Top 5 Biggest Mistakes in the T-Shirt Screen Printing Business

Here are the 5 biggest mistakes you will find in the Screen Printing business

We would like to share some valuable information with you that we hope will help you with your next t-shirt project. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes you will find in the Screen Printing Industry and how to avoid them.
1. Poor Registration

Registration can make or break a design.  This is more of an issue with photo realistic images.  The difference between a poorly registered design and a properly registered design is the clarity of the finished print.  A properly registered design will look very sharp and crisp and will be very vibrant.  On the other hand a poorly registered design will look dull and blurred.  Also more solid areas of the print will show areas of shirt color through the image if poorly registered.  The best way to verify if you printer registering print jobs correctly is to ask for samples of the type of work you are interested in.

2. Lack of Adequate Underbase
Adequate underbase is a balancing act between good coverage and minimal ink deposit.  If the ink is too thick the shirt will be uncomfortable and heavy.  If the underbase is too light the shirt will show through the print and the colors will not be as bright.  It is important to know what is important to the end user to achieve satisfactory results.  The most effective way to achieve a very thin ink deposit with adequate coverage is by using very tight screens with fairly new mesh and proper flood and print stroke techniques.  This allows for the best ink flow and consistent coverage.  Make sure your printer is using the proper equipment.
3. Poor Ink Penetration
A shirt that has poor ink penetration in the image area will look washed out and faded after only a few washings.  This is more prevelent on white shirts and especially when performing a process print such as a photo or scenic imprint.  The best way to check for proper ink penetration is by stretching the fabric.  If you can see the shirt color between the ribs easily then the ink has not penetrated the fibers well and will look very faded after only a couple of wash cycles.  For good insurance ask to see samples of process prints to check for proper ink penetration.
4. Improper Ink Cure
This is a tough one.  Unfortunately you usually will not hear about this one until weeks after the job has shipped.  And there is no easy fix for this.  The customer is unhappy, the shirts are in circulation and the logo on the shirt is a representation of poor quality.  Take a look at the example below.  The shirt was only washed about 5 times and the image is almost gone.  The best insurance against this is having a very large forced air dryer and proper temperature and speed settings.  Make sure your printer is using the proper equipment.
Epic Failure Print
5. Poor Ink Color Match
Todays ink manufacturers offer ink mixing systems which make virtually any pms color match.  But there is more to ink matching than just mixing the ink color and printing.  To get a proper ink match the ink will need to be printed on a white background.  Again, here is where a proper underbase comes into play.  Inks are somewhat translucent and change color based on what color they are printed on.  Make sure your printer understands how colors are affected when printed on different colors and fabrics to guard against improper ink color matching.
So there you have it.  The top 5 Biggest mistakes made in the Screen Printing Industry.

Categories: Screen Printing

Author: admin

3 Comments

  1. custom t shirts online
    custom t shirts online On October 9, 2015 at 7:54 am Reply

    Great article. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

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    power washing ct On June 30, 2016 at 9:03 am Reply

    Enjoyed reading this, very good stuff, appreciate it.

  3. Jake Kevin
    Jake Kevin On March 11, 2017 at 1:05 am Reply

    Thank you for your great informative article.

    It will help me to skip mistakes while running my screen printing business.

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