Screen printing, or silk screening as it is popularly known, is an age-old printing technique that is regaining widespread popularity due to its customizability and affordability. Silk screening uses a screen typically made of plastic carefully coated with a light-sensitive dye.
Typically the screen is then burnt in such a manner that the design gets copied on perforated stencil through which the dye applied can exude. Post this, the screen with the dye on it is pressed over the surface to be printed. The dye seeps out and gets deposited on the print surface (T-shirt or banner). Silk screening is difficult to master and purchasing right screen printing supplies is the first step in getting good results.
5 Ways To Get Vibrant Prints At The Lowest Cost
Many people learn silk screening as a hobby, whereas others learn it as a full-fledged vocation. Whatever the case, making the printing process efficient is essential. An inefficient printing process will not only result in excessive wastage and costs, but it will also result in substandard prints.
So if you are to derive full satisfaction from your hobby or vocation, you must devise the most efficient way of printing. Here are some quick tips to bring efficiency to your silk screening process.
Understand The Process Very Well
The most effective way of bringing efficiency to silk screening is by understanding the nuances of the process very well. Every raw material or equipment that is used in the technique has a definite purpose. And unless you understand the role of each piece of equipment, you are likely to mess up the appearance of the final product.
For instance, most people do not understand the importance of the duration of contact between the screen and the surface of the banner or T-shirt. If the contact between the screen and the printing surface does not happen for the right duration, the quality of the print will suffer. Most printing houses use a press to ensure proper contact between the screen and the printing surface.
However, applying too much pressure can also be counterproductive. In case the dye is adhesive, it will get attached way too strongly to the printing surface. Also, purchasing a press is the most expensive investment in the printing process. Hence, if you want to make the process effective and affordable, you can do away with the press altogether.
Many people use their hands to apply the requisite pressure. And the right amount of pressure and the duration for which the pressure is to be applied can only be determined by a person who knows the process in and out. So if you wish to figure out ways of cost-cutting, understand each and every step of the printing and then practice till you master the art.
Do Not Buy Too Much Ink
Buying the ink that is used for silk screening is another major expense that printing houses or amateur printers often undertake. Most of the time, they end up buying and using too much ink. Buying too much results in wastage, as the ink may get spoiled if you do not have a good turnover in your printing business.
Moreover, if you use too much ink at the very beginning of the printing process, it may lead to wastage. So it is always better to use a little ink at first and then add ink as and when required. Also, if you are not an expert, it is better to use ink of a single color so that you can use a single screen. When you become an expert, you can purchase inks of different colors.
Do Not Do A Lot Of Pantone Color Matching
Pantone color matching is a standard color-matching system that is regularly used by printers and designers. The Pantone color matching system allows a printer to specify and control the color for different projects. The Pantone color matching system allows a printer to mix colors that cannot be mixed in traditional CMYK.
However, it is not necessary to use the Pantone color-matching system for your projects. Not having a proper policy of when to use and when not to use the Pantone color matching system can lead to a lot of wastage. First of all, it can cause a lot of misprints, and this may make the customers unhappy with the final product. Secondly, it can escalate the labor cost and negatively impact the budget.
Improve Communication Between The Design And Production Team
In a company, a design team creates the design and decides on the font and color to be used in it. The production team does the screen printing, where the ink is transferred via the stencil to the printing surface.
However, a lack of communication between the design and production teams can lead to a lot of wastage. If the design and the production team are not in sync about the exact shade of the ink or the exact font to be used, the end product will be sub-standard.
Moreover, if the customer does not get the exact design that he had approved, he may reject the order altogether. So if you want to reduce wastage and keep all your customers happy, you must ensure proper synchronization between your design and production teams.
Get Your Supplies From A Reputable Silk Screening Supplies Store
Always get your supplies from a reputable screen printing supplies store so that you get good quality products at affordable rates.
Silk screening or screen printing is an old form of printing, and mastering it may take a lot of time and effort. However, it is possible to master the art and sell the final prints with a good profit margin. But if you want to realize good profits, you must try to improve the efficiency of the printing process to reduce wastage. Knowing which paint to buy and in what quantities, knowledge about Pantone color matching are some easy ways that can cut costs and improve profits.