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Screen Printing

Let’s start with this well known printing method which is incredibly popular, and for good reason. Screen printing inks are thicker than the inks used in other methods, meaning the colours are more vibrant and the images will last longer.


What is screen printing?

Screen printing, also known as silk screen printing, is a printing technique that involves using a mesh screen to transfer ink onto a substrate, such as fabric, paper, or other materials. It is a versatile and widely used method for producing prints on various surfaces.

Tip: Make sure your screen printer is using high quality inks, as low-quality inks will fade quickly and feel unpleasant to touch.

Here's a brief overview of the screen printing process:

1. Design Preparation

The process begins with creating a stencil, which represents the design to be printed. This stencil is usually made of a fine mesh material, such as silk, nylon, or polyester.

2. Screen Preparation

The mesh screen is stretched tightly over a frame, and the stencil is applied to the screen using a light-sensitive emulsion. The emulsion hardens when exposed to light, creating a durable stencil
on the mesh.

3. Image Exposure

The designed screen is placed over the substrate, and the entire setup is exposed to light. The areas covered by the design block the light, leaving the stencil on the screen.

4. Screen Printing Setup

The screen is then placed onto the printing press, positioned above the substrate. The substrate, which could be a t-shirt, paper, metal, or other materials, is placed beneath the screen.

5. Ink Application

Ink is applied to the top of the screen, and a squeegee is used to spread the ink evenly over the stencil. The ink passes through the open areas of the stencil and onto the substrate below.

6. Printing Process

The screen is lifted, and the printed substrate is removed from the printing surface. For multiple-color designs, the process is repeated with different screens and colors, aligning each layer precisely to create the final image.

7. Curing

After printing, the ink is usually heat-cured to ensure its durability and longevity. This step may involve using a conveyor dryer or a heat press, depending on the type of ink used.

Screen printing is commonly used for various applications, including apparel printing, posters, signage, labels, and more.
It's favored for its ability to produce vibrant and long-lasting prints on a wide range of surfaces.

Pro’s and Con’s of screen printing


  • Versatility: Screen printing can be used on a wide range of materials, including fabric, paper, metal, glass, and plastic, making it a versatile option for various applications.
  • Long-Lasting Prints: Screen prints are known for their durability and longevity. The ink used in screen printing is typically thicker and more vibrant, resulting in prints that withstand repeated washing and wear.
  • High Quality: Screen printing produces high-quality, detailed prints with vibrant colors, making it a preferred choice for intricate designs and artwork.
  • Cost-Effective for Large Orders: When producing large quantities of prints, screen printing is often more cost-effective than other methods, as the initial setup costs can be spread across a larger number of items.
  • Customisation: It allows for customisation of designs and colors, making it suitable for personalised items like custom T-shirts, promotional products, and more.
  • Special Inks: Screen printing allows for the use of special inks, such as metallic, glow-in-the-dark, and puff inks, to create unique and eye-catching effects.
  • Setup Costs: The initial setup costs for screen printing can be relatively high. Creating screens and preparing the printing press for each color in a design can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Not Cost-Effective for Small Runs: For small quantities, screen printing may not be as cost-effective compared to digital printing methods, as the setup costs are spread over fewer items.
  • Limited Color Options: While screen printing can produce vibrant colors, the number of colors is limited by the number of screens used in the process. Each color requires a separate screen, which can increase complexity and cost for multi-color designs.
  • Not Ideal for Detailed Gradients: Achieving smooth gradients and detailed photographic prints can be challenging with screen printing. Other printing methods, such as digital printing, may be better suited for these applications.
  • Thicker Prints: The thickness of the ink can result in a slightly raised texture on the printed surface, which may not be desirable for certain applications, such as fine art prints.
  • Environmental Considerations: Traditional screen printing involves the use of chemicals in the emulsion process, which may have environmental implications. However, eco-friendly alternatives and practices are being developed to address this concern.

On what materials can we screenprint?

Screen printing is a versatile printing method that can be applied to various materials. Some of the materials on which screen printing works best include:


  • T-Shirts: Screen printing is widely used for customising T-shirts, hoodies, and other apparel.
  • Athletic Wear: Sportswear and performance fabrics are often screen printed with team logos and designs.
  • Textiles: Screen printing can be applied to fabrics for home decor items, such as curtains, bags and pillowcases

Paper and Cardboard

  • Posters and Prints: Screen printing is commonly used for producing posters, art prints, and greeting cards.
  • Packaging: Cardboard packaging, such as product boxes, can be screen printed for branding.


  • Metal Signs: Screen printing is suitable for producing durable and weather-resistant metal signs.
  • Industrial Labels: Metal labels and tags can be screen printed for various industrial applications.


  • Glass Bottles: Screen printing is used to print labels and designs directly onto glass bottles.
  • Drinkware: Glass cups and mugs can be screen printed for promotional purposes.


  • Promotional Products: Screen printing is applied to various plastic items, including pens, keychains, and promotional merchandise.
  • Packaging: Plastic packaging materials can be screen printed for branding and product information.


  • Wooden Signs: Screen printing is suitable for producing signs and designs on wooden surfaces.
  • Wooden Products: Wooden products, such as furniture and home decor items, can be screen printed.


  • Art Canvases: Screen printing can be used to create unique art pieces on canvas.
  • Bags and Totes: Canvas bags and tote bags are often screen printed with custom designs.


  • Mugs and Plates: Screen printing is applied to ceramics for customising mugs, plates, and other tableware.
  • Decorative Ceramics: Ceramic tiles and decorative items can be screen printed for artistic applications.


  • Accessories: Leather accessories like wallets, belts, and gloves can be screen printed.
  • Footwear: Some types of footwear, such as sneakers, can be screen printed with designs.

It's important to note

That while screen printing is versatile, the choice of material can affect the outcome. Additionally, advances in screen printing technology and the development of specialized inks have expanded the range of materials that can be effectively printed using this method.


Things to take into consideration

  • Set up fee
  • Min order requirment
  • Best suited for, things to consider
  • Material best suited for
  • Screen printing
  • $80 per colour and size 10
  • Solid, bold prints, no gradients, simple colours
  • Smooth materials (cotton, polyester) avoid polar fleece and rough textured material
  • Bulk discount applies for larger quantities.

How do I obtain a quote for screen printing?

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In Summary

Screen printing is a robust and versatile printing method with its strengths in durability, vibrancy, and cost-effectiveness for large runs. However, it may not be the most suitable option for every printing need, especially for small quantities and highly detailed designs.

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