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Screen printing is a technique used by professionals who specialize in customizing items made of fabric such as clothing and accessories. This design solution is often used to add colors, patterns, and fonts to T-shirts, hoodies, caps, tote bags, scarves, and other items made of cloth. The screen-printed design can also resist fading and damage amid exposure to elements, as well as washing, drying, or ironing.  

This technique allows ink application according to a specific design and can be used to print various colors in one area. To do so, the designer will use a mesh screen carved with the design, its edges tightly secured in a frame. Then, the mesh screen will be placed on top of the side of the fabric to be printed. Using a squeegee, the ink will be deposited on the open mesh areas by swiping paint across the screen. This process can be done manually or mechanically, making it possible to print multiple items in a shorter amount of time.  

Many fans of custom shirts prefer screen printing over other methods because of its various benefits. If you’d like to know why screen-printed custom shirts are better, continue reading this article.  

  •  Allows Flexibility 

Are you planning an event that requires uniform clothing or preparing giveaways for your company’s latest event? Are you looking for custom merchandise you can design and sell for profit? If so, screen printing is an excellent design solution that would suit your needs and preferences. 

With screen printing, you’ll be able to have T-shirts with the colors and designs that you prefer. You can choose to make your design, have one made for your specific requirements, or pick templates that you can use to create the design you like. Depending on the printing company you choose, you may also have access to T-shirt options you can choose from in creating your customized shirts. 

For instance, you can visit the Shop Strange website to explore options for customizing clothes for your business, special events, school functions, club gatherings, family reunions, and other occasions where customized apparel can be helpful. It’s a convenient solution if you want a one-stop-shop for creating personalized items because they sell garments ready for printing.  

  • Time-Efficient And Affordable Design Solution 

Screen printing is a more cost-effective and time-saving design solution than other printing options. There are many custom printing companies that you can choose from to get the best value for money, and you can also pick one that can give you the best time frame. For example, if you have a hundred shirts to customize, it can be done in under an hour, depending on the company’s capacity and which part of the shirt needs to be printed. Printing on the front or back of the shirt is usually quicker and easier to do than in any other portion, which must also be considered.  

You can also easily find affordable printing services that can cater to your needs. Screen printing usually comes at budget-friendly prices regardless of the volume of your order. On that note, it’s common for custom printing companies to offer discounts for bulk orders, and the price will also depend on how complex the design is. Thus, you can take advantage of the lower prices if you have a high-volume custom shirt requirement.  

  •  Don’t Fade Easily 

Water-based ink and plastisol screen prints are made to be colorfast. With proper application and curing, the designs created using these methods are expected to last a long time. In addition, they’re not as susceptible to damage, given proper care and protection. 

Hand pressing silk-screen printing, close up view.

Here are some of the common causes of damage to screen-printed apparel: 

  • Washing With Hard Water 

If the tap water you use for washing clothes has high mineral content, it can contribute to fading and damage to your custom T-shirt. Hard water may cause the ink used to bleed out and fade. To prevent this, mix one cup of white vinegar with a gallon of water and soak your printed shirt in it for 10 minutes before washing. 

  • Insufficient Curing Process 

Plastisol and water-based ink need sufficient drying and curing to secure the printed design on the custom shirt. Thus, it’s essential to allow the ink to cure sufficiently during the printing process to ensure the design will last long. Without which, the print will quickly fade or crack after a couple of washes.  

  • Fibrillation 

Fibrillation refers to the fabric of the printed shirt breaking down, affecting the vibrance and visual appeal of the design. To avoid this, ensure you use quality shirt materials and ink and follow fabric care instructions.  

Because screen-printed shirts are designed to be colorfast, they’re ideal as gifts and giveaways that anyone can wear and maintain. To ensure they’ll last longer, you’ll need to look for quality shirt materials and have them custom printed by a trustworthy company.  

  •  Process Can Be Used On Many Fabric Types And Colors 

Custom shirts are popular items for giveaways or memorabilia for important events, occasions, and promotional projects for businesses. Commonly, event organizers select shirt colors and a design specific to the project. In this case, the print should be flexible enough to be used with any shirt color, and this is why screen printing makes an ideal design solution for this requirement.  

You can use multiple colors and designs in screen printing, allowing maximum visibility against any fabric color if you select color combinations with the proper contrast. Besides, the type of ink used should match the fabric’s color. For instance, water-based ink is a thinner coloring material that soaks into the fabric, and this is why the colors won’t be as visible if used against a dark-colored shirt. In this case, plastisol is a better option because the plastic polymer in ink stays on the shirt’s surface, making the printed design stand out against the dark-colored fabric.  

Aside from this, screen-printed designs can be used in many fabric types, such as cotton, silk, wool, and natural and synthetic fabric blends.  

  • Easy To Care For 

In general, screen-printed shirts require similar care as other types of apparel. They’re not as susceptible to damage, provided they’re given proper care when washing, drying, ironing, and folding. Here are some tips on how you can care for your screen-printed shirts.  

  • Washing Options 

Handwashing and machine-washing are both appropriate options for screen-printed shirts. To care for the color and design, ensure that the shirt is reversed before soaking in cold water and detergent and washing as is. Meanwhile, use cold water for machine washing and choose the gentlest wash settings to clean your printed shirt. Moreover, avoid washing the shirt with a full load of clothes or heavy items like jeans and towels to minimize friction.  

  • Drying And Ironing 

Air drying custom-printed shirts are ideal as it’s the most natural way to remove moisture from the fabric. However, hanging the shirt away from direct sunlight is essential as prolonged sun exposure may contribute to color fading. Meanwhile, machine-drying is also a good option, provided the shirt is turned inside out and the dryer setting is at the lowest temperature.  

If you’re going to iron your screen-printed shirt, you’ll also need to turn it inside out or put a cloth over the printed area to prevent direct contact with the heated surface. Doing so will prevent early damage or fading. Additionally, avoid using steam while ironing to protect the color and strength of the print.  

  • Folding 

Some vinyl prints get damaged by manipulation or friction, which cannot be avoided when folding shirts. On the other hand, screen-printed designs won’t be easily damaged when folded as the softness of the fabric remains the same.  

  • Detergents And Fragrances 

Using different cleaning and fragrance-infusing agents, screen-printed designs also don’t get damaged easily. You can use regular detergent and dryer sheets on your customized shirt, provided you turn it on the reverse side before washing to minimize direct contact with the cleaning products. You must also avoid using fabric conditioners and any product with bleaching agents as they can contribute to cracking and fading.  

  •  Process Doesn’t Affect The Clothing’s Texture And Absorbency 

Finally, having your custom shirts screen-printed allows maintenance of their original texture, absorbency, and breathability. The clothing will remain soft to the touch after printing as vinyl, which hardens areas with design. Furthermore, all the shirt parts will remain absorbent and breathable because the screen-printed design won’t alter the fabric’s quality. Therefore, if you’re preparing custom shirts for events that involve physical activities such as family camping, school sports fest, or teambuilding exercises, screen-printed custom shirts will give more comfort.  

 Conclusion 

Screen printing is an ideal design solution for fashionable shirts and other types of customized apparel. You can easily find services that offer screen printing at affordable prices, so it would be a convenient option if you have a volume order with a limited time frame. Screen printing is also cost-effective as the design is made to last and isn’t as susceptible to fading or damage as other design methods. Lastly, using this method, you can achieve the color combination and vibrance you want without compromising the comfortability of the clothing.