Methods of Decoration
Apparel is a big investment and we just want to make sure you are educated on the different ways to decorate!
Screen Printing - Serigraphy is a print technique that is also known as screen-printing or silkscreening. It is a stencil technique that uses a mesh fabric stretched tight on a support frame. In most shops, there will be a screen charge/set up charge because each color of the design requires a different screen created by affixing a stencil to the screen and "burning" the image into the screen. (Building the the stencil is the most expensive part of the process, so fewer colors in your design also means a lower price.) Ink is then rolled over the screen and slips through the screen for the final outcome which results in a vibrant design. It is recommended that designs that require a high level of boldness (e.g. when printed on dark apparel) be printed through screen printing. When placing bulk orders screen printing is your most cost effective option.
Four Color Process – This process is a type of screen printing where we use yellow, magenta, cyan and black to create almost any color imaginable. The effect would be like a full color photograph. We only offer this solution on light colored garments, preferably white and set up fees for this process run higher than standard screen printing.
Digital Decorating: Sublimation – Dye sublimation is the process of turning a water-based dye ink into a gas that bonds with polyester fabric or other polymers. This will allow us to print vibrant graphics that never wash off. This affords us the ability to do small quantity runs but does have its own drawbacks. For apparel, the garment must be at least 65% polyester to hold the dye. At 65% polyester you will see a more distressed look. If you go 100% polyester you will get amazing colors! Another issue is that the look you get will depend on the color you are printing on. Dye Sublimation can not print white. If you need white in your design you will have to sublimate on to a transfer and apply that to your garment which does allow you to decorate many different garments but then it also becomes a transfer.
DTG printing – also known as Direct to Garment printing. Do your research on this process as the image will fade after repeated washings. The technology has improved over the last decade but is still not as long lasting as dye sublimation or screen printing is. It does allow you to do the many colors as you are printing “pictures” on to a shirt after treating the shirt with chemicals. Street Graphex, INC. has never invested in this process as it just isn’t for long term use of the apparel and we like to see our products around for many years!
DTF printing – Direct to Film printing. This is completely different from DTG and screen printing and is something we are currently researching and will begin testing soon. This process is relatively new, allows printing of unlimited colors but we will do our testing here to make sure it holds up to long term use before we start offering to customers.
Screen Print Transfers - These transfers are plastisol ink designs that are printed on a unique heat transfer paper then transferred onto a garment using a heat press. These transfers, when applied properly work great for certain applications. Smaller runs with multiple image sizes needed, numbers, and hard to print substrates are options for screen print transfers. Screen print transfers can be difficult to use, hard to get a consistant result, are prone to fail if you are not using a high quality press and can be expensive. Street Graphex, INC has printed their own transfers will use screen print transfers on some jobs.
Transfers - Traditional Transfers are sheets of transfer material laid on top of the garment and heat is pressed to apply patterns or pictures to the garment.
Apparel is a big investment and we
just want to make sure you are educated on the different ways to decorate!