Screen Printing in El Cajon
Here at Extra Graphic, we get a number of questions about our methods of printing for custom t-shirts for our customers in El Cajon. What are the different ways to print? What is used in the printing process? Which printing type gives me the look I want for my design? What is the best print type that will give me the most bang for my buck? Well, no worries, our printing experts are here to help you decide which type of printing will be best for your project. One of the custom printing methods we offer is screen printing.
What Is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is the most widely used method of printing custom t-shirts and other printed products. This is the process of transferring a stenciled design, color by color, onto a flat surface with a mesh screen, ink, and a squeegee. Fabric and paper are the most common surfaces used for screen printing, but specialized inks now make it also possible to print designs on even more surfaces such as wood, glass, metal, and plastic.
Will The Ink From Screen Printing Wash Out?
At Extra Graphic, our professional printing staff is trained in the use of heat-treated washable ink. Washable ink, in this case, is not the same as a washable marker which washes off skin and fabric easily. The ink we use is washable in the sense that it can be washed multiple times, so your colors won’t wash out. We make sure that the ink is set according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and use the correct drying temperatures and drying lengths according to the type of ink and fabrics used, following the instructions to the letter to ensure that we create a long-lasting, washable item.
What’s The Difference Between Screen Printing And Silk Screening?
There really is no difference between screen printing and silk screening, just a different name. Screens made from silk were originally used in the printing process, hence the name silk screening. Nowadays, the screens used for printing are made of polyester fabrics, which offer the same performance for a lower price. Screen printing is an ancient art form, originating in China around AD 960 as a method to print patterns onto fabric. Later on, Japan adopted screen printing to print patterns onto fabric and paper using a stiff brush and a screen made with human hair. Screen printing arrived in Europe in the 18th century, but it was slow to catch on as a fabric printing method owing to the high cost of silk mesh at the time. Once the Silk Road made imported silk more affordable, screen printing gradually became a popular and profitable way to print fabric. By the early 20th century, printers had developed photo-sensitized emulsions, allowing artisans to create complex stencil designs much more easily.
What Is The Difference Between Screen Printing And Digital Printing?
Digital printing, also known as direct-to-garment (DTG) printing is a completely different process than screen printing. Using a specialized fabric printer that takes less time to set up, DTG printing can be used to print several colors at one time, making it more cost-effective for smaller orders. However, because DTG printing uses dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black to create its colors instead of solid blocks of ink like screen printing, the colors produced are not as intense. Texturized styled prints cannot be created with DTG printing, either.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Screen Printing?
Screen printing has a number of benefits:
- Long-Lasting- Due to the composition and thickness of the ink used, designs placed by screen printing often last longer than with other methods of printing.
- Big Order Friendly- Different screen stencils are made for each color used in a design, so it’s best to order a large number of shirts in order to lower the cost per shirt made.
- More Ink- Screen printing allows for greater thickness of the ink than other techniques, resulting in greater possibilities when it comes to finishing the piece.
- Great Finish- Screen printing produces vibrant colors that are extremely difficult to replicate with other printing methods.
Of course with everything that has benefits, there are also disadvantages. The disadvantages of screen printing include:
- Not Practical For Small Orders- As mentioned before, screen printing works best for larger orders. More preparations are needed for screen printing than other printing methods before going into production.
- More Colors Equals Higher Costs- Separate screens are made for each color that’s used in a design. More colorful designs complicate the process and make it more expensive. Designs with one or two colors work best for the screen printing process.
- Not Very Eco-Friendly- While efforts have been made to create eco-friendly inks and screens, there’s no denying that screen printing wastes a lot of water. Water is used to mix inks and clean screens, and after printing thousands of shirts, the gallons quickly add up.
Why Choose Extra Graphic For Your El Cajon Screen Printing Needs?
- We’ve been custom screen printing for over 15 years now and we know the ins and outs of making your design look its best with any style of printing we offer.
- We offer a large selection of apparel styles for printing.
- We strive to give you the best-printed apparel possible.
- We’re affordably priced.
- You can order anytime, we’ll keep pace with your schedule.
- Fast Turnaround! Most orders are ready in 7-10 business days.
There are many styles and options available for your customized t-shirt project. We at Extra Graphic are always happy to offer advice on what method of printing will best fit your project and your budget. You are also more than welcome to stop by our studio on Iowa Street to ask any questions you may have for your printing needs! Being the local leader of high-quality apparel printing in San Diego, we guarantee the quality of your printed projects. When other printers disappoint, Extra Graphic delivers!
Call us for more info at (619)-354-XTRA today!