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  • Ashley Barber

Specialty Techniques in Screen Printing




I have worked in the screen printing industry for over 10 years at a high volume apparel decorating facility. During that time, I’ve learned a lot about the industry and about the ins-and-outs of creating printable, creative and budget friendly designs. Today I'll be sharing some of that knowledge with you!


If you aren't familiar with screen printing, it is a form of printmaking in which text, images, or patterns are printed to cloth or other materials by passing ink through woven silk screens. The ink is then cured on the shirt to make it permanent. It’s a great way to decorate T-shirts, hats, bags and more. It’s also a great way to create your own unique designs or to create customized garments and other items.


Screen printing is a great way to create unique designs and personalized garments, but sometimes it can be difficult to create a budget friendly design if the graphic is not created with screen printing in mind. There are a wide variety of options to help keep cost in mind. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep the color count on the graphic low. Another way to help fit your budget is to select garments that have a lower price point.


If you are looking to really wow your customers, there are many different specialty techniques in screen printing that can help you create your own unique designs. Some of the most common are:


Metallic inks are a great choice for creating designs that stand out. They are a great choice for creating designs with depth and dimension. Metallic inks are also a great choice for creating designs that will appear more exclusive. Typically metallic inks are applied in the same way as a regular non-metallic ink is, so the upcharge is not as high as other specialty techniques.


Another specialty technique used in screen printing is the discharge process. The discharge process uses a special ink that removes the dye from the fabric rather than adding an ink on top of the fabric. This leads to a bleached out look to the design that has the added benefit of being weightless on the shirt. This is a great option for low color count designs. One downside to this process is that it does not work on every type of shirt, and some color fabrics may give unsusal color results.


Metallic foil can give your design a flashy look that stands out! The foil process uses a special metallic foil material that is applied to the garment. The metallic foil is then cured to make the design permanent.


When you are thinking about including branded apparel in your marketing campaign, it is important that you consider hiring an artist who is experienced in producing this type of artwork. Hiring a skilled screen print artist will help you save money, time, and prevent headaches down the line!




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