Screen printing has been rising in popularity since its beginning. Screen printing is a generally easy and inexpensive medium for artists to use to express themselves, or for individuals and business to make and sell t-shirts and expand their businesses. It is also a quick process that can produce quality art and t-shirts in mass numbers. There are, however, a few common mistakes you should be aware of before beginning a hobby or career in screen printing.
- When choosing your image, do not use any jpegs with low resolution. Your image will not come out clear. The image should be a minimum of 300 ppi at print size. (pixels per inch)
- Match the design you are using with the proper screen mesh. You will want to take into consideration how detailed the image is that you will be using. Also, the mesh size is measured by the amount of ink that the screen will hold.
- If you are working for a client, always be sure that you have them approve the final design before you begin working. This will cut down on wasted materials and ensure that your client will be satisfied with the final project.
- Always make sure that the ink is properly cured. Check the temperature while doing it. Plastisol inks are the most common when screen printing t-shirts or other apparel. They do not dry until you cure them. The optimum temperature should be between 300 degrees and 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure you are achieving the correct squeegee angle. There should be a 45 degree angle. Anything over a 60 degree angle may cause the ink to not go through the mesh evenly. Always practice your squeegee angles first.
- Keep your work space and hands clean. This will help prevent smudges. Clean up any spots right away with a wet cloth.
- Make sure the right amount of ink is making it onto the shirt. Don’t allow the screen to get clogged due to too much ink. Try printing on a soft base.
- Finally, work slowly and carefully. Take your time to reach the desired color and design you want. It gets easier the more times you do it. Practice, practice, practice.
You are now well on your way to creating your own custom design t-shirts. Just keep all the points above in mind, and you will be better equipped to handle the common mistakes and missteps of screen printing. If you have any questions, there are numerous screen printing shops in Houston area that would be happy to explain or answer any questions you may have.