The best way of printing onto most cotton/polyester clothing is screen printing. Screen printing is ideal for large and small designs in larger quantities.
The Screen Printing Process
Screens are made by putting a chemical emulsion on a screen mesh surface. Artwork is taken from either the customer’s website, rough design on a piece of paper or designed by us from scratch.
This is then transferred into out artwork software using either Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw. This is then printed off as a negative on a film type paper or vellum. The screen is then exposed on a light table with the artwork under it.
The light solidifies the chemicals around the design, and where the light failed to pass through, the chemical breaks down. The screen is then rinsed out and what is left is the area where the light hit.
The shirt is placed on a platen and each screen swings around over the top of the shirt. The screen is then brought down and placed on top of the shirt. A squeegee is then pulled over that screen’s ink colour which pushes the ink onto the shirt fabric. That screen is then lifted, carefully off of the shirt (If the shirt moves or is stretched, the next colour will be out of registration).
The platen with the shirt is then moved under a flash unit where it dries. Upon curing, the shirt platen is brought back and the next colour screen is swung over the top of it. When screen printing, one colour at a time is applied and therefore the cost will increase with each additional colour applied.
Likewise a separate screen is required for each colour, and hence, screen charges may be uneconomical if only a small quantity of clothing is required.
Screen printed garments wash well, and should not be confused with heat transfer paper which does not look as good or last so well. Many t-shirt printing shops use this cheaper method rather than screen printing.
PROS– affordable, great for large designs
CONS – not economical for small orders requiring more than one colour design.
When you place an order for screen printed clothing there are two charges:
The first is a setup charge which covers the cost of having the design made into a screen. This charge is ‘one off’ as the screen is stored for future use. Therefore, if you wanted to place another order in the future with the same design there would be no setup charge.
Screen print setup is charged at £20 per screen (ex VAT). One screen is required for each different design, and different screens are required for each colour printed, and each different location of printing. For example, a one colour front and back print requires two screens if the design on the front is different to the design on the back.
Per Screen/Per Colour
The second charge is a ‘per screen’ charge which applies to each item that is customised. This charge basically covers the cost of labour, materials and our other manufacturing overheads.
The per screen charge is directly based on the number of items to be printed with the same design and applies to each screen
Embroidery is the process of sewing a digitised design onto garments.
Once we have your logo or design digitised in an embroidery software format, it can be loaded into our computerised embroidery machines for sewing.
Each product that comes off one of our machines is individually checked for compliance with our quality standards. Our goal is to ensure that your products are representative of our highest quality service every time. Embroidery creates an impression of quality & style. Excellent for polos, jackets, caps, knitwear etc. Embroidery will normally outlast any garment onto which it is applied. Recent advances in embroidery software mean that design /set up costs can be low and the new generation of embroidery machines run quickly with any number of colours being applied in a single operation. However large designs can be time consuming to produce & so costs can increase significantly relative to the size.
PROS – long lasting, looks expensive, full colour at no extra cost.
CONS – more expensive than printing, especially for large designs & not always suitable for very light materials.
When you place an order for embroidered clothing there are two charges (aside from the garment):
Embroidery Setup (aka Digitising or Origination):
The first is an embroidery setup charge which covers the cost of having the design digitised and a jacquard created. This is a one off charge as once we have done this your design is stored and hence if you place an order in the future there will be no need to pay another setup charge. Embroidery setup is normally charged at £10 per 1000 stitches (ex VAT). An average company or club logo is between 5/10k stitches.
Embroidery Per item:
The second embroidery charge is a ‘per item’ charge which applies to each item that is customised. This charge basically covers the cost of labour, materials and our other manufacturing overheads. The per item charge is directly based on the number of items to be embroidered with the same logo and the number of stitches.