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BusinessNow S1E4 - Start a Business with Screen Printer, How Screen Printing Works Explained

Personalized imprinted T-shirts, banners, bags, etc are usually bought organizations, educational institutions, voluntary organizations, sports teams and a variety of other industries. Retail shops resell their personalized items for a profit, while other companies may use them for branding and advertising purposes. It's important to develop the skill of screen-printing to make quality prints that look sharp and last through a number of laundry cycles. You need the proper amount of training and practice before you sell your first item.

Start off with buying or leasing screen-printing equipment. You need a computer with a graphic design program, press, drying rack, industrial sink, curing unit, dryer, squeegees, screens and scrub brushes.

AM’s ScreenMaster Six Colour Six Station Screen Printer used to produce Mickey Mouse themed T-Shirts and Hats

Screen printing items as seen in the video:
AM.CO.ZA Water-based Ink
AM.CO.ZA Plastisol Ink
AM.CO.ZA Silicone Squeegee
AM.CO.ZA ScreenMaster Six Colour Six Station Screen Printer

The Screen Printing process step by step

Step 1: The design is created

To get started, the printer takes the design they want to make onto the final product, and prints it out onto a translucent acetate film. This is what will be utilized to make the stencil.

Step 2: The screen is made ready

Next, the printer will select a mesh screen to suit the complex nature of the design, and the surface of the fabric being printed. The mesh screen is then covered with a layer of light-reactive emulsion, which will become hard when developed under bright light.

Step 3: The emulsion is exposed

The acetate sheet that features the design is then placed onto the emulsion-coated screen, and the whole thing is revealed to a very bright light. The light makes the emulsion hard, so the parts of the screen which are covered by the design stay in liquid form.
If the concluding design is going to consist of more than one colour, then a separate screen should be utilized to apply each layer of ink. To produce colourful items, the printer must use its skill to design each stencil, and line them up accurately to make sure that the concluding design is flawless.

Step 4: The emulsion is rinsed, producing the stencil

Subsequent to the screen being exposed for a set time, the areas of the screen that are not covered by the design are usually hard by now. Any unhardened emulsion is then carefully rinsed away. This leaves a clear imprint of the design on the screen for the ink to pass through.

The screen is then dried, and the printer will make any necessary touch-ups or corrections to make the imprint as accurate as possible to the original design. The stencil is now ready to be used.

Step 5: The item is prepared for print

The screen is then set down on the printing press. The product or material being printed is placed down flat onto the printing board, beneath the screen.

Step 6: The ink is pressed through the screen onto the item

The screen is let down onto the printing board. Ink is added to the top end of the screen, and a squeegee is utilized to pull the ink along the full length of the screen. This presses the ink through the open areas of the stencil, imprinting the design on the product underneath.

If the printer is fabricating multiple items, then the screen is raised and a new garment is placed onto the printing board. The procedure is then replicated.

As soon as all the items have been printed and the stencil has served its purpose, the emulsion is removed using a special washing fluid so the mesh can be reused to produce new stencils.

Step 7: The product is dried, checked and finished

The printed item then passes through a dryer, which 'cures' the ink and produces a smooth, colourfast finish. The final product will be examined and cleansed thoroughly to get rid of any residue, before being passed on to its latest owner.

To buy AM’s ScreenMaster Six Colour Six Station Screen Printer, Squeegee and Ink simply dial 072 222 2211 / 060 600 6000 for sales or you can always buy the products from our online shop called . For more product information log onto our website