Screen printing | The Up and Coming Method
Due to the influx of orders recently for screen printing, we have outgrown our unit space and have had to move our screen-printing department into a new facility. The move took us approximately two days and we are now up and running and fully operational, the new unit allows us to produce faster and more efficiently meaning we can turn around screen printing orders even quicker. In order to cope with the high demands for screen printing, we have had some extra employees trained with a little trip up to Southfield LTD.
We use the GOCOPRO 100 digital screen printer, a relatively new technology which enables us to do small runs a lot faster but is also capable of doing bulk jobs too. Digital screen printing imprints a design onto fabric, or other substrates using computer-aided design. Substrates may be composed of foam, fabric, vinyl or other materials. Traditional screen printing is a mechanical technique in which ink is applied to a substrate through a mesh screen or series of mesh screens. The method has an ancient history. It is sometimes referred to as silkscreen printing, as silk was historically used in the origins of the process in Asia thousands of years ago. A substrate is a surface to which the ink is applied.
The process is automated through the use of piezoelectric print heads. The same technology is also used in desktop colour inkjet printers. The computer-aided design employed in digital screen printing technology has vastly increased the potential for this method of printing.
Intricate, elaborate designs may be created using a computer design program, then these designs may be output in an automated fashion. Since the digital screen printing process uses inkjet inks, the durability of the finished product is not as high, typically, as it would be using traditional screen printing methods. Digital garment printing is often used to personalize items for sports teams, clubs, associations, and other similar applications. Shorter print runs are generally used in this technology. For longer runs, traditional screen printing is typically used, as it is more cost-effective.
Full-colour graphic reproduction on a substrate is achieved using a four colour ink process, in which each ink colour is pressed through a design cut out of a mesh material. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks are used in four colour printing, as virtually any colour can be reproduced using varying amounts of each of these colours. As the ink goes through the small holes, a pattern is formed through the merging of the different layers of ink. Heat is typically applied to fix the design onto the substrate. Digital screen printing automates what was previously an expensive and tedious process that required a setup, and is not economically practical for small press runs.
Commercial-grade digital screen printing machines are several feet wide and can accommodate jobs that involve custom printing rolls of fabric for fashion designers, or printing large signs. Smaller machines are available for hobbyists or small-scale enterprises selling customized clothing or other articles. Products that are created through digital screen printing are used in signage, and the manufacturing of designs printed on clothing and textiles.
We have used this method for over 2 years now after progressing from the old method of screen printing and couldn’t be happier with the results we get and so are our customers. Thankfully this move to our new unit and training has come at the perfect time of year because we foresee and incredibly busy year ahead in the screen printing department. It’s a very popular method of decorating Leavers Hoodies as it allows for all the small names to be within the Leavers year. The level of intricacy required to do this makes its nearly impossible to do with other methods of printing without dumbing it down. Being able to run screens digitally so easily makes doing Leavers Hoodies much quicker and means you get a far more impressive result.