Top 3 Screen Printing Tips
Screen printing is just like any other art form in that practice makes perfect. Nothing is going to replace practice and experience which can often times take years. So, to help speed up the process we have compiled this list of the top 3 screen printing tips! Please keep in mind, that this is just a brief list, aka summary, and you will definitely have to do a lot more research. Check out t-shirt forums and Youtube for a ton of helpful videos and screen printing tips!
Nobody gets good at anything over night. Even the people who seem to have overnight success have spent countless hours and several years perfecting their craft. Regardless if you are a screen printer or engineer, if you are going to want to get good at something you are going to have to put in the hours. We have previously taught screen printing classes and we gave our students tons of screen printing tips. We had the classes for two hours every Saturday for two months straight and one of the things that we get repeating to them was that they must be patient!
We explained that if the students came across an error that they should immediately stop production to fix the issue. There is no point in wasting apparel by doing mis-prints and worse never give your customers a mis-printed tee shirt! So, in order to avoid that, be patient and figure out how to fix the issue.
BE CAREFUL TO AVOID PINHOLES AT ALL COSTS:
This begins when you clean screens. You’ll want to make sure that you clean the screens thoroughly and do not leave any old emulsion. Then, once you apply the dehaze you’ll want to make sure that the screens dry in a clean environment that is COMPLETELY free of dust. This dust can cause havoc later on, trust us. Moving on, once you apply the emulsion onto the screens you’ll want to make sure that the coater is clean, so that it can apply emulsion evenly. You’ll want to avoid letting bumps and crevices form since that could also lead to pinholes. Not likely, but still any likely is a bad likely that you’ll want to avoid. Last but not least, tape up a majority of the screen that the ink will not get applied through.
This is just a pre-cautionary step that we highly advise to take, because it has saved us on numerous occasions. Basically, you’ll tape nearly the entire underside of the screen except the design part, because of course you will still need ink to flow through.
MAKE SURE TO SEPARATE THE COLORS IN YOUR DESIGN CORRECTLY AND DO TEST PRINTS:
We often say that the difference between a good and amazing screen printing shop lies within the graphic design department. This is because they are the ones that separate the colors in a design, determine what size mesh to use, how the colors should be layered, when to flash, and much, much more. We could go into extreme detail about this part, but we will save that for a future post. So, to keep it short and simple, just keep in mind that if you have to pay to have your colors separated then you should definitely do it! Also, if you think you are getting in over your head with a design, then you should definitely outsource it.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us!