What is screen printing?

So, you searched screen printers near me and found Inkline Printing! What is this process and what do you do next? Screen printing is a decoration process used in many different industries to add a design or image on to a variety of different items. Here at our Columbus, Ohio facility we offer screen printing on apparel and textiles. If you don’t understand the screen printing process, an easy way to visualize how it works is by thinking about a stencil. When you make a stencil, you cut out or remove the areas you want to be decorated. With screen printing, instead of cutting these areas out of a piece of poster board, we prepare special high-mesh screens which are basically a bunch of thin fibers stretched over a frame both horizontally and vertically. An unprepared screen will allow ink to pass through it in all areas. Once we have prepared a screen for screen printing, there is a hard emulsion coating that blocks the mesh in the areas we do not want the ink to pass through. We’re now left with a screen that will allow ink to pass through it in only the areas that will go on to a t-shirt.

When screen printing on to apparel with multiple colors, we have to make as many screens as are necessary to complete the job. Once the screens are made, we need to lock each screen into a multi-head printing press. The screens are then loaded with either stock or custom colors and we are ready to run our first test print.

What is a test print?

A test print is something we need to do before we print every single order. Whether it’s something we’ve done a thousand times or if it’s the first time we’re printing it - we ensure the screens are aligned and the colors are correct. We want to make sure the screens are aligned correctly and the colors look just right before we print your order.

What is a white under-base?

When printing on to darker color garments, you will have the option to print with or without a white under-base. During the printing process, a white under-base is represented as another screen that needs to be produced to lay down white ink under all areas that it will be required for. The white under-base is printed first and then the shirt is moved under a flash unit which exposes the shirt to a burst of ambient heat to cure the ink enough to apply the next layer of the image.

A couple of things to keep in mind:
  • A white under-base will never be utilized if your print color is darker than the garment color-If you do not use a white under-base, your print will still be clear and legible.
  • If you need your print to be sharp, clear and to POP - you need a white under-base.
  • If you’re OK with a slightly vintage looking print where the color of the shirt slightly affects the color of the ink - you do not need a white under-base.

How personalized is this process?

We take great pride in the care we take with each order we process. The details involved with your order can sometimes be complex. We want to work directly with you to get the information from you to make sure your true vision comes to life. We are always available to talk to you or work with you through email to answer all of your questions, quell any concerns and clarify anything you may not understand. 

What does it mean for artwork to be in vector format?

Vector art files can be scaled infinitely without any loss of resolution or clarity. Please check out this video that explains and shows the difference between the photo you took on your phone and a vector art file:

What is print-ready artwork?

Print-ready artwork will ideally be in a vector format. If you’re not sure, please email us any files you may have and we can take a look for you. Though these file formats are not always exclusively vector, we’ll want an EPS, AI or PDF file.

If you do have a raster image, it would ideally be a minimum of 300 DPI at 12” wide (or 3,600 pixels). In a raster file, 1” = 300 pixels.

Why is your pricing so different?

We do two things that make our printing quotes look a bit different than your standard screen printing order, but we think combined, they provide maximum flexibility and savings to our customers!

We don't have the standard printing tables:
  • You'll never get caught in "price-break purgatory" with us! You get credit for each individual garment you order - our model adjusts your screen printing pricing cost down gradually as you order more garments. Meaning, if you need 82 tees, order exactly what you need! No need to worry about the price break you might get if you order 100 versus 82.
  • This reduces waste from unnecessary garments, lowers your inventory and lowers your costs!
We don't charge garment mark-ups!

Still have more questions?

Our friendly and helpful customer service team is a wealth of resources and is here to help! Don't hesitate to call or contact us!