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What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the process of pushing ink through a screen in order to apply a print.

Inks: While several kinds of inks may be used, unless otherwise specified, Red Alert Screen Printing uses plastic based plastisol inks.

Here’s a quick outline of the process:
1) Color Separations: The art is used to generate films. Each color in the print goes on a separate film that registers (lines up) with the others.
2) Screens are prepared: A stencil is created on the screens using a photographic process. One screen is needed per film of the color separations.
3) Screens are registered in the press: All the screens are made ready and lined up with respect to the images they will produce.
4) Inks are added: Each screen is loaded with the appropriate color ink.
5) Printing: Fabrics are placed below in the print area, and a squeegee is used to pull the inks over the stencils.
6) Drying: Plastisol inks are exposed to 320 degrees to cure the inks onto the fabric.

Generally, screen printing is a process best suited for mass production. While short runs are possible, much of the work needed to create a production run is completed before the first print is ever created. If one print can be done, 50 or 100 can be done within a short time following. If you quote short print runs, your costs can be high per unit, while 144 piece runs or more absorb the high setup requirements more gracefully.

Copyright © 2007 Red Alert Screen Printing, Inc.