Screen printing is a widespread method of creating customized T-shirts, tote bags, and other promotional products. As Denver screen printing connoisseurs, we take pride in our craft and love to share it with others. Many people wonder how exactly screen printing works, and we’re happy to delve into the process with you here. Even screen printing has been around for a long time, it’s still a fascinating, artistic way to put your own spin on all types of products. 

Defining Screen Printing

Screen printing is also often called silk screening. It’s a technique for printing various designs and graphics on fabric. The ink used in screen printing is thick, and instead of soaking into the fabric, it sits on top of it. 

While screen printing used to be the only efficient and reliable way to make custom T-shirts in bulk, it’s still what most custom T-shirt companies use. It’s stood the test of time, and for good reason. Screen printing can be used to create consistent, high-quality custom products made from a variety of materials. 

How Screen Printing Came To Be

The roots of screen printing can be traced back to the late 1800s. At this time, the art of stenciling came into existence and lay the groundwork for what would become the screen printing process that we know today. 

Throughout the 19th century, screen printing was still a straightforward technique that involved fabrics stretched over frames made of wood. The frames held stencils secure during the printing process. 

Screen printing wasn’t automated until the 1900s. This made it possible to mass-produce custom products. Many, many products on the market today are screen printed and rely on the screen printing method for production. 

The Screen Printing Process

So, now that you know the history of screen printing, how exactly is the technique done today? Here, we’ve listed out the steps of the screen printing process so that you can learn how our Denver screen printing services work. 

  1. Start With A Design. 

The beginning of any screen printing project is a design. As a custom T-shirt company, we love working with a wide variety of designs and ideas. Screen-printed promotional products can make a big statement about your brand. So, an eye-catching design is crucial. From the font to the graphic to the ink color, every design aspect matters in a screen-printed product. 

  1. Burning The Design Onto The Screen

After the design has been finalized, it’s burned onto a screen. For designs with high color counts, more than one screen may be needed. You can think of the screen as an oversized stencil. The screen will be covered in emulsion, a green substance that creates the solid areas of the design. When the design is burned onto the screen, the emulsion will be removed in the area where your design appears. No ink will seep through the screen where emulsion has been applied, allowing your design to be visible on the T-shirt. 

  1. Color Mixing

To achieve the exact desired shade for a Denver custom T-shirt, ink colors must be precisely mixed. Just about any tone can be achieved with the right combination of ink colors. 

  1. Using The Press

The final step in the screen printing process is applying the ink to the T-shirt. In the press, the screens will be matched up. Then, the shirts are precisely aligned to ensure that the design appears identical on every single shirt. Once a shirt has passed through each screen, the shirt can be double-checked for mistakes or oddities. 

After the screen-printed T-shirt has been approved, it can be passed through a special dryer. This dries the freshly-applied ink so that the custom T-shirts can be stacked and prepared for distribution. 

Clearly, the screen printing process has come a long way since stenciling was first introduced in the 1800s. But, the spirit of creativity in design has remained the same. With screen printing, you have the freedom to let your imagination take over and devise a wholly original graphic. That graphic can be transferred onto the product of your choice. What’s more, that product can be replicated repeatedly with perfect consistency!

For Denver screen printing services, look no further than Rocky Mountain Apparel. Contact us today to learn more.