One popular process we use to produce high-quality and distinctively different custom merchandise such as t-shirts, tote bags, and hoodies is screen printing.
Dating back to the early 1900s, screen printing has been used by well-known artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Shepard Fairey.
Here is a rundown of what the process is like and what is involved!
Step one: Art file
Our creative design team works with our clients to create branded designs to apply to a t-shirt, for example. Here is an example from our own merchandise line:
Step two: Application to apparel
Once the design is finalized, it’s then applied to a piece of apparel in the form of a mock-up.
Step three: Move to production
The t-shirt then moves to production and is ready to be screen printed. Watch the video below to learn how the screen printing process starts. Please note, the video below is optimized to be viewed vertically on a phone as it was made for IGTV.
Step four: Transfer the design onto a screen
Our production process uses wax that is melted down in a state-of-the-art Roq machine, which allows for a more consistent image placement than traditional film transfer.
The wax captures a high-level of detail and definition as well as better halftones, or a graphics technique that simulates shading). Another great thing about using wax is that it’s biodegradable and is much easier to dispose of after it’s been used.
In traditional screen printing processes, a plastic film sheet is used and stored in a folder. These rack up over time, filling room after room in print shops. This digital process uses a computerized storage system, which is not only more modern but less of an environmental footprint. Plus, over time, plastic films tend to get damaged and ruined.
Step five: Exposure
After the image is transferred onto a screen, the image is then exposed similar to a photograph.
Step six: Wash the wax off the stencil and dry the screen
Watch the video below to see how the wax is washed from the stencil and then dried before applying ink. Please note, the video below is optimized to be viewed vertically on a phone as it was made for IGTV.
That is the screen making process! The apparel then moves into printing.
Watch this final video to see how it all comes together. Please note, the video below is optimized to be viewed vertically on a phone as it was made for IGTV.