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What Makes a Good Screen Print

What makes a good screen print? Most screen printers will feel a person's printed garment first and then take a good look at it second. Below are some tips to help ensure that your screen prints are successful:
Printed by L.A. Airline Printed by L.A. Airline
  • The feel of the print should match the feel of your fabric, so that it feels as though you are wearing a plain shirt.
  • The garment should wash well, shouldn't crack and be fade resistant.
  • The lines (artwork) should be clean and crisp.
  • Use the right types of inks, additives, and or specialty materials for your design and garment is imperative.
  • The speed, angle and pressure should be consistent for every print. Your own repeated technique/system will be what makes your jobs easier and consistent.
  • Riding the blade of the squeegee on the print edge, through the proper mesh will help you get the cleanest print. Some argue that this is harder to do manually, but again it just goes back to your personal print method.
  • 160 mesh count should be your most common printing mesh. The mesh count tends to see the biggest mistake made when screen printing.
  • Under or over-curing the ink is also another common problem. Also do a test print and be sure to fully cure your ink to prevent cracks.
  • Knowledge and understanding of off-contact printing is ideal.
  • Using a T-square to square the image up properly on your garment will also help for consistent images on the garment.
  • Make sure you stir your ink! Plastisol ink tends to get thicker over time, so always stir it and ensure that it is creamy and smooth. If your ink needs to be thinned then add in an additive.
  • Use screens that are properly/correctly tensioned.
Hopefully these tips will help you and leave you with some amazingly good screen prints.
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