Tuesday, November 10, 2009

T Shirt Printing Equipment Types

T shirt screen printing is a traditional way of applying a t shirt design on the fabric. It used to be called silk screening because silk was used as a filtering mesh for distributing the ink evenly on the fabric. As you may have deduced, the process originated from China where silk was in abundance.
However, the practicality of using silk each time a t shirt design is printed is not viable in modern times. To save on production costs, manufacturers have started creating t shirt screen printing meshes from polymer. The same rubber squeegee is needed for pushing the ink through the screen.
Technological advances, howeve
r, have made the t shirt printing process faster with large machines that can print more than one t shirt simultaneously. There are also modified printers that can now print the t shirt’s design directly into the fabric. There are more t shirt screen printing equipment available and these will be discussed in this article.

Old School T Shirt Screen Printing

The traditional t shirt screen printing mesh is made with fine polymer threads twined together, forming a high resolution screen that stretches tightly from end to end inside a wood frame. The size of the frame depends on the size of the t shirts, and the size of the screen’s holes will determine the how much ink coverage it can filter.

The number of holes per square inch is referred to as screen resolution, much like the number of pixels occupying per square centime of a computer screen. The resolution of a t shirt screen printing mesh will also determine what type of ink can be used and for which type of design it should be used.

A mesh count of 160 to 280 means it has a hundred sixty or more holes per square inch. This type of mesh can use multi-print standard opacity ink. Those t shirt printing screens with mesh counts of 230 to 305 can use process colors.

With new formulations of ink types available in the market, the tools used in t shirt screen printing will have to be adjusted in their ability to handle the job, especially with their durability against the strong chemicals used in t shirt printing.

One of these tools is the rubber squeegee, whose rubber is manufactured to outlast the repeated exposure to different ink types. The rubber should not crumble from wear and tear and should stay firm despite repeated pushing and pulling motions.

Upgrading The T Shirt Screen Printing Process

The traditional screen printing process can be slow going, and when there is a bulk order for printed t shirts, that method is not the right one to use. Lucky for t shirt printing companies, t shirt screen printing machines were invented to help t shirt printing professionals to work faster and earn more.

T shirt screen printing machines have two types: manual and automatic. Manual t shirt printing machines need human labor to apply the ink to the fabric and to turn the rotary machine from one t shirt to another. They are classified based on the number of colors they can print at the same time, namely, Four Color, Six Color, and Ten Color.

Automatic t shirt printing machines, on the other hand, uses robotic parts to push the squeegee and turn the machine to pass the screens from one t shirt to another. The application of the ink is controlled, which avoids bleeding and saves ink in t shirt printing.


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