Custom Shirt Shop has been in the T-Shirt printing business since 1978. Whether you have a simple one color print on a baseball jersey, or a full color art reproduction on your Tshirt, our skill and attention to detail will insure that your shirts are exactly what you want them to be. We feature up to six color screen printing for shorter, hand printed runs, and up to 10 colors on our 12 head automatic press for larger jobs. We have long specialized in simulated process, and four color process printing on black and dark colored shirts. Call us today for a free estimate on your next screen printing project.
The Screenprinting process
Contrary to the popular belief that we can just push a big red button and screenprinted shirts pop out of a machine, it is a multi step process that requires careful coordination of many details and variables to assure that the finished product is what it should be.
- Before anything happens, there needs to be artwork. Whatever the original form it takes, from a professionally prepared design, to a sketch on a napkin, the artwork must be converted to a printable form by our art department. This includes any redrawing, setting of type, placing of clipart, color separation that needs to be done to make it printable, then the creation of properly formatted output documents for our screen making system.
- Once the artwork is prepared, it is run through special software called a RIP ( Raster Image Processor ) and is converted to a file that can be used to image each individual color of the design onto a screen. Our screens are high tech re-tensionable roller frames which insure precision registration of colors and print clarity. The screen is coated with a light sensitive emulsion, imaged in a CTS device, exposed to high ultra-violet light which locks the image into the screen, then rinsed with water to clear the open areas of the stencil. Once dry, the screen has the edges taped and any pin holes touched up.
- An individual screen is prepared for each color in the image. They are then locked into either a manual press (for smaller orders and items that require special handling) or the automatic press ( for larger runs, full color work, and designs over 8 colors.) Each screen has to be painstakingly aligned to the others so that there are no unsightly gaps between the colors (called mis-registration)
- Once the screens are aligned and the colors are approved, a shirt is placed on a printing surface called a pallet, and each color is printed in order, often being dried in between colors (called flash-curing).
- After all of the colors are printed, the shirt is pulled off the pallet and placed on a conveyor belt that runs through a large drying oven, reaching a temperature of 320 degrees which cures the ink and makes it permanent in the fabric.