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  • Writer's pictureNick Anscombe

5 Common Screen Printing Errors and How to Avoid Them

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

Screen printing is a popular technique used to create high-quality designs on various types of materials, including t-shirts, tote bags, and other apparel. While screen printing is a relatively simple process, there are a number of common mistakes that can occur. These mistakes can result in subpar prints that are unappealing and unprofessional-looking. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common screen printing mistakes and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Incorrectly Preparing the Screen

One of the most common screen printing mistakes is not properly preparing the screen before printing. This can lead to poor-quality prints that are uneven or blurry. To avoid this, you need to ensure that the screen is properly cleaned and dried before use. You should also make sure that the screen is properly tensioned, as this can affect the quality of the print.

Poor Quality Ink

Another common mistake is using poor-quality ink. The ink you use can make a big difference in the final outcome of your print. Low-quality ink can lead to bleeding, smudging, or fading over time. You should always use high-quality ink that is specifically designed for screen printing. This will ensure that your prints look sharp and vibrant for a long time.

Incorrect Placement

Placement is critical when it comes to screen printing. Incorrect placement can result in a design that is off-centre, crooked, or too high or low on the garment. Before you start printing, make sure to carefully measure and mark the placement of the design on the garment. This will help ensure that your prints are correctly centred and aligned.

Inconsistent Pressure

Inconsistent pressure is another common mistake that can affect the quality of your prints. Uneven pressure can result in ink that is too thick or thin in certain areas, leading to a design that is uneven or blotchy. To avoid this, you should make sure that your printing press is calibrated correctly and that you apply consistent pressure when printing.

Not Using a Test Print

Finally, failing to use a test print is another common mistake that can lead to subpar prints. A test print allows you to make adjustments to the design and settings before printing on the actual garment. Without a test print, you risk ruining the garment with a flawed design or misaligned placement.

In conclusion, screen printing is a great way to create high-quality designs on various materials, but there are a number of common mistakes that can occur. By properly preparing the screen, using high-quality ink, carefully placing the design, applying consistent pressure, and using a test print, you can avoid these mistakes and create professional-looking prints that are sure to impress.

Of course, the final product will largely depend on the expertise of the printer...

Back & Forth Prints are a Dorset-based custom skateboard and screen printer. We work with a vast portfolio of global and local brands, printing professional standard skateboards, garments and more for some of the world's most recognised companies and professional skateboarders.

If you want to learn more about our printing services or have any questions, get in touch here.


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