Screen Printing On Your Apparel

At Colortex Screen printing & Embroidery we use the process of screen printing in order to decorate your apparel or your clients apparel.

The Process

The process of screen printing accounts for the majority of the individual apparel pieces we produce in our facility in Ottawa. Before you can start seeing the actual design screen printing on apparel, there are multiple steps that need to happen before being ready to print the apparel. Screen printing is the process of using a aluminum screen with varying mesh counts, to support a image positive of the soon to be screen printed artwork.. The image positive forms open areas of mesh that transfer ink onto the screen printed materials. The ink is placed inside of that screen and mesh which is then pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A screen printing squeegee, not your window cleaning ones, is manually or automatically moved across the screen mesh while applying pressure in order to push the screen printing ink into the mesh openings for transfer by capillary action during the squeegee stroke.

Ink Types

Being that screen printing is an art form, no ink can be perfect for every fabric style and screen print designs. For that reason, we work with 3 different ink styles in order to create our screen prints. These are the 3 most common types of inks we work with but are constantly testing new things.

Plastisol

Plastisol screen printing ink is considered to be a solid in such that the ink does not dry and needs to be cured in order for it to dry. Due to this property, all of the ink stays on the fabric when laid on top of the fabric. This makes for a high opacity underbase screen print which allows to print bright and bold colours

Water-Based

Water-based inks are a type of ink that rely on solvents that evaporate to hold the pigments. The most common solvent is water. What this means is that the water base inks are not as thick as Plastisol ink. Due to the evaporation properties, the inks absorb into the fabric instead of laying on top of the fabric. Water based inks require a high level of knowledge and have its limitations with fabric compositions.

Discharge

Discharge ink is most often combined with water based inks or used as an underbase for plastisol. This ink actually does not leave any colour on the garment, what it does is takes the dye out of the fabric. Discharge inks are really useful for dark coloured garments in order to remove the dye. The limitations of discharge inks is that it only works efficiently on 100% cotton and not with all dye colours.

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