Screen Printing FAQ

Great and experienced team


November 2017


Screen Printing FAQ

Screen Printing Services in Grand Rapids, MI

As a customized apparel company, we get a lot of questions about how the screen printing process works and the differences between screen and digital printing. To help you out, we’ve created a list of frequently asked questions so you can make an informed decision for your next customized apparel order. 

If you have a question that isn’t listed here, we encourage you to reach out to our screen printing experts here at Sporting U!

How does screen printing work?

The screen printing process starts by creating mesh stencils called screens. The first screen is placed over the t-shirt before a member of our team manually applies ink over the exposed area. After the ink has been applied, the screen is removed to reveal your design. 

If more colors are needed to complete your design, additional frames will be placed one at a time over the shirt when ink is applied. Each ink color requires its own screen to prevent colors from bleeding together.

What can I use screen printing for?

While most of our customers screen print on t-shirts, the design possibilities are limitless. Screen printing is best for products with flat surfaces like t-shirts, tote bags, banners, mouse pads, and more.

What are the differences between screen printing and digital printing?

During screen printing, the ink is applied thicker which makes it perfect for simple t-shirt designs that need bold colors. During digital printing, the ink is applied thinner which makes it perfect for detailed or photographic t-shirt designs that don’t need vivid colors. To learn more, be sure to check out our blog post about screen printing vs. digital printing.

How much detail can I do with screen printing?

The simpler your design, the better results you’ll have with t-shirt screen printing. If you are looking to create an intricate design with lots of colors, we recommend digital printing. Digital printing is also better for t-shirt designs that use photos. The thin layer of ink applied during digital printing allows you to show more details.

How vivid are the colors used in screen printing?

Screen printing produces vivid colors, which is why it has been adored for centuries. Screen printing is perfect for simple designs that need vivid colors. You won’t be able to get the same vibrancy with digital printing as you would with screen printing.

How many colors can I use?

The more colors you use, the more expensive your order will be. This is because each ink color requires its own screen to prevent colors from bleeding together. While you can use as many colors as you want, keep in mind that the price will be higher.

What colors can you print on?

You can print on any color that you want. During the screen printing process, ink is applied thickly enough so your design shows up on dark backgrounds. The same can’t be said for digital printing, which applies a thin layer of ink.

Can I mix and match shirt and ink colors?

Yes, this is not a problem as long as you use the same ink color. For example, it’s not a problem for us to print black ink on an order containing green, blue, and yellow t-shirts. 

However, we can’t use black ink on yellow t-shirts and white ink on green t-shirts in the same order. To prevent colors from bleeding together, the same screen can’t be used for multiple ink colors.

Do I have to order screen print t-shirts in bulk?

Yes. It takes a lot of work to create the screens needed for your custom apparel design, especially since each ink color requires its own screen. There is also a lot of labor involved to manually apply one ink color at a time.

Screen Print Your Design Today

SportingU is a screen printing company that dedicates itself to creating awesome t-shirts. If you are interested in placing an order for screen printing on t-shirts or other products, contact us online or give us a call at (616) 730-1614.

This blog has been updated.

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