If you're thinking about starting a t-shirt screen printing business, one of the first things you need to consider is the equipment you'll need. Screen printing is a popular method for printing high-quality designs on t-shirts, and it requires a few key pieces of equipment to get started.
The first piece of equipment you'll need is a screen printing press. A screen printing press is a machine that holds the screen in place while you apply the ink to the t-shirt. Different types of screen printing presses are available, but most basic models have a frame, a printing board, and a hinge mechanism. The printing board is used to hold the t-shirt in place while the ink is applied.
Next, you'll need screens. Screens are made of a mesh material that allows the ink to pass through onto the t-shirt. Aluminum screen printing screens have greater longevity than wooden frames. Screens can be created using a vinyl cutter or can be burned using emulsion and an exposure unit. Check out this blog to learn more about the process of creating screens.
You'll also need ink. Screen printing ink is specially formulated to adhere to the fabric and produce a high-quality, long-lasting print. Different types of ink are available, including plastisol ink, water-based ink, and discharge ink. Each type of ink has its own unique characteristics, so it's important to choose the right ink for your needs.
Other equipment you’ll need will help cure the ink so it can be safely worn. A heat press, flash dryer, and conveyor dryer all accomplish this task. For water-based ink, invest in a forced-air dryer, or add Warp Drive into your ink before printing. The Warp Drive will chemically cure the ink over 48 hours.
Starting a t-shirt screen printing business can be a fun and rewarding venture, but it's important to have the right equipment to get started. A screen printing press, screens, ink, squeegee, and drying rack are the basic equipment you'll need to get started, and additional equipment like a flash dryer may be necessary depending on your needs. With the right equipment and a little practice, you'll be well on your way to producing high-quality, custom t-shirts for your customers.