You may very well know someone who has a screen printing machine in their garage and offers to make t-shirts for group events. They will be first to tell you that having a printing press a screen printer does not make. Screen printing requires practice, skill, and mastering the technique. Of course, like any art, there is room for interpretation and modification of technique to get the look you want.

Here at Shirt Shack, we’ve spent years honing our craft and designing and printing wearable works of art. When we aren’t busy making custom t-shirts for our clients, we are hard at work building our brand and creating shirts for our Novel-Tees shop and our Shirt of the Month Club. From initial design mockup to mass printing custom shirts, we’ve got the process down. We pride ourselves on producing high-quality end products that you can’t wait to wear.

In today’s post, we want to let you in on just a few trade secrets that help our screen printers create custom shirts that are superior to our competitors and will leave your friend in the garage applying for some on the job training at Shirt Shack.

Take Care of Your Screens, and They Will Take Care of You!

This shouldn’t be a trade secret at all, but it seems to be. Screens are like the painter’s paintbrushes and if they are not treated with the utmost respect, the strokes will be all off, turning the painting from a work of art to shameful firewood. Every artist as a deep respect for their tools, as a screen printer has for their screens. Screens should be thoroughly cleaned with tepid water. Like a violin bow, tension should be tight for performance and released for storage. Screens should be stored to be protected from light and dust. If you see a screen printer with screens haphazardly leaning against the wall covered in dried ink, chances are they are not concerned with the quality of their product.

There are Different Inks For Different Projects

With every screen printing project, the goal of the final product guides the process used to create it. A 100% cotton t-shirt requires a much different screenprinting process than a poly/nylon blend. The materials stretch and absorb inks differently. Depending on the material and the details in the image being printed, different inks will get the job done differently. A good screen printer will have several different types of inks — plastisol, water-based ink, and discharge ink. Each project should be planned down to the smallest detail.

Quickly Does Not Mean Efficiently

While an expert screen printer may be fast and confident, this should never come at the expense of quality. Turning around a large order too quickly means that the ink may not get the chance to cure or dry properly before it is removed from the press for the next one to be printed. The splashing of ink can also be a permanent problem as can misalignment. These are all problems that can be eliminated when care is taken and quality is prioritized over quantity.

At Shirt Shack of Nebraska, we have many more trade secrets we practice to produce quality end results. If you are in the market for quality custom t-shirts, look no further than the expert screen printers at Shirt Shack. When you choose us as your screen printer, we will work with you every step of the process to bring your idea to fashion. Visit our online gallery for inspiration or stop by our Hastings or Kearney screen printing shop to get your project started today.