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The Screen Printed T-shirt
 
Every picture tells a story, and here in pictures is a brief look at how screen printed T-shirts are made.

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From
Concept
<-------
to
Finished Artwork
------->

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From the artwork, we make color separations, one for each color in the design.

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We print the color separations on laser film and sandwich the artwork between a bright UV light source under glass and a screen made of monofilament polyester fabric stretched and glued to a metal framework.  The screen has previously been coated with a photo-sensitve emulstion, which will cure during exposure to the UV light. The areas blocked by the black artwork don't harden under the UV light and can be washed out with water.  This creates a stencil through which plastisol garment-printing ink can be pushed using a polymer squeegee.

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The colors are printed one at a time in whatever order is needed to accommodate outlines and fills.  We may flash-cure (apply heat with special unit) between each color to slightly gel the ink so that it doesn't smear when the next color is applied.  This assures a crisp print.

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After a trip through a belt dryer or additional time under the flash unit to cure the ink and make it permanent, you have the finished print.

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Whether a simple 1-color graphic or a complex 4-color process photoreal image, the method is pretty much the same for all garment screen printing.
 
After the job is completed, the screens are reclaimed for use on the next project.  Our studio uses only environmentally friendly soy-based and citrus-based solvents in that process.
 

Return to screenprinting.

Sagittarius Screenprinting & Embroidery
P. O. Box 1523, Penn Valley, CA 95946

phone (530) 277-7435 or (530) 277-8697

 
All graphics 2003 Susan Goepel for Sagittarius Screenprinting & Embroidery, unless otherwise noted or referenced.   All rights reserved.

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