Screen-Printing Decoration Information Guide

Posted March 25, 2014

Screen Printing Buying Guide



Screen-printing is the most common form of apparel decoration, mainly due to its versatility and cost-effectiveness for large orders.
Screen-printing is useful for casual events, tradeshow giveaways and other situations where perceived value plays less of a factor. Logos can be large and fairly detailed, but you will want to avoid using artwork with several colors, due to the setup and run charges associated with screen-printing.

Because of the upfront configuration required, the cost of screen-printing is driven by the number of colors (and thus screens and runs through the printer) in your imprint. Dark-colored fabrics may require a flash layer before the actual imprint can be applied. Screens are generally reused within a year, so you will be subject to additional setup and run charges if you reorder after a year has transpired.

Whether you are ordering t-shirts for a tradeshow giveaway or looking for help with a new design for your booster club’s apparel, InkHead Promotional Products is here to help you make the best decision possible.

If you have additional questions or want more information about this or any other decoration process, feel free to call 800-554-0127 between 9 AM and 8 PM ET to speak with a promotions expert.

Benefits of Screen-Printing

Screen-printing has many advantages over other decoration methods, such as:

The Screen-Printing Process

Screen-printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. Once the imprint has been finished, the garment is generally dried through a heat press.

Screen printing is also a stencil method of print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of silk or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced through the mesh onto the printing surface. It is also known as silkscreen, seriography, and serigraph.

Screen-printing is perhaps the most versatile of the imprint methods in that it can be applied to a wide variety of fabrics and products.

Costs of Screen-Printing

With screen-printing, there is a setup and run charge associated with each color and location in your imprint. This is because each color requires the creation of an additional screen as well as an additional run through the screen-printer.

Run charges are generally based on three things: the number of shirts you are decorating, the number of colors in the artwork being printed and the number of locations to be imprinted. While there is some leeway here, you should expect to pay higher run charges if you are ordering a large number of shirts using a multi-colored imprint or want to decorate multiple areas of the garment.

Flash layers will also contribute to cost. Dark-colored shirts may require that the decorator create a white under-layer (known as a flash layer) before they can screen the colors in your imprint. In such situations, you would be charged for an additional color. Your Promotions Specialist will be able to provide further details in these cases.

Finally, most screen-printers reuse screens after a certain length of time, meaning that you will be subject to additional setup charges depending on when you reorder. Provided that you reorder within the industry-standard hold time of 1 year, we will waive the setup costs of the screens.

When to Use Screen-Printing

There are some situations where screen-printing will be preferable to embroidery or any other type of decoration method. Some of these situations include:

When Not to Use Screen-Printing

While screen-printing offers a number of advantages over other imprint methods, there are some situations where it should be avoided, including the following:

What You Need to Know About Screen-Printing

Should you opt for screen-printing to decorate your apparel, make sure to bear the following things in mind:

If you have additional questions or want more information about this or any other decoration process, feel free to call 800-554-0127 between 9 AM and 8 PM ET to speak with a promotions expert.

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