To understand the time and care that is taken into every screen printing job, we thought it would be helpful to show you what happens every time we have a job to screen print.As soon as you have placed your order, a Job/Work Order is written and submitted to production. Our Production Manager schedules each job according to the date you have requested to be done.Once your order has been scheduled for printing, it is sent to the Art Department for processing. The artwork is set up according to your specifications and a composite proof is sent to you for approval. Our composite proofs will show the ink colors to be used, the print dimensions and the print locations that you have specified. At this time, you can make any changes that you see fit. Our Art Department will work with you until you are 100% satisfied! We do not print your job until you are completely satisfied and have given your written approval.
When the artwork is approved, we output your design onto a clear film that will be used to make the screens.
One piece of film is needed for every color in the design and every size of print in the design. All of the art is pre-registered and the film is checked for details and accuracy. The film is attached to your Job/Work Order along with a colored proof and the specific ink colors are indicated.
It is now ready to go to Production for the silk screening process.
Silkscreen printing is a printing style that uses a piece of fabric, called “mesh,” that is stretched over an aluminum or wood frame.
The first step in the Screen Department is to coat the silk screens with a photosensitive emulsion. Once the emulsion has dried on to the screen, the film is laid on the screen and is placed on a vacuum light table where it is exposed with a 3000 watt metal halide light. Every color and every size in your design is burned on a separate screen.
After being exposed, the screen is washed out with a pressure washer at around 1300psi. Once the image is washed out, it is double-checked for accuracy.
Now begins the actual printing process!
Each color and each size in the design has its own screen that must be blocked, taped, set-up, registered and squeegeed. You can see why screen printing is designed to print in bulk quantities. For this reason, our minimum order is 12 pieces.
For smaller runs, we use one of our manual presses. For larger runs, we use our automatic press.
Once the garment is printed, it must go through a belt dryer that must reach a temperature of 325 degrees. This “cures” the ink into the garment.
Once the job is complete, the screens are taken down and “reclaimed”. Reclaiming a screen is removing the ink, the emulsion and the design taking it back to its original silk screen. And the process starts all over again for the next job. Screens are not saved. The transparencies are saved for repeat orders.
1×1 Rib: This narrow rib has a soft, fine hand and retains its slim fit.
2×1 Rib Knit: Textured rib knit with a comfortable stretch—made to be worn alone or layered.
Anti-Pill Finish: A treatment applied to garments primarily to resist the formation of little balls on the fabric’s surface due to abrasion during wear. See Pilling.
Baby Pique Knit: A knitting method that creates a fine, small textured surface that appears similar to a very small waffle weave. See Pique Knit.
Birdseye Jacquard: A small geometric pattern with a center dot knit into the fabric.
Brushed: A finishing process for knit or woven fabrics in which brushes or other abrading devices are used to raise a nap on fabrics or create a novelty surface texture.
Casual Microfiber: Tightly woven fabric from a very fine polyester thread, usually with a sueded finish for a soft feel. Inherently water repellent and wind resistant due to its construction. 100% polyester microfiber.
Colorfast: A dyed fabric’s ability to resist fading due to washing, exposure to sunlight and other environmental conditions.
Combed: A process by which the short fibers of a yarn are removed and the remaining longer fibers are arranged in parallel order for a high quality yarn with excellent strength, fineness and uniformity.
Cool Mesh™ Technology: Similar to a pique knit but with a more open texture for increased breathability. Features a soft hand for better comfort.
Double Knit: A circular knit fabric knitted via double stitch on a double needle frame to provide a double thickness.
Dri-Mesh® Polyester: The double layer mesh construction releases heat and sweat, while maintaining breathability. 100% polyester double mesh.
Dry Zone™ Technology: A double-layer polyester fabrication that wicks moisture away from the body.
Duck Cloth: Tightly woven, plain-weave, bottom-weight fabric with a hard, durable finish that provides wind and snag resistance.
EZCotton™ Pique: Made from the highest grade of long-staple cotton, this fabric has an innovative finish that provides a consistently softer hand, enhanced smoothness, color fastness, wrinkle resistance and shape retention. 100% cotton.
Garment Dyed: A dyeing process that occurs after the garment is assembled.
Garment Washed: A wash process where softeners are added to finished garments to help the cotton fibers relax. The result is a fabric with a thicker appearance, reduced shrinkage and a softer hand.
Honeycomb Pique Knit: A pique fabric with a waffle or cellular appearance.
Interlock Knit: A two-ply fabric knit simultaneously to form one thicker and heavier ply. It has more natural stretch than a jersey knit, a soft hand, and the same appearance and feel on both sides. Commonly used in knit shirts and turtlenecks.
Jacquard Knit: Often an intricate pattern knit directly into the fabric during the manufacturing process. Typically, two or more colors are used.
Jersey Knit: The consistent interloping of yarns in the jersey stitch to produce a fabric with a smooth, flat face and a more textured, but uniform back.
Linen: A fabric made from linen fibers obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, but wrinkle easily, unless blended with manufactured fibers.
Microfiber: Tightly woven fabric from a very fine polyester thread, usually with a sueded finish for a soft feel. Inherently water repellent and wind resistant due to its construction.
Microfleece: Crafted from ultra-fine yarn, this lightweight, high-density fleece is brushed less than a regular fleece garment for a tight look, excellent softness and warmth. 100% polyester microfleece.
Nylon: A synthetic fiber with high strength and abrasion resistance, low absorbency and good elasticity.
Organic Perfect Weight Cotton: With the same relaxed drape and comfortable stretch of Perfect Weight, this fabric is made from certified organic cotton for a hypoallergenic and biodegradable fabric. 100% certified organic ring spun combed cotton.
Piece Dyed: A dyeing process that occurs when the fabric is in yardage form after it has been knitted or woven, but before the garment is assembled.
Pigment Dyed: A type of dye process used to create a distressed or washed look that results in soft, muted tones and a soft hand.
Pima Cotton: A term applied to extra-long staple cotton grown in the U.S., Peru, Israel and Australia. It can only be grown in select areas where the cotton is fully irrigated and benefits from a longer growing season for a softer, stronger cotton than standard cotton.
Pique Knit: A knitting method that creates a fine textured surface that appears similar to a waffle weave. Commonly used for polo shirts.
Poly-Bamboo Charcoal: Polyester fabric blended with polyester from bamboo charcoal which resists UV rays and wicks moisture.
Polyester: A strong, durable synthetic fabric with high strength and excellent resiliency. Low moisture absorbency allows the fabric to dry quickly.
Poly-Filled: A warm polyester lining found in the body or sleeves of outerwear garments. It has more loft than a regular nylon lining.
Popcorn Pique: Alternating rows of baby pique knit and a larger pique knit that resembles small circles knit closely together.
Poplin: A tightly woven, durable, medium-weight cotton or cotton blend made by using a rib variation of the plain weave which creates a slight ridge effect.
Pre-Shrunk: Fabrics or garments that have received a pre-shrinking treatment.
Rapid Dry™ Technology: Designed with a unique weave to wick away moisture from the body.
Rayon: A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, derived from wood pulp, cotton linters or other vegetable matter, with a soft hand. Frequently used for shirts and pants.
Rib Knit: A textured knit that has the appearance of vertical lines. It is highly elastic and retains its shape. Commonly used for sleeve and neck bands.
Ringspun: Yarn made by continuously twisting and thinning a rope of cotton fibers. The twisting makes the short hairs of cotton stand out, resulting in a stronger yarn with a significantly softer hand.
Rip-Stop Nylon: A lightweight, wind and water resistant plain weave fabric with large rib yarns that stop tears without adding excess weight. Often used in activewear.
Sandwashed: A process in which the fabric is washed with very fine lava rocks or rubber/silicon balls, resulting in a softer fabric with a relaxed look and reduced shrinkage.
Sherpa Fleece: A knit terry fabric that has been brushed and washed to raise the fibers for a fluffy, plush feel. The thick terry loops stay soft and absorbent over time.
Soft Shell: A fabrication that combines the benefits of hard shell fabrics with a breathable, flexible and comfortable fabric
Soil-Release Finish: A fabric treatment that helps a garment release stains in the wash.
Spandex: A manufactured elastometric fiber that can be repeatedly stretched over 500% without breaking and will still recover to its original length.
Sport-Wick Fleece: An anti-static fleece that provides moisture wicking by releasing moisture from the inner layers.
Stain Resistance: A fiber or fabric property of resisting spots and stains. Commonly used for industrial or restaurant uniforms.
Stonewashed: A process in which the fabric or garment is heavily washed with lava rocks or rubber/silicon balls, resulting in a softer fabric with a distressed, weathered look and reduced shrinkage.
Sueded: A process in which fabric goes through a brushing process to raise the nap and give the garment a soft hand.
Taslan: A durable and water repellent nylon fabric with a slightly shiny surface, used mainly in outerwear garments.
Teklon: A rugged, stronger Taslan nylon that is water repellent.
Terry Velour: A pile weave cotton fabric with an uncut pile on one side and a cut pile on the reverse side. It has a soft, plush feel and is water absorbent. Commonly used for towels, robes and apparel.
Tri-Blend: A unique, soft blend of poly, cotton and rayon that has heathered look.
Twill: A fabric characterized by micro diagonal ribs producing a soft, smooth finish. Commonly used for casual woven shirts.
Two Ply: A yarn in which its thickness is made up of two layers or strands, adding durability and weight.
UV-Protective Fabric: A term used to refer to a fabric that resists the ability of ultraviolet rays to penetrate the fabric. Protects the fabric from fading and the wearer’s skin from UV rays.
Waffle Knit: A square pattern knit into a garment.
Waffle Weave: A square pattern woven into a garment.
Waterproof: A term applied to fabrics whose pores have been closed and will not allow water to pass through.
Waterproof Rating: The waterproof rating is expressed in millimeters (MM) and refers to the amount of water a fabric will hold before it leaks.
Water Repellent: A fabric’s ability to cause moisture to bead up and roll off a garment.
Water Resistant: A fabric’s ability to resist moisture.
Weathered Twill: A special dye process resulting in a softer fabric with a weathered appearance.
Wickability: The ability of a fiber or a fabric to disperse moisture and allow it to pass through to the surface, so that evaporation can take place.
Wicking: Dispersing or spreading of moisture or liquid through a given area by capillary action in a fabric.
Wool: Usually associated with fiber or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb. The term wool can also be applied to all animal hair fibers, including the hair of the Cashmere or Angora goat or the specialty hair fibers of the camel, alpaca, llama or vicuna.
Woven: Fabric constructed by the interlacing of two or more sets of yarns at right angles to each other. Woven fabrics are commonly used for dress shirts and camp shirts.
Yarn Dyed: A term used when yarn is dyed prior to the weaving or knitting of the garment.