What Is A Silk Screen?

September 2, 2009 | Merch Expert

Many times bands contact us wanting merch printed, but are not exactly sure what the process of printing a t shirt involves.  We are often asked, “Will this be an iron on transfer?” or “Why can I not do a full color print?”  For those not familiar with the process of silk screen printing, this can be a confusing subject.  So what is a silk screen and how do you print Custom T-shirts with this process?

A silk screen is simply a rectangle frame, with a piece of mesh stretched across it very tightly.  Think of it as a picture frame without the glass and picture and a wedding veil stretched over it.  For as complex as shirt printing may seem, it is a very simple and tried and true way of producing a high quality image on apparel.

There are two types of frames for a silk screen.  The first is aluminum.  This is much more sturdy and can withhold many thousands of prints.  It is also very hard to bend and will keep shape nicely.  The second type of frame is a wood frame.  These frames are often less expensive, but are more susceptible to warping and breaking.  Frames come in all sizes depending on the needs of your print shop.  Many times, a common size will be 18″ x 24″.

The mesh on the inside can come in all different sizes as well.  The most common and versatile size is 110 mesh count.  This size is the most common for most printing situations.  There are also sizes that go as low as 56 all the way into the 300’s.  The lower the mesh count, the more ink that is able to pass through.  The higher mesh counts allow less ink to pass through.  Higher mesh counts also allow for more detail in your design, whereas the low mesh counts are for basic logos with not much complexity.

For an image to be transferred onto a screen, it is a several step process.  First the screen must be completely cleaned using emulsion removers, haze removers, and degreasers.  After this step, a light-sensitive emulsion is applied to the screen.  This is much like a photo emulsion and this process must be done in a darkroom much like a photographer would use.  After the emulsion has dried for several hours, a film printout is made of the image on to a transparency much like those that are used in a classroom setting for an overhead projector.  Next, the image is placed on the screen, and is exposed to light causing the parts that are not covered with the image to be fully exposed and hardened.  The image is then sprayed out with a high pressure water nozzle leaving a negative space for the image.  The final step is to let the screen dry and then you are ready to print merch with it.

Silk screen printing allows for several different types of inks to be used such as plastisol and water based.  The most common ink is plastisol and it is what you would typically find on a band t shirt.  Each color represented in a design must have its own screen thus making it a very tedious and precise process.  The ink is passed through the screen using a squeegee.  The ink is them cured on the shirt with extreme heat so that it dries.

Band merch is most often printed this way and this is the most cost effective method to printing your band t shirts.  Silk screen printing is an art in itself.  Designing for it is an art as well as you must take into consideration how it is printed.

Comments
1.
On May 1st, 2013 at 1:52 am, miumiu 財布 said:

木のこの種は
通常濃い緑色であり非常に寛容な
病気です

2.
On July 20th, 2013 at 8:28 pm, what is garcinia cambogia said:

I tend not to leave a bunch of remarks, but I read a few of the remarks on this page What Is A Silk Screen?
| My Custom Band Merch. I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it just me or do some of these comments come across like they are coming from brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are posting on other places, I’d like to keep up with anything new you have
to post. Would you list of all of your shared sites like your twitter feed,
Facebook page or linkedin profile?

3.
On August 4th, 2013 at 10:50 am, bathroom renovations ballarat said:

In kitchen designs, you need the help of appropriate bathroom layouts and bathroom
remodel questionnaireing ideas. That pretty much summarizes my current project, a
bathroom remodel questionnaire. Hollywood Style chrome 6-light fixture with frosted glass light covers $30 UsedRocker-style light switches,
box of assorted plumbing pipes and tools $9 UsedAs you can see the
iconic lions that sit sentry overlooking the lagoon. If the
insulation of your attic is not good, you might be able to determine the approximate cost to build,
you can proceed with the project.

4.
On August 6th, 2013 at 1:18 pm, Refugio said:

You can help your members feel that sense of belonging and purpose everywhere they go by creating custom keepsakes they.
They ought to be ready to pattern 1 for you as extended as you’re prepared to obtain a couple of dozen or so. Lapel pins can be made in a variety of different styles to fit specific needs.

5.
On September 16th, 2013 at 10:56 am, horror said:

When we watch horror movies the expressions of horror, disgust and fear appear on
our face. The NIMH study proved that in kids of age 5 and less, particularly toddlers, horror movies can create sensitive cases of
anxiety. No one wants to get ticketed by traffic enforcers who make it sound
like it.

6.
On September 19th, 2013 at 1:51 pm, email marketing consultant nyc said:

Undertaking affordable search engine marketing helps
your business in two ways. It took an ordinary webmaster and showed him how to market on the web.

“Our participants were thrilled to have Chris Brown as a presenter and I’m still hearing wonderful feedback about all they learned,” said Jennifer Cox, NNEP
President and conference organizer.

7.
On October 16th, 2014 at 7:24 pm, http://Www.Hairlosslasercomb.Wordpress.com/ said:

We therefore have a total of 6,250 units to cover an area that originally had 37,500.
It is also known as soft laser, therapeutic laser therapy and low-power laser.
Hair – Max Comb is more than just like any other comb, but is very easy to use and can enhance natural hair growth when you used on a regular
basis.

8.
On December 16th, 2014 at 7:11 am, zain said:

Dear Madam/Sir,
We are serving embroidery digitizing
and proudly offer a flat rate $12 left chest and hat logos.
$20 for full back logos.
Free editing
Free rush digitizing
No minimum
100 % customer satisfaction guarented

We employ best digitizers in the digitizing industry.

Send your artwork to salesdigitizinghome@gmail.com
Thanks
zain

9.
On June 13th, 2015 at 6:41 pm, cheap t shirts printing said:

magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this
sector do not understand this. You must proceed your writing.

I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!

10.
On July 26th, 2017 at 1:21 am, hr coil said:

May I simply say what a relief to find a person that genuinely understands what they are talking about
on the net. You definitely realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
More and more people really need to check this out
and understand this side of your story. I can’t believe you are not more popular because you certainly possess the gift.

Leave a Comment