Screen Printing

Caprice Promotional are focussed on creating the best possible result no matter which decoration method is used.

For this reason alone we provide the following information to assist our clients understand the process.

What products or surfaces work best for screen-printing ?

Flat, smooth, single layer surfaces are best suited to screen printing such as 100% cotton fabrics poly/cotton blends, most nylons, vinyl, calico, transfer papers, corflute and metal sheeting.

What products or surfaces can’t be used for screen printing?

Heavily textured and/or curved surfaces are not suitable for screen printing. Products with multiple layers/linings do not work as well as single layered products as movement can occur giving a bleed on logo’s which result in blurry images.

What kind of life expectancy does screen printing offer?

As long as textiles are washed according to the care instructions and other screen printed products are not subjected to mechanical damage, the print will last the life of the product.  Key factors are good curing and correct ink selection.

What is an advantage of screen printing?

Screen printing has the ability to produce strong vibrant spot or process prints on woven textile products at high production rates resulting in low per unit costs.  It also allows for relatively large images compared to other print processes.

What is a disadvantage of screen printing?

The resolution and detail we can achieve with current screen printing technology has been pushed to its limits, while digital printing can achieve high resolution it is generally at the expense of vibrancy.

Caprice do require a minimum of 25 units for 1 colour screen printing due to the time involved in setting up new jobs, higher number for multi colour or multi position prints.

What is the average lead-time?

10-15 working days is average however “standard” lead-times are dependent on size of order and receipt of stock and artwork.

What is the average set-up time and run length (in units) for a job?

Depending on the complexity and quantity required for the job, a single colour print may take an hour to run film, prepare a screen, mix ink colours, select squeegee type and produce a test print.  Additional colours may add 15 – 20 mins each to prepare and register before a test print.  The same applies to the actual production run; the run generally starts with test pieces at a slow pace to ensure consistency which is gradually sped up.  For example on a run of 1000 the first 100 may take an hour while the last 400 are completed in just under an hour. Flatbed screen printing machines for signage and poster work can do as much as 600 single colour prints per hour; same can be said for clothing printing, however often these figures are distorted as there are many factors during printing that will slow this down to rates such as 300 units per hour.

Are repeat set-ups a simple task and is this an extra charge?

Repeat set-ups are simple but this does vary with the complexity of the job. Assuming the screens have been filed and not reclaimed they still need to be prepared for ink, set in the machine and registered before a test print is produced.  The need to charge repeat set up varies with the complexity and size of the job.  On 25 units with multi colour prints to waive repeat set-up is simply not commercially viable.  With a 1 colour print repeat set-ups can easily be incorporated in the print cost.  All that remains from a previously printed job is the film, hence repeat set-up costs.

Is sampling recommended?

Depending on the supplied art, the expected result, the complexity of design and the size of the run sampling is recommended but not always required.  For example 4 colour process on 5000 dark shirts should always be sampled while 1 colour black on 50 white tote bags shouldn’t require a sample.

Is there a rejection rate in screen-printing?

A rejection rate of 1% is considered to be the industry norm.  This applies to number of prints not number of units printed, a T-shirt printed 4 colours front, back and each sleeve has a much higher chance of one of the prints to being rejected compared to a 1 colour 1 position print.

What is the best artwork file to supply for screen printing?

Encapsulated post script files [EPS] in vector format with Pantone fills and outlines and text converted to curves is the only format we use.
If you are unable to provide this please tell us and Caprice can arrange for you to have to correct format at a very low cost.
You will receive a copy of the final file for your own future use.

What is 4 colour process and what does dot gain mean?

4 colour process is a method of screen-printing photo-like images. Colours and tones are achieved by the combination of the 4 process colours of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black printed with a half tone, a series of different size dots that go together to make up the image.  Dot gain is when the print result varies during a run due to ink build up in the screens resulting in a change in individual dot size and therefore the final image.  Screen printers need to take extra care with 4 process printing and often these orders are slower to produce.  The upside of this process is that the end result shows many different colours hue compared to spot printing.

Can you create different effects?
Specialty inks like glow in the dark, glitter and high density ink can be used to create different effects. Foils can be applied to shirts which require printing prior to foiling.
What is a white base?

A layer of white ink printed under colours on dark products to return the product to a mock white so true designs can be presented in their required colour scheme.  Note that even though a white base is created for a design, if the design has strong white images within them then these need to be printed with a second white layer, which are called “high whites”. It means that only these parts of a print are printed in white on top of the base white.

What does ink curing mean?

All inks must go through a curing cycle to ensure longevity.  Curing is achieved by heat, evaporation or chemical reaction to bond the ink to the substrate.

What does dye migration mean?
Dye migration is when the dye in the product is drawn out during the ink curing process affecting the print result.  100% polyester is most susceptible to dye migration as are certain nylons and lycra’s.
Is printing over edges/seams achievable?

It can be achieved without a noticeable distortion of the print image where it covers the seam or runs off the edge.  Years ago orders would be rejected for finishes of this kind whereas today this is considered to be a “modern look”.

Out of all the various promotional products available what is the most screen printed product?

T-shirts and non-woven totes.  However anything from windsocks to tablecloths, umbrellas and many more items can be screen printed.

Are PMS colours reproduced easily and do you quote your PMS colour reproduction in Coated or Uncoated colours?

PMS colours are reproducible and the use of coated or uncoated colours as a reference generally depends on the product and the colours to be printed. As a rule we aim to match Coated PMS colours for the majority of jobs. The ability to match coated or uncoated colours is largely dependent on the pigment concentration of any given ink colour and the colour of the product to be printed.  A special mention needs to be made when using white bases under colours;  some colours will work brilliantly on white base such as yellows, reds and greens but blues are sometimes not as successful due to the pigmentation properties of inks.

Are there situations where an order couldn’t be screen printed successfully?

Orders with extreme print sizes on products, such as umbrellas, bags and compendiums can be problematic. You need to keep in mind that we are working on fully manufactured products and may well be printing on surfaces which have multi layers, pockets and other accessories. Experienced printers can advise clients almost instantly if this is going to pose problems, we have seen situations where distributors don’t accept our advice on prints/positions and this resulted in high rejection rates.

Give us a call to find your corporate solution!

Phone: 08 8352 1436