GENERAL PRINTING INFO
(all useful info and knowledge about pre printing and production before going to press with your job)
Mixing inks is sometimes a tricky thing, but due to our extensive experience, we can guarantee to mix your ink colors to a few shades of what you give us in your final print ready artwork. Giving a Pantone color is also a very good reference to have. If you require an exact pantone color match, please let us know. NOTE: due to differences in colors of computer monitors and variances in dry to wet color choices, the final product might slightly vary from the original artwork. Also, there might be slight variances of color even when reordering items with the same exact ink color (as colors change slightly with every mixed batch).
PRINTING FINE DETAIL
Modern day screen printing has given us the ability to print very fine detail on a variety of mediums. Although we specialize in using a variety of screen mesh to achieve the fine detail that is required for each job, there are still certain mediums that prohibit us from being able to replicate this fine detail. These items are usually things that have rough surfaces (canvas tote bags and certain aprons) and any garments made with ribbed, burnout or pique material. (Just remember, the rougher the material, the more difficult fine detail is to achieve). Also, all metallic inks require lower mesh counts to print the thick metallic pieces thru the screen, making it impossible for fine detail to be achieved. As always, we will always be forthcoming if we feel this will be a problem before going to press with your job.
When the human eye is up very close to the printed image, it will be able to see these tiny dots. Your image will lose some detail when printing with halftones.
What are halftones and when should I use this method?
Halftones are small dots blended in a printed design that vary in size and space to create the effect of smooth, full-color imagery. If your artwork contains gradients or complex detail (such as a photograph), halftones are a great solution.
Can I save money by using halftones?
If you want to save money by simulating multiple colors – you have the option to use one color with halftones. Example: Use one red base color and by creating halftones on part of the image, it will look like you have both a dark red and light red.
Through the advancements of modern science, discharge printing has come to be an amazing way to print on dark garments but to keep the super soft feel. Although this is an amazing advancement, there are still some downfalls of this style of printing. Mainly, not all shirts discharge equally, given that each shirt color has slightly different dyes that are used to attain that color on the final product. Because of this, discharge reacts differently to certain colors, leaving it not able to discharge evenly all the way through like other colors. These colors (generally in the green / blue / purple color spectrum) do not discharge well. Also, sometimes there is also a slight crusty feel on top of the ink after these shirts are printed, due to the bleaching effect. This will come right off after the first wash, leaving the shirts very soft with absolutely no ink feel.
PRINTING OVER SEAMS
The art of perfect of screen printing requires a seamlessly smooth surface. (ex: sometimes when printing large quantities, and a small thread from one of the shirts gets onto the pallet where we are printing, and a shirt gets put on over it and printed, you can see that small thread thru the ink on the shirt). So, printing over uneven surfaces is much more difficult and requires some tricks in order to make it look good. It’s possible to do, and sometimes people love the way that an inconsistent print looks (being worn and tattered). Depending on the thickness and type of ink used when printing over seams, there will be inconsistencies in the print. We will always be up front with all potential inconsistencies before going to press, but we are not responsible for these inconsistencies when printing over any uneven areas.
This size of printing is something that has become very popular. People sometimes want the largest print possible. This is easy for us to do, but keep in mind the print area must be smooth and free of any seams, neck lines or bottom hems. Printing over any unsmooth surfaces will lead to inconsistent prints. Keep this in mind when printing on tank tops, V-necks or scoop necks, since these shirts tend to have things in the print area that would inhibit a perfect print. Also, jumbo prints require larger than normal pallets to put the shirts on. When using these pallets, printing on Ladies / Youth tees will usually require us to stretch these shirts in order to fit over the pallet, distorting the image. Keep this in mind when preparing your art and size breakdowns.
Although ribbed garments (like certain tank tops) are great form fitting garments to wear, they are very difficult to print. Imagine, the ribbed material essentially has 2 layers of ribs (one on top, and the other on bottom when the garment is stretched out). If we print the ribbed material without stretching the garment out, the ink sits on top of the ribs, allowing it to crack when stretched. If we print it with the garment stretched out, the ink will go on both layers of ribs, then when shrunk back down, only half the image will be visible (since the other half is on the bottom part of the ribs). Bottom line, printing on ribbed garments is difficult, inconsistent and highly not recommended.
POLY BLEND GARMENTS
The polyester / cotton blend T-shirts have become very popular items, given that they are lighter weight, breathe a little better than cotton shirts, and have a very unique vintage heather look to them. Because these garments are made with a completely different material than standard 100% cotton tees, they require slightly different printing methods to achieve a perfect print. Polyester material is much more susceptible to heat, and burns much easier than cotton garments. Because of this, these shirts should not be underbased when using plastisol ink. When printing with tri-blend garments, we recommend either all waterbased inks or a single print softened plastisol. Both of these options will bring a slightly lighter looking print, but most people get these shirts for a more faded worn vintage look anyways, and we feel that not having a heavy print is what this style of shirt is intended for.
If the design is closer than 1/2″ to the seam, this can cause printing inconsistencies. The seams prevent the screen from being able to lie completely flat on top of the garment when printing. When the screen has to sit over the seams, this is what causes the ink to lay unevenly in that area.
What amount of space should I leave when printing near seams?
It is recommended that you leave at least 1/2″ of space between the edge of your design and any shirt seams.
If you have a “Seams Warning” on your mock and you notice there is plenty of room in between your design and the seam, keep in mind that the mocks typically show only two standard garment types: “medium men’s garment” and “small women’s garment”. If your order has garments that are smaller than the garment template used on the mock, this could be the reason for the warning.
Can I print over seams?
Printing over seams is not recommended. When you print over seams, a gap is created in the print where the ink from the screen does not touch the shirt due to the ridge caused by the seam. This causes inconsistencies in the print from shirt to shirt which is why we strongly recommend against printing over seams.