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Screen Printing Shirts

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A quick and easy method of applying a given design to a desired garment is known as screen printing. Screen printing on materials and garments is very popular in today’s textile industries, and a very common use for this method is used for screen printing shirts, especially T-shirts as they are a very popular and commonly worn garment. This method is widely used in the textile industry for decorating shirts with any desired design or colourful pattern, to make the shirt more appealing and therefore more attractive to potential customers.

Shirts and T-shirts are ideal for this application, and businesses and companies will very often make use of the promotional and advertising opportunities these items can supply. Garments can be customized to the customers requirements at an affordable price, and this makes them extremely popular amongst clothes designers.

Screen printing shirts employs a method of copying a chosen design onto a garment with the use of specialized inks. It is essentially a stencil printing method, the stencil being formed by fixing silk stretched over a wooden or metal frame. For fine detail a fine meshed silk will be employed. Sometimes steel wire gauze or plastic screens are used for special purposes. The design can be applied directly to the screen by painting it with a greasy medium ( ink, paint, etc.). a water soluble gum is then applied to the screen and closes the pores of the silk. However, the greasy areas reject the gum, and the greasy paint is then washed away with a solvent such as turpentine, and the corresponding areas of the silk become impervious to the ink. The screen is then placed on the surface to be decorated, and ink is applied to the screen with a rubber squeegee.Some of the ink soaks through the pervious areas of the silk, and is printed onto the surface of the desired material, for example:

  • Rubber
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Paper
  • Textile Fabric

The screen printing of textiles is carried out on long tables, the screen being moved along step by step to successive positions. To obtain fine detail in the pattern, it is necessary to produce the stencil by a photographic process.

The silk screen is very versatile with regard to the wide range of materials to which it can be applied, but is not suitable for reproducing fine detail and gradations of tone. Simple designs can be made by sticking paper celluloid or metal patterns to the screen. The screen can be wrapped around a cylinder for the process of rotary printing.

Today, many silk screen printers are specialized companies and will offer a wide range of screen printing services, however with the advance of screening techniques, simple screen printing kits and systems are now readily available for home use.

Source by John Cheesman