a process for printing to fabric garments but it is fact used for a range of promotional items.
What is a screen?
A screen is created from a tightly woven fabric which is called a mesh which is attached to a wooden frame. Each mesh is attached to a stencil which depicts each level of colour you need printing. For each different colour; a new screen has to be made. This is why you incur multiple screen costs for multiple colour designs. It is also why we require your artwork in vector format so that we can separate the different colours into layers.
The screen printing process
The product which requires printing is attached to a printing jig which holds it securely in place. This is particularly important for multiple colour prints as it ensures that all the colours are registered in the correct place and ink does not overlap impairing the purity of the shade. Each screen is then placed over the object and a squeegee is moved over the stencil pushing the ink through the capillaries to form the design. Each colour has to be printed separately so multiple colour prints can take much longer as drying time has to be allowed between colours. A flash dryer can be used to help speed up this process. There are also certain inks which can be used to avoid this step such as uv inks.
How long does screen printing take?
The time it takes to screen print obviously depends on the number of items you require and how many colours you need printing. We have a range of excellent manufacturers available in the UK who have many years’ experience with this process. Their state of the art machinery allows them to print many items at once speeding up the process dramatically. The most time consuming part of screen printing is creating the screen itself; so if you stick to a one colour print, we can turn around jobs in as little as a couple of days.