On February 20, 2011, my half of the DIGM 3350 class visited ADPOWER at 2:30 pm. I got lost but was only 3 minutes late, went in a circle about three times. I missed our tour guide’s name and his affiliation with the organization. I am pretty sure he is a manager or owner of this screen print shop. ADPOWER has been in business over 15 years and 80% of their sales are return clients. That’s impressive. He guided us through the process of screen printing.
The first step is to sell the job. The client will need art work and a product to print it on, usually a T-shirt. The client can provide their own art work or the in-house Art department can take an idea and create an image with that idea. No matter where the art work comes from, if it has more than one color, a transparency and a screen is needed for each color.
We went out to the shop and our guide showed us the order forms on the wall waiting to be processed. He said that this form follows the job until completion. Next we went into the screen room. This is where the coated screen waiting on a new job. These screens are coated with emulsion. The screen is then exposed to a bright light. This light burns out the part of the screen that you don’t want. The screen then hardens and the unwanted film is washed away. I think was interesting that we got to see how to fix a hole in the screen. TAPE IT.
With ready screens, the first thing to be done is registration is. This is done with a T-square each time a new color is introduced. When all the colors are printed, the job is checked against the order form. The job is then broken down and sent out to the customer.
After the job, the screens go into “quarantined” where cleaned. There are two options at this point: 1) Save the screen because the client knows they will reprint or 2) The screens are stripped of the emulsion. If there ghosting or a haze of the last job, the screens must be power-washed. The screens are coated with emulsion for the next job.
I would choose to do business with the ADPOWER because they know their stuff. They have been doing screen printing for a long time and it shows. I like their business model and would be confident I would receive a quality product.
- Behind the scenes: How I make t-shirts (alfitudedesign.com)