What is screen printing?
Screen printing is probably the most common method of decorating apparel, and has been around for decades. Also known as silk screening, this process uses ink pushed through screen meshed stencils to create designs from one to many colors. It's very cost effective for larger orders, but can be expensive for small quanities.
How does screen printing work?
For each color in your design, we prepare a screen, which is a little bit like a large stencil created on a screen. We set these screens up on a machine and carefully align them so that the colors register perfectly (so all the parts of your design line up). Once the machine is ready, we load a shirt onto the pallet, and it moves under the first screen.
The shirt is pressed between the screen and the pallet, and ink for the first color is pressed through the screen onto the shirt. The machine revolves to the next station, and the first shirt gets pressed with the 2nd color, while the next shirt gets the 1st color.
Can you print one shirt?
Yes and no. The analogy I like is that you wouldn't make a batch of cookie dough from scratch to bake just one cookie, you're going to want a dozen. It's very time consuming to make screens, film and to set up the machine, so it's expensive to screen print small quantities of shirts. So yes we can print you one shirt, but it will end up being a $50 T-shirt. The other option that I currently offer for single shirts is a high quality heat press transfer. These cost $25 each.