Screen Printing Fundamental on T-shirts

“Screen Printing on t-shirts is based on pushing ink on the t-shirt, laying underneath the silkscreen through created t-shirt stencil design on the silk mesh.

Underneath silk mesh, the t-shirt receives a thick layer of ink on the intended area, in the form of a design stencil-created.

How does screen printing work on t-shirts?

Usually, there are many ways to print designs on t-shirts such as Sublimation/DTG printing/Screen Printing/Heat Transfer, etc.

Screen printing on the t-shirt is the cheapest and most complicated rather than other t-shirt printing applications. I am going to dive into the best tips for screen printing on t-shirts method.

In screen, printing applications need a separate silk mesh for separate colors and only one color can be printed at a time. So it works better for 1-2 color t-shirt designs.

This is the oldest printing method on the earth. There are a few basic steps needed to know to print the best quality screen printing t-shirts.

There are three 2 main types of custom t-shirt screen printing applications

  • Multicolour Screen Printing -Rotary Printing Machine
  • Single Color Screen Printing Machine-Flat Printing Machine

Both types of printing machines concept are similar but have little difference as rotary screen printing is done for multicolor design for screen printing and flat-screen printing machine for single color printing. Digital printing on t-shirts, does not require a silk mesh, and all the t-shirt design colors are printed in a single time.

Screen Printing on T-shirt Raw Materials

  1. Silk Screen (110 polyester mesh)
  2. Wooden /Aluminium Frame
  3. Light-Sensitive Photo Emulsion & Emluson Coater
  4. Silk Screen Ink
  5. Ink Diluter
  6. Squeeze (Polyurethane Blade)
  7. Computer and Laser Printer
  8. Butter Paper Print Enhancer
  9. Exposer Unit
  10. Silk Screen Dryer
  11. Film Positive Making Machine
  12. Running Water
  13. Plain t-shirt Stock
  14. Dark Room

1. Create a Wood or Aluminum Frame

You need to make a wooden frame out of 2″x2″ thickness and 18″x24 is ideal for a t-shirt and stretch over the frame a 110 polyester fabric across the frame. Get it tight from all edges to make a wrinkle-free, and trim out the excessing cloth from the frame border. This is the First Step of screen printing t-shirts.

2. T-shirt Design & Film Making (Positive)

The Second Step of screen printing on the t-shirt is creating a design in a vector form in the computer and getting a dense black & out printout. You can use a laserjet printer or positive film-making machine to produce a positive film for optimum quality printing.

3. Transfering a T-shirt Design onto Frame (Silk Mesh)

It is a Third Step that is very crucial and technical, you just need to coat entire the silk mesh with a Light-Sensitive Photo Emulsion with the help of an emulsion coater from both sides (in & out silk). Keep it in a dark room horizontally and let it dry. You can use a fan to make it dry fast.

Place a t-shirt design positive over the coated emulsion make sure the positive face should be touching silk mesh and place a transparent substrate over it to fix the positive placement. Put it under the Light Exposure Unit for a specific time frame of -100-150 seconds depending on the light intensity and weather as well.

4. Applying Stream of Lukewater Onto Silk Mesh (Frame)

This is the fourth step to applying a luke water stream on the frame. You will see the area covered with the t-shirt design start washing away slowly and make sure to apply water pressure till the emulsion is properly washed away from the design finally you will find the rest area is blocked with emulsion. Keep the frame t-shirt design upside and horizontal let it dry. Awesome!

Your screen printing on the t-shirt design is ready to print.

T-shirt Design Printing of Blank T-shirt

This is the last and final process of screen printing on the t-shirt, Fix your screen printing frame from the one side corner to the flat table and hold it with the clamp so that it can move up & down through the axis clamp.

Screen Print Design onto Fabric

  • Creating a design want to get screen printing on the t-shirt is the first step with computer & design software.
  • Get a separate color black & out printout on the transparent or butter paper
  • Make a Silk Screen Frame of wooden materials by stretching out silk screen cloth over the frame and gluing on tighten.
  • Make a coating of emulsion entire the

What is screen printing on t-shirts?

Screen printing is a type of printing term used for various products likewise paper, cardboard, plastics, t-shirts, and many more, etc. Screen Printing is a traditional printing application & it started first-time in China Year AD 960. Due to the low investment and ability to print on a lot of surfaces, it was developed commercially worldwide today.
Screen printing on t-shirt relay computer and laser printer components. It is a very cost-effective printing method for bulk t-shirt printing production.


I (Suresh Kumar) have over 24 years of experience designing, printing, advertising, and printing technology space. During this period I have worked with lots of trusted printing machine brands. Experienced a variety of ink, print media, and post-press equipment .brand. I am fond of grabbing high technology and fast printing equipment even traditional and digital printing machines. Our continuous practice in offline print shops, online printing stores, the latest printing technologies, and learning curiosity made my in-depth knowledge of the printing industry.

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