Screen printing is the method to choose when making a unique design or logo with multiple colors of a mass quantity. The screen printing method first begins by having a design. After a design is created the design is then exposed onto a screen with a light table to create a copy of the design on the screen. The screen is then sprayed with water to finishing exposing the image leaving the design on the screen. Parts of the image on the screen then need to be covered to be able to select what uncovered parts of the image ink will cover, or the creation of multiple screens each for a separate ink color. After the setup is complete the screen can then be used continually with the same design. The screen is then pressed to the apparel and ink is applied through the screen as a filter. After the print has been completed it is then heated to make the ink permanent on the product.
The following basic steps are involved in a screen printing process
Artwork – The first step is to create an artwork that will be suitable for screen printing. This can be done by using applications like Photoshop, Illustrator or Corel. Next the colors are separated onto its on separate layer where it can be printed in black by itself and is called a color separation process.
Film Positives – The separated colors are converted into all blacks and a film positive is produced. You will need a film positive for each color in your design. This step requires a printer, computer and a laser film. This film positive will be used to make your screen.
Screen Making – This step creates a screen with a stencil that the ink will pass through onto the fabric.
The screen is degreased and then coated with emulsion. The emulsion is the light sensitive liquid that will be coated onto the mesh and left to dry. In order to make a stencil, it is exposed with film positives when it is dry. An exposure unit is used to expose the film and screen to UV light.