Screen printing tips to save you time and money
1. Split the print process
Decrease your print time by specializing job efforts. Have one person focus on loading shirts while another person prints. This works best with a two or more station press, with each person standing in front of adjacent platens and working in sync.
2. Use platen paper
Save effort on cleanup by using platen paper (also called pallet tape). The paper protects your platens from excessive heat, ink splatters, spray adhesive, and lint buildup. When the platens start to get “fuzzy”, just peel off the paper and throw it away!
3. Make an online order form
Make it easier and faster for customers to get pricing and order from you. Make an online form that outlines your pricing structure and allows customers to order through your website. You will not only save energy by not having to write up as many custom quotes, but you will capture more business this way.
4. Fix blemished films
Fix small mistakes on your films with an opaque pen. Sometimes films don’t come out perfectly opaque or an edge gets cropped, instead of wasting more film and ink on a re-print, use a sharpie or opaque pen to draw in the adjustments. As long as you can’t see light shining through it when you hold it up to a light source, it will burn just fine.
5. Cover small imperfections
Save money on screens by fixing those as well. Instead of burning new screens when you find small mistakes, cover pin-holes with tape and use a block-out pen to fix any washed out details or edges.
6. Combine cleaning steps
Waste less time cleaning and reclaiming screens by using combination chemicals. Many parts of the process can be made more efficient by using products that cover more than one cleaning step at once. Good examples of this would be a de-haze/de-ghost chemical, or a de-greasing/de-hazing chemical. Some dip-tank chemicals degrade both emulsion and ink at once, as well. You’ll save time and elbow grease both!
7. Save films from past jobs
Instead of throwing your films away once they have been burned, save them. Many customers return for repeat orders and often they want the same designs re-printed. File them flat by date and customer name for easy retrieval. You can re-burn old designs on your screens quickly, saving you money and time.
8. Set a re-print time period
Another way to save time and money on orders is set up a re-print window of time for each order. Save screens for each job for a week and let the customer know they can come back for re-prints minus the screen set up fee. Most customers want re-prints anyway and this will help you to save a lot of time on re-burning screens when they re-order.
9. Become a folding pro
Folding printed shirts takes a lot of time, so, become a pro! Master the Japanese t-shirt folding technique or get a flip-fold to decrease the amount of time spent on non-money making chores.