The Screenprinting Process
There are a few different methods to screen printing, but the concept is always the same. A DIY home screen printing project will look quite different than a professional studio. The key to a quality finished product is in the screen mesh count, screen tension, ink type, and consistent pressure applied when transferring the image. So many people own graphic t-shirts, hoodies, or promotional items, but not many people know how they’re made. Here’s your behind-the-scenes guide to how a professional studio, like ARES Sportswear, fulfills screen printing orders:
Step 1: The design is created.
Your design is what makes your product unique. There are several different factors to consider when designing artwork. It’s best to imagine how the image will look on the specific product. You’ll need to decide where you want to print it on the item, what colors you want, and the size of your design.
Step 2: The design is printed with special ink onto a mesh screen.
The fine mesh screen is the base for how the design will be transferred. Mesh screens are generally made of polyester or nylon material. The screen is coated with a light-sensitive emulsion that is water soluble. The shape of your design is printed with special ink onto the screen.
Step 3: The emulsion is dried and washed out.
The special process of drying the emulsion on the mesh screen includes a very bright light. The emulsion hardens under the light, but the emulsion sitting on the design will not harden because it’s protected by the special ink. This emulsion needs to be washed out completely until the print is visible from both sides of the screen.
Step 4: The item is prepped for printing.
The item that will be printed on gets flattened to ensure a smooth print. Whether it’s a garment or backpack, it must be perfectly positioned to receive the print in the correct place. Preparing the item is key for a proper end result.
Step 5: The ink is transferred through the mesh screen.
Once everything is in place, the ink is applied above the mesh screen. A squeegee runs over the ink to press it through the mesh. The perfect pressure is applied so that the ink is equally transferred to the item beneath the screen. If there is more than one color in the design, the ink is applied on separate screens at separate times. This process is repeated with each individual product until the order is fulfilled.
Step 6: Dry the product
The mesh screen is removed from the item. Then the item gets pushed through a special dryer to finalize the design. This is the best part because you get to see the final results!
Select Your Apparel
Click the logos below to visit our brand partner’s websites.
Easily personalize your apparel through our platform. You don’t need to be an expert to use our online Design Studio. If you would like an expert’s advice, our team is always here for you. Feel free to contact us along any step of the way.
With our modern equipment, you can make design patterns or text along any part of the clothing item that you want. You can even print a pattern or text on full sleeves and full pantlegs. Select from different text options, colors, and pre-made templates. We offer fun custom options including glitter inks, which are great for making your cheerleaders or competitive dance team really stand out in front of the crowd.
Design a super soft t-shirt!
A soft print has become more and more popular for graphic tees. Instead of using a heavy ink type, a soft print ink is lightweight, creating a soft logo or design. This makes the t-shirt more flexible and lightweight. Your team athletes won’t feel a thick logo on their clothes with soft ink. Soft print can be used on hoodies, jackets, pants, and shorts.
Spread School and Team Spirit
Screen printing is perfect for making custom spirit wear for your whole school. Light up your next pep rally with matching student t-shirts and custom school hoodies. Our platform makes it easy to design and order apparel for your school. We even offer a simple and effective way to fundraise for your school through your spirit wear orders.
What is the difference between screen printing and digital printing?
Print your team logo on sportswear
We have designed pre built custom t-shirt templates for many occasions and events to include:
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Track & Field
- Marching Band
- Student Council
- Irish Dance
Place a bulk order or build an online apparel store
Save time by setting up a free online teamstore through our site. Your team, parents, and fans can purchase their uniforms directly online.
- ARES handles the orders
- ARES handles the payments
- ARES ships directly to your player’s door
Choose a worry-free experience with a teamstore!
Check out our screenprint design options in our team catalogs. Find team uniforms and styles for nearly every type of sport. We have catalogs for track, cross country, football, basketball, softball, volleyball, cheer, and so much more. Take a look at the latest editions here!
Click on the catalog below to view it. This catalog can take 30 to 90 seconds to load, please be patient.
What is Silkscreen Printing?
Silk screen printing, also referred to as screen printing, is the technique of transferring an image or artwork through a screen and imprinting it to another item or material. Today, the term “silk screen printing” is largely referred to as “screen printing.” Historically, the screen used for printing was made of silk, but modern updates in the process no longer require a silk screen. Technically, both terms refer to the same method of printing. Screen printing is a technique that is widely used to print on a variety of items from small pens to t-shirts and much more.
What is the history of screen printing?
Can you believe that silk screen printing has roots dating back to the 10th century? It originated in China under the Song Dynasty. It’s safe to say that modern-day printing has received quite a few updates since then. You may be familiar with the artwork of Andy Warhol which gained popularity in the 1960s. He embraced the method of screen printing to create iconic works of art. Warhol is credited with popularizing the technique of screen printing artwork. These days, most everyone owns at least one thing that has been printed with this specific technique. It might be a promotional product from your company like a water bottle. It might be your favorite rock band t-shirt that will never go out of style. Or it could be your old basketball team uniform from your glorious high school days.
At ARES Sportswear, we’ve taken the time-old process of screen printing and refined it for modern sportswear, t-shirts, hoodies, team uniforms, company logo shirts, and all types of custom apparel.