What We Do:
PLASTISOL SCREEN PRINTING
- Plastisol is the most commonly used ink in screen printing because of it’s versatility and ease of use. The ink sits on top of the garment allowing for a very vibrant print on dark garments and can be modified to create a softer or vintage print on lighter garments. There is also the option to flash dry the first layer of ink and lay down another layer for a very vibrant, yet thicker print. Plastisol inks have the widest variety of specialty options and ready to use colors. PMS color matching is available and produces the best results than any other ink type.
DISCHARGE SCREEN PRINTING
- Discharge inks are similar to water based inks as they soak into the garment and leave a very soft hand. The difference is an additive that is used that actually “bleaches” out the dye used by the manufacturer and leaves either the natural color of the cotton or a pigmented color. This method is typically only used on medium to darker garments and is only guaranteed on 100% cotton. The results are a very vibrant print with an incredibly soft hand. Much like water based inks there will be some fading and fuzziness after the shirt is washed and worn. PMS color matching is available but will vary depending on the shirt color and shirt manufacturer, certain colors used in the dying process do not produce a desirable effect (for example, using a white discharge on a royal blue shirt will produce a lighter blue print)The shirt we most often recommend is Next Level 100% cotton black shirts (style # 3600), as they produce the most vibrant prints with very little fading and fuzziness. Please contact us for further information and to see if this would be a good option for you.
WATER BASED SCREEN PRINTING
- Water based ink is the most eco-friendly option available in screen printing. The ink soaks into the garment to create a very soft feel for a washed or vintage look. This ink type is not suitable for darker garments, in most cases you will not be able to see the ink on the shirt at all. Medium-light colored garments are best suited for water based ink. PMS color matching is available (on lighter garments only) however some fading will occur after washing. It is also common for the fibers of the shirt to show through the print making it appear “fuzzy”, this can vary depending on the garment. Please contact us for further information and to see if this would be a good option for you.
PROCESS SCREEN PRINTING
- 4-Color Process Or CMYK Printing: This is probably the most complex of the printing processes and is recommended for automatic presses only. Although it may be done on a manual printing press, optimum and consistent results will be achieved only on a fully automatic tee shirt press. Here we take a full color photograph or image and break it down into its four constituent colors; cyan, magenta, yellow and black.CMYK doesn’t always achieve every color in the spectrum perfectly on T-shirts, but it does get the idea across in a very effective way. The only down side i see to process printing is it only works on light colored shirt ( best of white ) Simulated Process Printing: This is a combination of spot color printing and the 4 color process printing concept. This is done by printing spot colors with halftone dots to create the “ Simulated” colors from the original image. This allows us to achieve a broader range of colors in the print while actually using much less.This was brought to the market in the 1980’s as a great way to do photo realistic images on dark shirts. For instance a 50% yellow dot over blue will create green without having to use a whole new screen. This can be done on light garments and will require a white underbase on dark garments.
SPECIALTY SCREEN PRINTING
- This is a broad term used to describe inks such as glitter, shimmer, glow in the dark, foil, reflective, puff etc. and will all have some type of up-charge. These inks usually work best as plastisol options although there are water based specialty inks as well.Glitter comes in many different color options and can be printed on almost any garment type. The glitter is suspended in a clear plastisol ink and we find that laying down a layer of similarly colored ink first and then drying it and applying the glitter on top it creates a very vibrant and wash fast print. There should be little to no loss of glitter with this method.Shimmer comes in many different color options much like glitter but the difference is a more subtle, metallic look. The ink is tinted and has very fine flakes compared to the larger, visible flakes in glitter. We typically recommend using an under base of ink to give the shimmer more pop.Glow in the dark ink adds an awesome highlight to any shirt! This ink can be used on many different garment types but it is recommended to use an underbase color such as white or a lightly tinted white, especially on darker garments. The natural color of the ink is a very light green and once charged with natural or UV light will then produce a bright green glowing effect in the dark.
Puff ink is a special additive that expands when heated to create a “3-D” look. This can be used on almost any garment type. Colors typically lighten up once printed so color matching may not be exact.
Fluorescent Inks or “neon” colors are very vibrant however they are not very opaque. These typically work best on light garments and some medium colors (like grey). Darker garments will require an underbase color to really capture the vibrancy of the inks.
- Direct To Garment is the printing of digital images from a computer onto a shirt or other garment through the use of an inkjet printer. DTG is less complicated that you’d expect given that it can capture complicated images so accurately on something as soft as a shirt or sweater. The best way to think of DTG is like at-home printing from your computer, except that the paper is replaced with a shirt. Like your at-home printer, DTG printers do not need to be set up for individual jobs and can render millions of colors. Some DTG printers are even manufactured by companies that make standard inkjet printers (like Anajet, Brother and Epson), but are simply modified to accommodate the additional bulk of garments and use inkjet textile inks, instead of what you buy for your printer at the store. These inks cost upward of $1000 per gallon, which is why printing on colored garments is so costly; an underbase of white ink has to be laid below the actual colors of your design to ensure that the colors look like you intended. All of this ink adds up!
- Tag Printing refers to the removal of the manufacturers sewn in tag and a screen printed image is put in it’s place. Please note that some garment types work better than others for tag removal. These can be done on most garment types and best results are achieved with a lower mesh screen, minimal artwork and grey ink. The reason we prefer to use grey ink is because the color works on almost any garment color, doesn’t show through the other side of the garment and flash dries very quickly to avoid scorching of the garment. When doing printed tags on white shirts (especially thinner styles) you do run the risk of the tag showing through the back.
- Pantone Matching (also called PMS matching) is an ink mixing system we use that accurately tells us how to achieve the desired color. There are many variables to pantone matching (including garment color and fabric) but ultimately we will make adjustments to get as close as possible to the Pantone color when printed. The results are best with plastisol inks, however can also use this system with water based and discharge inks.Pantone numbers are very important to insure we print the same color the way you see it. Computer monitors could be calibrated different, so to insure we use the color the way you see it CHOOSE A PANTONE preferably from a book so we see it the same way you do.
- 100% Cotton is the most commonly used material for t-shirts. It is a natural fiber that makes a soft and breathable garment. There are many options available such as ringspun (for softness), organic, lightweight and heavyweight. Cotton is also hypoallergenic but can tend to shrink and fade over time.
Ink Use: Plastisol, Waterbase, Discharge50/50 Blend is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% polyester to create a soft shirt that wicks away moisture and is resistant to color fading and shrinking. This combination of fabrics creates a light weight yet durable garment and superior fit.
Ink Use: Plastisol, Waterbase, (Discharge is not recommended, yet can be done for a very washed out, vintage look)Tri-Blend is a blend of three fabrics, 50% polyester, 25% cotton and 25% rayon to create a soft, thin garment with a vintage look. Most often this fabric is used when a soft shirt and soft print is desired. This fabric type will always have a heather look with different and random color threads throughout the shirt to create a unique, one of a kind feel.Ink Use: Plastisol, Waterbase, (Discharge is not recommended, yet can be done for a very washed out, vintage look)