Screen printing a T-shirt is the activity by which we stamp a drawing or a motif for its personalization. It is not complicated at all if it is done with the appropriate material and machinery, especially if it is a professional workshop. Below I am going to summarize the steps you must do to respond to how to screen print a t-shirt:
First, you must make a screen printing screen.
The screen printing screen is a fundamental element for the screen printing result. It is a mesh stretched in a particular frame with a series of micro-pores. The porous area corresponds to the drawing and is where the ink will pass to come into contact with the shirt. It is in the creation of the screen printing screen where the skill and experience of the screen printer are appreciated. It is a manual process that can be complicated, especially if you want to do beautiful screenprints in high definition to give them more value. However, there is a new technology that makes the screen printing screen not a limiting factor for the quality of screen printing. It is the Goccopro machines that generate a screen printing screen with the motifs you want in high definition without your intervention. It is a fascinating solution, especially if you’re going to set up a screen printing workshop, and you do not have experience printing T-shirts.
Then it would help if you placed the screen printing screen and the shirt on the appropriate support.
The shirt is placed on individual support, where the screen printing screen is fixed on top in such a way that the entire surface of the screen is in contact with the surface of the shirt to be printed. This phase is significant to screen print a shirt correctly. If the connection is not total, there will be areas where the ink will not contact the fabric, or the lines will not be well defined, losing resolution.
The shirt is well fixed in the support and does not move during printing; use a fixing spray to avoid the undefined line.
Then you must apply the ink to screen print the shirt.
Once you have the shirt and the screen fixed on the support, you must apply the screen printing ink to print the shirt. It is the most fun part of the process: You must use screen printing ink on one end of the screen and with a doctor blade move the ink towards the other end applying moderate pressure and with the doctor blade slightly tilted. What we achieve with this movement is to force the ink to pass through the pores of the screen printing screen mesh only in the areas where the printed drawing is.
Finally, it would help if you cured the silkscreen.
The shirt must dry for the ink to fixed on the fabric.
Many textile inks dry at room temperature relatively quickly without the need for heat. It is the case, for example, of water-based inks for screen printing.
However, there are other inks such as plastisol inks for textile screen printing, which need an external heat source for drying or curing, which is essential for fixing them to T-shirt fabric. An oven or dying tunnel uses heat where the shirt circulates on a belt inside an oven at a pre-set temperature.