How to Identify Good Quality Screen Printing

Whether you are looking to purchase items from a screen printing company or researching a press to purchase it is important to know what to look for.

For customers looking to order large quantities of shirts or branded items, a great option is screen printing. When choosing a screen printing company, there are certain quality standards to be aware of to get the best return on your investment. To identify these quality standards it helps to look at what someone purchasing their own screen printing machine, parts, and products would look for.

Screen printing was first developed in China and since then has evolved over time and now involves many variations in presses, techniques, processes and related products. It is a process that involves a screen mesh, frames, ink, an emulsion liquid, a stencil, and a press. Essentially, the various types of mesh used are evaluated based on thread thickness and mesh count, like a sheet’s thread count. For the best results, use thin thread and low mesh count. The specificity of the mesh can become way more in-depth depending on the quality of print desired. Directly related to the choice of mesh is the choice of ink.

Each Project Calls for Specific Products

Ink quality depends on what is being screen printed. Sometimes medical devices, watches, aprons, or even textured fabrics are being printed onto. The ink choice is highly dependent on the type of surface receiving the print as well as the color of the surface. It is best to choose non-toxic inks. Depending on the desired look, there are many types of inks that offer different sheens and textures.

Screen printing presses vary in size and can either be manually operated or industrial-automated. Depending on the size of the project and the necessary turn-around time, it is necessary to ascertain the capacity and length of time for a press to produce your desired quantity. Usually larger industrial screen printing machines will offer significant price discounts for large quantities of prints. Keep in mind, the larger industrial screen printers use a rotary press which allows for continued printing required of wall paper or similar large prints.

Experience Matters

As with any machine, the operator is largely responsible for the outcome of the finished product. If purchasing a screen printing press, there are online tutorials and classes available about techniques for layering ink, proper drying times, preparation, and cleaning between prints. If looking for a great product delivery, ask how much experience the operator has and ask to see portfolio work to check the quality of other finished products.

Screen printing is one of the most versatile options for marketing, creating memorabilia, and original fine art. Since the process involves many parts and products, it is important to study the process and be able to define personal preferences of application products. If making a large investment for your business or home, it is worth taking time to understand that the desired outcome is only achieved with a strong original vision tied to a thorough understanding of the chemical process.

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