SCREEN PRINTING

THERE IS NOTHING STANDARD ABOUT THIS PROCESS


This is the traditional style of printing.  These inks can be printed on any garment or fabric and work best in small print areas.  Plastisol screen printing inks are typically used on all blended tees in place of our standard inks.  Certain garments are better suited for certain art, so if you don’t have something in mind let us reccomend something that will work well with your art.

 

Examples:

  

WATER BASED & DISCHARGE


Discharge inks use an extra activator chemical mixed in with water based inks and are screened onto colored garments.  The extra ingredient is heat activated when run through our high temperature dryers.  The discharge chemical removes the dye from the fabric, leaving it in its natural off-white state under the printed ink.

The process results in a nice, soft, hand feel on dark garments that would otherwise require plastisol inks.  This ink can be used by itself or in combination with other inks/treatments as a base for dark garments.  This process is limited to some brands & 100% cotton garments only.  Exact color matching is not always possible since garment type and color batches are not always consistent from shirt to shirt.

Example: 

 Threadbird discharge apparel printing style 4

Discharge Printing Advantages

There are a few great advantages to choosing discharge printing for your custom apparel printing.

Softer look and feel.  Everybody loves those super soft cotton tees that make groggy Monday mornings just a little less terrible.  Custom t-shirts made with discharge printing have a softer look and feel than t-shirts made with plastisol ink.

Lighter weight.  Discharge printing is also great for big prints, so you can have that huge design you want, without all the heavy weight.  Large print design and plastisol ink don’t mesh very well, especially if you prefer lightweight, airy clothing.

Vibrant colors.  Want bright, vibrant colors for your custom t-shirt design?  Although discharge printing is typically done with darker materials, you can still get those bright, awesome colors your design needs to pop.

More detail.  If your design is super epic and you don’t want to miss out on any of that amazingness, discharge printing will maintain the integrity of all those important details.

So you’re probably reading this thinking, “Wow, this is awesome!  But, there has to be a downside to discharge printing.”  Well, you’re right.  The only major downside with discharge printing is that you have to wash the shirts before they take their “no feel” state (by “no feel” we mean you won’t be able to feel the ink sitting on top of the fabric of the shirt).  Although, not all colors will discharge, our design experts can help you determine the best printing method for your custom apparel.

METALLICS & FOILS


Metallic inks have metal flakes suspended in the semi-transparent base.  They come in a handful of colors, with the most popular being gold, copper, and silver.  There are different types of metallic inks that can be used to achieve subtle differences, even in the same color.

Metallic inks require a lower mesh count screen (larger holes between threads), so they work better with designs that don’t have fine details.

Examples:

finishing & relabeling

TAG REMOVAL & RELABELING


Want to brand your shirts to make them look unique?  We can easily help you with that by removing the manufacturer’s sewn-in tags and replacing them with a printed, 1-color design on the inside of the shirt.  Please note that some brands work better with Tag Removal than others.  We recommend American Apparel, Anvil, & Gildan.

When doing printed tags on white shirts you run the risk of the tag showing through the back.  We recommend using a light grey ink (Cool Gray 3C) when printing on white shirts to help prevent this.  Note: Some garments do not de-tag well; see our Print Warnings Page for more info.

ATTENTION: By law, all printed tags are required to list Country of Origin and Fabric.  If you are printing on multiple brands and fabrics, additional tag files will be needed.  See the Federal Wool & Trade Act for more information.

Gildan 8000 and all Hanes garments contain Heat-Pressed tags!  Sorry, we cannot print tags on these garments.

Contact us for a quote!  (541) 476-2226 or sales@topsandtees.com.

We also offer screen printed transfers.

Examples:

Threadbird tag printing 4

FOLDING & BAGGING


Let us fold and bag your shirts for you for that nice, professional touch.  This helps keeps your shirts organized and clean.  We also apply a size sticker onto each bag so you know what size is inside.

Contact us for a quote!  (541) 476-2226 or sales@topsandtees.com.

Examples:

Threadbird fold and bag

artwork guide

File Prep

Please use the following resources to prepare screen printing images, art files, and other t-shirt design specs for apparel printing.  Feel free to contact us if you still have questions or to share your file for a quote.

Prepare Your Art File

All files must be at least 300 ppi and in Vector Format.  If your file is 300 ppi, but not vector art, you cannot just increase the resolution of the file.  This is called “upsampling” and will result in a blurry image.  If you are creating your file in Adobe Illustrator or another Vector-based software, just size your image to the size you want it to print.

  • How to prep print files dpi
  • Size your design to print

Half Tones: If your design has half tones (gradients/shading), please allow us to manage this for you.  As a client, you may be inclined to try to separate, or halftone, the image yourself to keep the cost as low as possible.  Unfortunately, this does not work and may cause more art charges than you originally would have incurred.  Our computers in the art department are calibrated to set the halftones specifically for the films and screens that we use for printing.  If we do not control the halftones ourselves, we cannot guarantee the quality of the print.


Accepted File Types

We accept the following File Types:

  • Illustrator (.AI)*
  • Vector (.EPS)*
  • Photoshop (.PSD)
  • .PDF*
  • .JPEG / .JPG
  • .TIFF

*We prefer .AI, .EPS, and sometimes .PDF files (if saved with “Preserve Editing Capabilities” checked), since Vector images can be scaled without affecting quality.  All other file types will need to be vectorized/recreated and will include additional art time.


Size Your Design

Your design should at least be sized to the intended print size.  If you want your print to be 10″ wide, please be sure the actual design within the file is at least 10″ wide, not just the background (artboard) of your design file.  In order to fit on your selected shirt sizes from XS to 3X, and up, the following is an approximate guide for sizing the width of your design:

  • Full Front = 11″
  • Left/Right Front Chest = 3.5″
  • Full Back = 12″
  • Neck Tag = 3″
  • Short Sleeve = 3″
  • Long Sleeve = 3″ x 15″ tall
  • Hats = 2.5″ tall

Convert Your Text and Strokes to Outlines

If you are creating your file in Adobe Illustrator, you will need to choose “Create Outlines” on all your text.  This allows us to open the file without requiring the font.  Additionally, if strokes are not expanded, the width of the lines may not remain proportionate to the design when sized.  To do this, select the art and choose menu options: Options > Expand, or Expand Appearance > (Expand Options Box pops up, click “Okay” > (Repeat until outside stroke color box shows transparent)


Color

Each color in your design will help determine the final cost of your order.  The more simple your design colors are, the more affordable.  If you provide us your artwork, we can assess your artwork needs and even help reduce the colors in your design as desired.  We can easily print up to 6 colors, and this will need to be in respect to how many items are ordered to print on.  We understand that some designs are complex, so another option may be to process your art for separations for a fee.  Please contact us for more information on our price breaks per ink color amount.  


Clean-Up

Our printer is incredibly sensitive to even hidden details.  Sometimes there are hairline strokes that, though not visible on the computer screen, when not cleaned-up may affect the final result.  For the cleanest art possible these need to be deleted/addressed.  If working in Adobe Illustrator, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Y.  This changes the view of your art space into a black and white screen showing only the outline – and those pesky lines that can be carefully deleted.  Remember to toggle back and forth between screen display modes (Ctrl + Y) to make sure parts that you want to keep aren’t accidentally being deleted.


Final Checklist

From centering, to ensuring your print’s visibility and legibility, we are more than happy to assist in preparing your art for printing.   Here are some additional factors to consider when submitting your design, are all elements:

  • Spelled correctly?
  • Centered (horizontally and/or vertically)?
  • Have clean edges?
  • Clear of unneeded hairline strokes (see “Clean Up” above for reference)?
  • Sized closely to the end result desired?
  • Spaced apart far enough for clean printing (letters not touching, etc.)?
  • Thick enough to be visible when printing smaller (no smaller than 1/16 – 1/32″)?

We Got You Covered!

Whether your art is print-ready or needs some love, we offer the following services with Art Prep paying customers ($15 charge):

  • Digital Proofs:  We provide custom mock-ups of your designs on the shirt style and locations you want, to visually communicate to all members the desired result.
  • File Set-Up:  Your print will be professionally processed digitally, sized, and aligned with custom registration marks and file labeling.
  • Handled With Care:  We will have no less than 3 (and, up to 5) team members check your art to provide the best quality result, such as accurate spelling and film precision.
  • Film Creation:  Each print location is specifically placed for our printer, given color assignment(s), and aligned with absolute film-over-film precision.  If going on darker garments, we will create a custom underbase to ensure color vibrancy.

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