Basics of Textile Screen Printing (T-Shirts, Bags, etc.)
When offering screen printed goods to customers, sometimes they don't realize all the work that goes into producing this kind of work. The process starts with the client's artwork or design idea, then traverses into the production schedule which includes numerous steps before becoming a finished product that is delivered to the customer.
Once a design or layout is agreed on, that image has to be converted to color separations, better known as printing plates. Each color in the design requires its' own plate or "screen" as it is more commonly known in our trade. So for a red, green and blue image to be screen printed, there will be 3 screens for that job. In the video below from one of the largest manufacturers of automatic textile presses, you can see how the printing process works. As the shirts are moved around on the carousel press, each plate is printing a single color until the final image is produced. Once the shirt is printed, it then goes through an industrial dryer to cure the ink. It is only then, can the final product be delivered to the customer.
Showing this information should provide the consumer why it is not efficient to print very small runs under 24 shirts. The setup costs for printing orders has to be spread across the entire order. It is cost effective to spread $100 worth of cost over 24 or more shirts but trying to spread that same cost over 2 or 3 shirts is not very cost effective at all. Basically, you are adding $4.16 per shirt over 24 shirts but that same $100 spread over 3 shirts would add over $33.00 per shirt. No one wants to pay that much for a graphic t-shirt! And that doesn't even include the shirt cost and run charges for the job.
So you can see why screen printers have minimums for their order requirements. It saves having to explain why we would have to charge a customer $50.00 or more for a t-shirt versus something more like $12.00 for a small 24 piece order.
The video below shows a job in process. This is the just one part of the process. It doesn't even show screen making or the other processes that go into our finished products.
If your business or group requires t-shirts for their event or staff, let Texas Promowear produce your order. Our expertise from design to finish product is sure to please.
Sportsman EX - M&R Screen Printing Equipment - Automatic Textile Press
M&R's Sportsman EX automatic textile presses offer exceptional value and quality at an amazingly affordable price. Sportsman EX 1618 is available in 6, 8, and 10-color models with a maximum image area of 41 x 46 cm (16" x 18").
Video Courtesy of M&R Sales and Service