Screen Printing Process

ABR Print works hard to produce consistent, quality prints on our shirts. We achieve extremely high detailed results by printing multiple colors using screen printing. High quality ink  we use ensures the print will last.  We do have a minimum order amount for garment runs. Our minimum order is 24 garments for the first 2 screens, 36 garments for 3 screens, and 48 garments for 4 or more screens.

Our Process

There’s quite a bit of work that goes into screen printing t-shirts. The process starts with your idea given to us by either a file upload or a discussion with our graphic designer to create the art for you. A lot happens  before the art actually gets printed on the shirt. Before we get started the art work and digital mock has to be approved and paid for by you, our client.  We then move your order from the proposal phase into production. When this happens we place the garment order with our distributor, and start working on the artwork.

Creating the Color Separations

I know, you may ask; ”But  my design was finalized, so you already have the art right?”.  Not exactly,  digital preparation of the artwork involves separating the colors of the design into individual layers so we can make the films. This process involves either isolating spot colors or setting up color halftones for full color projects.  Once this is complete the separated negatives are lined up as  layers and printed onto transparent film.

Burning Films

At this point the films are given to our Screen Printer to make the screens.   Our print master then burns the negative image onto specially coated mesh screens.  Once the image  has set, the extra emulsion is washed out to create the stencil for the print. Literally. “rinse and repeat” for each screen needed for the design. 

Final Print Setup

When all the screens have been  made they have to be aligned on the press and tuned in to make sure all the layers line up perfectly  for the print. By now we have your shirts in hand, and they are counted, sorted and separated in preparation for printing. Once we run a few test prints on sacrificial t-shirts,  we are ready to start the printing process.

Why Minimum Orders?

Because of the amount of technical work and labor involved in the setup process, the price per shirt is reduced when quantity of  shirts are ordered. When taking into consideration the time and labor involved, the set up  fees on an order for 1 or 2 shirts would make it cost nearly  as much as an order for 100 shirts.

How many screens do I need?

There are a few other details that factor into the minimum order amount as well. These are based on a few factors . The number of colors in your design, each color and location requires a separate screen to be created, whether you want a tag printed inside the collar, sleeve or outer hem,

Garments are Not all the Same.

Screen printing can be done on any color shirt, but to ensure best color brightness, darker garments will require a white base underlay of ink. This white underlayment  will take up a separate screen but also ensure the best color contrast for your print. Screen printing is accomplished by using Spot Color or Full Halftone Colored Process. Spot Colors are best used if your design has less than 5 colors of ink. The reason this is suggested, is although we can accommodate up to 10 individual colors it becomes very cost prohibitive. The 5 color print process can achieve full rich colors with just 5 screens. 

Best use of Screen Printing.

As mentioned above, it is more cost efficient to print orders above 24 garments using screen printing. While setup and artwork prep take a long time, once on press, shirts can be printed quickly. Screen prints are also a good choice when using the same design on multiple colors or styles. Once the screens are made they can be used on many different garments as long as the sizing does not change. Even Cooler, you can swap up the colors of your design to archive some very interesting variations and effects.

*Customer Supplied Garments can have no warranty -We will only cover and replace garments purchased through us. Customer supplied garments are run at your own risk. Because previous washing, product materials and quality are unknown, and will affect the final outcome of the product.

We are happy to give you a Quote and help you decide what is best for your project!

If you have more questions, feel free to contact