Screen printing

Home » Services & Imprint Methods » Screen printing

A typical screen printing press machine.

What is screen printing?

Screen printing, also known as silk screening, is the most popular way to print custom t-shirts.

We create one screen per ink color, set up the screens on one of our precision presses, and print your design in quantities of 10 to 10,000 and beyond.

Screen printing isn’t just for t-shirt printing – it works well on hoodies, polo shirts, tote bags, and more!

A screen printer carefully places the design on the photo-sensitive screen.

We prepare a separate screen (a bit like a large stencil created on a mesh) for each color in your design.

We install these screens on a machine and carefully align them so that the colors register perfectly (so all the parts of your design line up).

We prepare the ink for your design.

Then we load a shirt onto the pallet and it moves under the first screen to be printed with the first color.

Brightly colored screen printing inks: red, blue, yellow, green.
A screen printer operates one of Imprint Revolution's presses.

The shirt is sandwiched between the screen and the pallet, and ink for the first color is pressed through the screen onto the shirt with a squeegee.

The machine revolves to the next station, and the shirt gets pressed with the second color, and so on.

Will it work for my design?

Screen printing can accommodate many design needs in terms of complexity, detail, and colors.

Pricing

Screen printing is a mass-production process, so to determine if your project is cost-effective for screen printing we recommend following this rule of thumb:

One-color artwork = order at least 12 shirts
Two-color artwork = order at least 24 shirts
Three-color artwork = order at least 48 shirts

Screen preparation and machine set are labor intensive, so it can be expensive to screen print small quantities of shirts. Often DTG or vinyl are best for those orders. However, once it’s set up, the machine is efficient, and screen printing is usually the lowest-cost method for printing large quantities.

A screen print is vibrant, with a fairly soft hand feel.

A group shows off their custom screen printed shirts.

Are there special inks for screen printing?

Standard plastisol ink is vibrant and long-lasting, and works great for 95% of projects.

Specialty screen print options are available, including:

  • Water-based / discharge screen printing
  • Puff screen printing
  • High density screen printing
  • Reflective inks
An Imprint Revolution employee helps one of their customers.

How do I order?

​Pricing is based on several factors, including:

  • Shirt / garment brand and style
  • Shirt / garment color
  • Number of print locations on the item (for example: front, back, sleeve, etc.)
  • Number of colors per print location
  • Quantity of garments per design (the more we print at the same time, the lower the price)