Best Screen Printing in San Diego | The Basics of LLP 3 in Screen Printing

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Screen Printing – The Screens

It’s time to get down and dirty and talk about the grand daddy subject in our last and final 3 part series of Long Lasting Prints. The San Diego Screen Printing industry is an interesting market to watch, because there are so many skill levels and print shops in our city. There’s the small guys, who work out of their home and are just picking up a squeegee to see what it’s all about and then there’s the big boys who have been in business for years who run massive automatic machinery. So how do you know what’s right for you? What IS screen printing and how do you identify the good vs the bad? We’ll go over a bit of that in this article and later start into a new series focused on the specifics of screen printing in the Best Screen Printing in San Diego industry.

The Basics

Screen printing is the act of applying ink to a t-shirt using a screen. That’s the basic foundation. Maybe you’ve heard the term “silk screening”, which is referring to the day when silk was actually used to create screens. That’s not common anymore. Anyway, in the Best Screen Printing in San Diego industry, most printers use polyester screens, but all this info isn’t helping you discover what a screen is, so let’s skip the mumbo jumbo and get right to it.

A screen is basically a frame (can be wooden, or metal) that has tightly woven mesh that is glued over one side of the frame. Imagine a window screen, except with a thicker frame. The “mesh” is what we call the screen in the printing world. The mesh is a strong material that’s made up of lots of string-like material going horizontal and vertical. (Just like a window screen) The difference between a window screen, and a screen printing screen (besides what the “mesh” is made of and the sturdiness of the frame), is the space between the strings varies. This is what we call our LPI (Lines Per Inch). Our LPI dictates how much ink can get through the screen, and what kind of detail we can create in our print. So as you’re browsing the San Diego Screen Printing industry, you might ask the question, “What type of frame do you use in the printing process?”

At BreakOut, we aim to purchase and maintain the best quality screens possible. Our mesh is applied tightly to the frame, to maintain quality assurance and prints. We use metal frames (not wooden) to help maintain the structure of the frame. Wooden frames often warp and breakdown after much use. We use industry specific, eco-friendly chemicals to clean and maintain our screens, thus giving us years of use.

Our next article will focus on San Diego Screen Printing emulsions and the process used to create screens, and how they’re actually used to print on shirts. If you ever have questions about the printing process, how your shirts are made, or what type of printing is best for you, please call us! 858-513-1799 or visit online and send us an email. www.BreakOut.CO