What comes to mind when you picture screen printing? For most people, it’s an introverted fan boy, reproducing a shirt with their ultimate comic book superhero on it, down in their parent’s basement. It is true that screen printing is often a technique reached for by amateurs, but did you know that it’s a favourite of major brands too? The simple technique and expert finish makes screen printing a go-to for people of all skill sets.
So How Do I Take It To The Next Level?
So you’re out of the basement stage and you’re ready to raise your game. Check out these ways to take your screen prints to the next level.
The clothes you see hanging on the rails of all the major supermarkets and high street stores are likely chock full of screen printed garments. All the clothing for sale on the high street has to pass thorough standards of quality, so suppliers have to make sure the technique they use produces a soft-feel image that lasts and lasts. The competition between suppliers to get their products sold by high street shops and supermarkets is huge. This is because the consumer pays good money and expects the design to last and wash well.
Left in The Dark
High end screen printing uses many more colours than lower end techniques, which often means designs are printed onto darker colours too. Some screen printers refuse to do this as it’s an intricate process involving the complicated use of several inks and screens, with the set-up cost often ending up to be very high. If you are looking to use this kind of technique, then it’s worth persevering to find an experienced and confident screen printer who can do it for you.
Foil Me Once
Foil printing can add glamour and sparkle to screen printed garments. The metallic finish makes foil printed garments highly prized as it gives them a perceived higher value than their run of the mill screen printed counterparts. Foil screen printing does work out a little pricier as it’s a two part process. It also can’t alone achieve any great detail, so it’s often combined with other screen printing inks when intricate images or wording is required in the design. Only one colour of foil is usually used, and it comes in most standard colours, excluding gold and silver as exceptions.
Lap of Luxury
Screen printing is a great way to affordably produce high end clothing for luxury brands. T shirts and hoodies can be made with a high quality finish, highlighted by the smooth-feel screen printing is known for. To achieve the best results, it’s important to use the best quality fabric and printing inks that money can afford. It’s also essential to discuss the print procedure with your chosen printer to make sure they know you’re aiming for the higher-end spectrum of the market with your print.
Special of the Day
When standard inks won’t cut it, specialty inks are a great way to achieve a superior finish on screen printed garments. There are several different types:
- Glow in the Dark Inks – A spooky glow in the dark finish for party wear or kid’s pajamas.
- High Density Inks – These inks give texture and depth to a screen print, literally raising the finish to just under an inch above the garment.
- Puff Ink – Another way to achieve a raised look, it’s very popular for kids garments in order to create fun, puffy typography, and make images stand out.
- The Vintage Effect – Not everyone wants their clothes to look brand new, the vintage effect is very popular for retro enthusiasts, and special inks can be used to produce that “weathered”, worn effect.
- Suede Ink – For that “suede feel.”
- Metallic Inks – Slightly different to foil printing, metallic inks create a shiny look and touch to any garment.
- Plush Inks – Used to inspire a soft-feel, plush inks, like the name, are similar to the way a plush toy feels. Cosy kid’s pyjamas are often printed with this ink.
As you can see, screen printing can be used in a variety of different ways aside from amateur hour. It’s not just for beginners!