10 Essential Screen Printing Tips For Beginners | Custom Embroidery - Screen Printing & Promotional Products Oregon

10 Essential Screen Printing Tips For Beginners

Despite being a centuries-old printing method, screen printing in Portland is still a popular method of printing. A custom stencil is used to apply a different layer of color each time until the desired design is achieved.

Being a cost-effective and straightforward method, screen printing is gaining immense popularity among the masses, especially those who love DIYs. Companies and organizations are also following in their footsteps.

Custom apparels are in vogue, and t-shirt trends are favoring screen printing more than ever.

Looking at the rising popularity, one can quickly gauge that getting into screen printing in Portland, Or, is worth it.

But! Starting something new is always a challenging task. Only after you get into a business, you realize that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

So if you’re beginning to delve into this absorbing world of prints, stencils, and colors, this post has all the dos and don’ts of screen printing that you need to master the art. 


1. Go simple or go home

While the go big or go home rule holds true for the rest of the matters, the opposite holds true when it comes to screen printing. Almost everyone who loves to print has that one design that got them to get into screen printing. But almost always, this design turns out to be not-too-print-friendly for beginners. The general rule is to avoid prints that have a ton of lines or detail. Instead, try something that has a larger print surface. Once you’ve done this, you can progress to more refined lines when you’re more confident.


2. Choose your garments carefully

Advancements in screen printing have given us the privilege of printing t-shirts with a finesse that was previously impossible to attain even 5-10 years ago. However, you should avoid working with some garments as they do not work well with detail since they are not smooth like standard t-shirts. These garments include:

  • Ribbed Garments
  • Canvas Material (Aprons, Bags, etc.)
  • Burnout Tees
  • Pique Polos


3. Some colors are superior to others 

Color discharge is an essential aspect of screen printing, and not every color garment discharges well. Due to the amount of dye used to make the shirts bright and vibrant, the following shirts do not work well when using discharge ink. Kelly Green, Red, Royal Blue, Lapis, Cobalt, Purple, Forest, Teal, and Turquoise. So if you plan to print on these shirt colors, be prepared that lighter colors like white and yellow will be influenced by the shirt color remaining underneath. Brands and Logos offers a comprehensive Pantone color match before working on your project if you’re seeking quality custom screen printing in Portland, Oregon.

4. Never forget to test print

Most beginners, and at times some pros too, do not realize the importance of this seemingly simple step. It helps you save yourself extra time and energy and check if the print turns out as you expect it to be. Even if you’ve been printing for some time, it’s always better to do a test print using some screenprinting test plans before committing to something. 

Stretch your screen

Keep your screen taut. If you want your print to come out perfectly, never forget to stretch extremely tight across your frame.


5. Paintbrushes can help you refine 

Touch up with a paintbrush if your design is perfect except for one spot that didn’t print well; never hesitate to use a fine tip paintbrush to touch up. Paintbrushes are life savers when it comes to minute touch-ups.


6. Learn about curing

After being screen printed onto your desired material, the ink needs time to settle or “cure.” Although it is popularly believed that different settings or higher temperatures help you speed up the curing process, the truth is that waiting it out is the only way out.


7. Pressure and some strokes are your best friends

The type of pressure applied when screen printing depends on a few factors: the thickness of the ink, the material’s color, style, and consistency, and the complexity of your art design.

The fewer the strokes, the high-quality the screen-printed image. Aim for consistent, good pressure while also using as few strokes as possible


8. Faux appliqué 

“The beauty of screen print in the dimensionality, and those 3-D effects just aren’t currently possible with direct-to-garment printing.”

Some screen print designs legit look like appliqué, but actually, they’re not. You need to get the stitches right to make them look realistic.

Get the look of leather

Use Piggybacking on printed appliqué, and create the effect of a leather patch or appliqué using a combo of suede, puff, and high-density ink that mimics leather’s creased look and feel.


9. Take notes

We all hate taking notes, don’t we? But notes are your best ally if you don’t want to rely on remembering everything, even when you have a great memory. Make notes. Write down exposure times, inks used, mesh counts, what worked – what didn’t, everything! You will thank us later.


10. Cleaning Your Screen

Clean your screens. Use either a handheld showerhead, sink sprayer, or pressure washer; all you need is water and pressure.

That’s it!


Screen printing is a craft that needs to be learned. There’s a lot of variables, and that leaves room for errors and mistakes. But as long as you follow the above tips, you will find it a fun activity that you will enjoy getting involved in.


Looking for Custom Screen Printing in Salem, Oregon?


Brands and Logos is a custom apparel company committed to providing you with the best results possible. If you are looking for custom screen printing in Salem, Oregon, visit us at https://www.brandsandlogos.net/ or call us at 971-283-6607. We’ll gladly assist you in guiding and designing your product so that it can be printed in the best possible way.