Screen printing units have improved the design printing industry over the years. That explains why you clicked this article, searching for a screen printing machine. The best screen printing machine is not that hard to find. However, you will have to pay attention to some features before you make your purchase.
Screen printing machines vary in lifespan, durability, versatility, color stations, size, weight, and price. In order to help you choose the right printing machine for you, I have reviewed 15 best-selling machines in the market. So, without further due, let’s dive into my reviews and select the most suitable unit for you.
What is Screen Printing Machine?
A screen printing machine is a unit that people use to transfer logos, graphics and characters to t-shirts, placemats, hats, mousepads, ceramic tiles, coasters, ID badges, and so on. The interesting thing about a screen printing process is that it is known as silk screening. These machines are ideal for larger designs.
Also, you can use screen printing machines for larger customers’ orders. Using a screen printing machine ensures long-lasting printed items. However, a screen printing device is nothing similar to a heat transfer machine. Heat transfer machines deliver poor quality imprints. They do not last as long as printed items.
You may be wondering how a screen printer works. Well, it operated by adding thick ink on top of your t-shirts. A screen printing machine applies one color at a time, so for each different color in your imprint, you will need an extra screen. However, today’s machines can meet the needs of every motivated user.
No matter if you are someone who leads a big enterprise or owns a small home-based business, you can find a screen printing machine that meets your standards and requirements. If you are a beginner who is eager to open a small shop, I suggest that you pick a simple, affordable unit that provides decent results.
However, if you want to develop a large printing business, I recommend that you choose a commercial, heavy-duty and industrial-grade screen printing unit that offers professional-looking results every time.
How Much Screen Printing Machine?
If you want to open a printing business, I suggest that you set aside some decent budget for purchasing a screen printing machine. They usually cost around $10,000 or less. However, you can also find a good second-hand screen printing machine that will cost you less if ordering a first-hand is too much for you.
Keep in mind that screen printers vary in size, weight, features, and performance. Meaning, their price varies too. I kindly suggest that you buy the best screen printing machine that you can afford instead of investing less in a low-quality unit. I have an amazing tip that you can use when buying a screen-printer.
If you are on a budget, make a list of all the screen printing machines that fall within your budget. After, go through each model and compare their features. Highlight the ones that have the best features that meet your needs. You can search customer reviews on the unit that you like the best before you order.
What Materials Do You Need for Screen Printing?
If you want to screen print your own garments at the comfort of your home but do not know where to start, do not worry. I am here to help. Although it sounds intimidating, screen printing t-shirts is actually super fun and easy to learn. The best part? All the materials you need for the process do not cost much.
First, you need to invest in a high-quality screen printing machine. Second, you need to gather the main materials for screen printing including screen printing ink, photosensitive emulsion and activator, screen frame (you can make your own or buy one at nearby shops), squeegee, latex gloves, black fabric, paper and plastic, and t-shirts to print. Please watch this tutorial to learn how to get started in screen printing.
Where to Buy Screen Printing Machine?
Not interested in online shopping? If you want to check the prices in your local store, all you have to do is write something like “screen printing machine near me” in your browser. It is better to order a screen printing machine online because you have more options to choose from, however, it is your call after all.
If not, write down the names and addresses of local stores and visit when you have time. I am sure that you will find something that will meet your needs. And remember, buy the best screen printing machine that you can afford. A high-quality screen printing machine is not supposed to break your bank account.
Which Are The Best Screen Printing Machine 2020?
In order to help you select the best screen printing machine for you, I have highlighted the hottest picks.
- Best Overall: Yudu Personal Screen Printer Machine
“Built-in digital timer, user manual included, user-friendly control panel, reasonably-priced machine.”
- Runner up: VEVOR 4 Color 4 Station Screen Printing Machine
“Space saver, convenient for transport, complete metal structure with stainless steel parts, easy to use.”
- Best for Small Business: Mophorn 1 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Machine
“You can use four screen plates, double-spring devices that are adjustable, durable, low-maintenance.”
- Best Quality: Merchmakr Screen Printing Machine
“Compact, portable, user-friendly, made of sturdy industrial steel, you can change screens super fast.”
- Best with Micro-Registration: TECHTONGDA Screen Printing Machine
“6 color 6 stations screen press pallet and screen rotate independently, perfect for multi-color printing.”
- Best Manual: Double Rotary Screen Printing Press Machine
“Space-saver, convenient for transport, complete metal construction, micro-registration, user-friendly.”
- Best Commercial: Silk Screen Printing Machine
“Perfect for a small business, premium plate washing tank, assembling instructions, durable space saver.
- Best For Shirts: BestEquip Screen Printing Machine
“Ideal for printing onto various materials, a balanced unit with supporting device, stable, easy to use.”
- Best For Beginners: Mophorn Screen Printing Machine
“double-spring devices that are adjustable, metal construction, easy to clean, durable, affordable.”
- Best Budget: INTBUYING Silk Screen Printing Machine
“User-friendly, affordable, easy to dismantle the pallet, proper intensity, excellent t-shirt printing effect.”
15 Best Screen Printing Machines Comparison Table 2020
Buying a decent screen printing machine may seem hard for beginners who do not know where to look. However, I am here to help. I will provide you the proper information about the latest trends, reviews by customers that will help you determine if a machine is good or bad and things that you need to consider.
I sincerely hope that my comparison chart contains all the necessary features you need to compare and determine if a screen printing machine is right for you or not. Also, make sure to check their pros & cons and overall performance before you make your final decision. However, first, let’s compare them briefly.
|Yudu Personal Screen Printer Machine – Best Overall||32.7 x 11.1 x 21.9||31.7 pounds||Personal silk-screening system for home décor, apparel and so on, user-friendly control panel, instructional DVD and user manual included||Limited warranty|
|VEVOR 4 Color 4 Station Screen Printing Machine – Runner Up||30.5 x 24 x 20.5||95.5 pounds||Saves space and convenient for transport, full metal structure with parts of stainless steel, easy to clean, it works with different materials||Not specified|
|Mophorn 1 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Machine – Best Screen Printing Machine for Small Business||23.6 x 23.2 x 11.4||46 pounds||Suitable for printing onto a t-shirt, non-woven pillowcase, bags, and more, stable, balanced machine with platen layer that can rotate independently||Limited lifetime warranty|
|SHZOND 1 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Machine||25 x 20.8 x 12.6||32.6 pounds||Suitable for individual shop and small printing businesses, it works with many materials, screen clamp can be moved up and down, the pallet is removable||25-year limited warranty|
|Merchmakr All-in-One Screen Printing kit – Best Quality Screen Printing Machine||23 x 19 x 17||43 pounds||Compact screen printing machine, easy to use, special clamp designed in order to allow you to change out screens fast, sturdy, made of sturdy industrial steel||Not specified|
|Simple Single 1 Color 1 Station T-shirt Silk Screen Printing Machine – Screen Printing Machine for Bags||28 x 21.7 x 7.3||28.1 pounds||Simple, practical, save place, compact and convenient for transport, complete metal construction, screen clamp can be moved up and down, affordable, easy to use||Not specified|
|TECHTONGDA 6 Color 6 Station Double Wheel Screen Printing Machine – Screen Printing Machine with Micro-Registration||Not specified||340 pounds||Six color six-station screen press, the screen, and pallet rotate independently, Ideal for multi-color printing, material loading, and unloading, super-fast results||2-year warranty|
|Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Colors Silk Screen Printing Press Machine – Best Manual Screen Printing Press||84 x 84 x 66||335 pounds||Double-spring devices that are adjustable save space and can be easily moved around, screen clamp can be moved up and down, all-metal construction, micro-registration||Not specified|
|Maxwolf 4 Color 1 Station Silk Screen Printing Machine||24 x 23 x 11||45 pounds||Four color one station screen press which saves space and can be easily moved, full-metal construction, easy to clean, it works with different materials, affordable||Not specified|
|DIY PRINT SHOP Classic Table Top Screen Printing Kit – Screen Printing Machine for Home Use||20.5 x 16.5 x 7.5||10.41 pounds||Full-supply kit, DIY hinges with screws, 10’’ squeegee, wood 16x20 screen, green galaxy pitch-black kit, cheap, easy to use||Limited lifetime warranty|
|Silk Screen Printing Machine 4 Color 4 Station – Screen Printing Machine Commercial Use||Not specified||399 pounds||Four color four-station, premium plate washing tank, assembling video instruction, perfect for small printing shop or individual shop, easy operation, durable, saves space||Not specified|
|Mophorn 4 Color 1 Station Silk Screen Printing Machine – Best Screen Printing Machine for Beginners||23.8 x 23.1 x 11.7||53 pounds||Double-spring devices that are adjustable, complete metal construction, suitable for clothing and other print printing substrates, easy to clean and durable, electronic spraying and electroplating||Limited lifetime warranty|
|Full Set 4-2 Color Screen Printing Kit B – Screen Printing Machine with Dryer||Not specified||530 pounds||1800W flash dryer, micro-adjust, super versatile, perfect for small printing shop or individual shop, a good choice for colorful printing, screen drying cabinet, four colors printing materials kit||Not specified|
|BestEquip 2 Station 4 Color Screen Printing for T-Shirt – Best Screen Printing Machine for Shirts||30 x 23.5 x 17||65.6 pounds||Perfect for printing onto a pillowcase, t-shirt, non-woven bags, bag, and so on, platen layer rotates independently, easy to use with higher efficiency, stable, balanced machine with supporting device||Not specified|
|INTBUYING Silk Screen Printing Press 1 Color T-Shirt Press – Best Budget||24 x 20.3 x 7.2||28.7 pounds||Adjustable screen frame clamp, easy to use, guarantees proper intensity, easy to dismantle the pallet, excellent t-shirt printing effect, affordable||Not specified|
Best Screen Printing Machine 2020
I kindly suggest that you go over every product’s pros and cons and overall description before you select THE ONE. I have highlighted their advantages and disadvantages to help you find a unit that meets your needs and requirements. So, without further due, let’s jump into the most detailed reviews for this year.
Yudu Personal Screen Printer Machine
(Best Screen Printing Machine All-in-One)
If you want to express your creativity and prove to the world how truly talented you are, Yudu Personal Screen Printer Machine has your back. Instead of settling for what other people wear or look for the one t-shirt that expresses your true personality, buy this machine and add your personal touch to your shirts.
You can use this machine with an ink-jet printer and computer to create your own designs. You can also use it for home décor, schoolwork, posters, cards, art prints and so on. It is a revolutionary personal unit that will help you express yourself no matter where you are. It is just perfect for rebels with a wild spirit.
If you make an order, you will get a printing machine, squeegee, mesh screen, adult t-shirt platen, 2 oz. bottle of black ink, blank ink-jet transparency, and platen adhesive sheet. If you have no experience with screen printing machines, do not worry because instructional DVD and a user manual are also included.
- Reasonably priced
- Comes with a complete set of accessories
- Screen printing machine for wedding cards
- Best screen printing machine to buy in 2019
- Screen printing machine for fabric and paper
- You can start printing right away without major settings
- Easy to use for beginners
- Built-in digital timer
- Expensive accessories
- The drying machine takes too long to complete the job
- Sometimes accessories not working well
- Unclear instruction manual
VEVOR 4 Color 4 Station Screen Printing Machine
Vevor is one of the most popular brands on the market that produces quality machines and their 4 color 1 station is one of them. It can simultaneously install 4 screen plates. This baby is ideal for clothing such as shirts, plastic, metal, paper, woven fabric, circuit board, ceramic tile, glass, wood, leather and more.
It has a removable pallet, so you can print many images at once. Place the substrates on the pallet, set up the screen to a good position and then add the first image printing. After, adjust the pallet to a good position for adding another design printing by rotating it (forward, backward, left, right, up and down).
I personally recommend this unit because of the self-adjusting system. You can make a super easy and precise adjusting multicolor print. It has a complete metal construction, electroplating, and electrostatic spraying. It is easy to clean and comes with the important, necessary tools for operation and installation.
- Durable construction
- Fast printing speed
- Four color four stations for better production
- Features a spring device design to let you easily move the screen vertically
Mophorn 1 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Machine
(Best Screen Printing Machine for Small Business)
Next, I have the Mophorn 1 color 1 station screen printing machine. It is perfect for small printing shops. So, no matter if you need it for volume printing or multi-color, this model meets your every need. If you are just a beginner, you will find this screen printing workhorse quite useful, practical and easy to utilize.
Made with highly-durable materials, this machine is built to last. The best part? It does not require any maintenance once assembled. It can simultaneously install 4 screen plates, so you can make different images at once. You can use this unit on t-shirts, metal, paper, plastic, woven fabric, leather and so on.
- Easy to use
- Designed for t-shirt printing
- Features double-spring devices that are adjustable
- Strong and durable screen printing machine design
- You can use four different screen plates simultaneously
- No maintenance once installed
- Quite noisy during the work
SHZOND 1 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Machine
SHOZOND 1 Color 1 Station Screen Printing Machine has a removable pallet, so you can make different prints at once. All you have to do is put the substrate on the pallet and set the screen to a good position and apply your first image printing. After, repeat the exact process for applying another image printing.
You can adjust the pallet by rotating it. It can be adjusted in every possible direction from up, down, left, right to backward and forward. This screen printing machine is super easy to use, especially for newbies. You can use it on t-shirts, metal, paper, woven fabric, copybook, wood, circuit board, plastic and so on.
- Can be used on any material
- Screen printing machine for t-shirts
- Full-metal design for extra durability and sturdiness
- Perfect for t-shirt printing with the dedicated platen
- Spring devices allow easy movement of the screen and prevent ink spillage
- The pallet can be adjusted easily
Merchmakr All-in-One Screen Printing kit
(Best Quality Screen Printing Machine)
Merchmakr all-in-one screen printing kit has everything you need to get started in the printing industry. It represents a super cute and compact screen printing system. Unlike other kits, it has a unit for making stencils. It does multi-color designs thanks to the custom patent-pending HotSwap registration system.
This system is a special clamp the company has developed in order to let you change the screens quickly with a screen registration tab that manages to line up the colors in your designs fast. It is a revolutionary system that belongs to this machine only. If this does not motivate you to get it, I do not know what will.
It is a beautiful, strong screen printing machine made of sturdy industrial steel. If you are a beginner, do not worry because this baby comes with a detailed instructional DVD. Now, let’s review the pros & cons.
- Elegant design
- Unique HotSwap special for improving the screen printing experience
- Multiple accessories included
- Easy to use
- Great durability
- Able to print any material
- Easy instruction manual guide
Simple Single Screen Printing Machine
(Screen Printing Machine for Bags)
If you want a screen printing machine that is specially made for one color t-shirt screen printing, this is the right choice for you. It features a dedicated t-shirt pallet which guarantees accurate positioning and amazing printing effect. You can also use this machine on pillowcases, non-woven bags, bags, and so on.
However, you can only switch the pallet according to the substrates to meet the needs of other types of printing. It is easy to dismantle the pallet. The screen clamp can be moved up and down. It is suitable for a screen frame within 2cm (.78’’) thickness. I like this unit because it has a complete metal construction.
If you buy it, you will get a practical, rational and simple construction that saves place and can be easily moved around. However, make sure to check the most important pros and cons before your purchase.
- Easy to operate
- Screen clamp can be moved up and down
- Screen printing machine small and compact
- Great accuracy for printing one color tees
- Well-made, long-lasting design
- Easy to assemble
- Limited to one color tees printing
- A rational but composite structure
- No installation guides
TECHTONGDA Screen Printing Machine
(Screen Printing Machine with Micro-Registration)
Looking for a 6 color 6 station screen printing unit with a double wheel? If yes, TECHTONGDA is ideal for you. The pallet layer and screen layer of this unit rotate independently, meaning multi-color printing and material loading and unloading is easier. It also has a wide range of applications and delivers fast results.
The maximum size capacity is 16 inches x 20 inches. Compared to the 6 colors 6 station printer, it has a function of micro-registration. The screen clamp can be moved up and down. It is suitable for a screen frame within 3 cm (1.2 inches) thickness. It has an all-metal construction and a few advanced features.
Some of those features include electrostatic spraying and electroplating. It is easy to clean, durable and well-balanced. If you want a space saver, this table type machine with a combinatorial design is the right choice for you. However, make sure to check the main pros and cons before you make your final choice.
- Low maintenance
- Can make easy multi-color prints
- Ideal for different printing effects
- Electrostatic spraying
- Not ideal for some types of items
Double Rotary Manual Screen Printing Press Machine
(Best Manual Screen Printing Press)
Another table type screen printing press machine with a combinatorial design that is made to save space and easily movable is Double Rotary Manual 6-6 Colors Silk Screen Printing Press Machine. It has double-spring devices that are adjustable and available for screen frames of many weights.
The maximum frame size capacity is 16 inches x 20 inches. This screen clamp of this unit can be moved up and down. Meaning, it is suitable for a screen frame within 3 cm (1.2 inches) thickness. It is strong & well-balanced thanks to the all-metal construction, advanced electroplating, and electrostatic spraying.
Unlike the regular 6 colors 6 station printer, this modern type of machine has a function of micro-adjust. It could adjust the height from 28 inches to 35 inches. It is perfect for colorful printing. However, make sure to check the most important pros and cons of this workhorse before you make your final purchase.
- Great durability
- Easy to clean and maintain
- High precision printing effect
- Compact and space-saving design
- Incredibly versatile model
- Not suitable for beginners
- Complicated installation
- A bit expensive
Maxwolf Silk Screen Printing Machine
Looking for a 4 color 1 station screen printing machine? Look no further than the Maxwolf table type. It has a combinatorial design, meaning it saves you space. However, it is also portable, easy to transfer and store. The screen clamp can be moved up and down, suitable for screen frame within 2 inches thickness.
If you want a durable machine with a full-metal construction and stainless steel parts, built to last, this is the unit for you. It also has advanced electrostatic spraying and a stylish design. You can use it on woven fabric, copybook, glass, wood, plastic, paper, metal, costume, leather, ceramic and many different items.
- Good durability
- Easy to use and adjust
- Convenient in cleaning
- Dynamic screen clamp
- Compact design
- Unclear instructions
DIY PRINT SHOP Screen Printing Machine Kit
(Screen Printing Machine for Home Use)
No matter if you are opening a small home-based business or DIY screen printing for a hobby, this unit has everything you need to express your creativity. It is ideal for graphic designers, entrepreneurs, Etsy-ers, crafters, fashionistas and anyone looking to turn ordinary clothing into extraordinary masterpieces.
If you order this machine, you will bring your creative ideas to life and make cash out of your talent and creative skills. It has a 156 mesh screen, a squeegee that was made to gently push ink onto your clothing and a pitch-black water-based ink. This screen mounts to many surfaces around your business or home.
- Perfect for home use
- Excellent printing results
- Screen printing machine low price
- Perfect for beginner experience
- Useful DVD tutorial included
- Screen printing difficulties
- Difficult to clean
- No press included
- Expensive replacement hinges
Silk Screen Printing Machine 4 Color 4 Station
(Screen Printing Machine Commercial Use)
Another amazing unit that is worth mentioning, is the Silk Screen Printing Machine 4 color 4 station. It is versatile, meaning you can use almost anything as a substrate. This baby has everything you need to get started. You can buy this machine and open your small home-based screen printing business right away.
No matter if you need a machine for your individual shop or a small thriving business, this unit is right for you. It comes with all the necessary instructions on how to make your first projects, what techniques to use, materials and service. You will also receive an assembling video instruction online after ordering.
Since plate washing is one of the most important parts of screen printing, this unit features a water tank and automatic pressurizing water spray gun. It also has a screen frame clapboard which makes cleaning even easier. The baking area of this unit reaches 18 inches x 24 inches. Now, let’s check the pros & cons.
- Well constructed press
- Good work efficiency
- This press has good spring strength
- This dryer can manage a pretty consistent heat
- The press is made of steel
- Suitable for heavy-duty work
- It delivers fast results
- Little bit high price for beginner users
- Requires much room for height adjustment
- It requires prior knowledge to figure out the press
Mophorn 4 Color 1 Station Silk Screen Printing Machine
(Best Screen Printing Machine for Beginners)
As you can notice Mophorn has some of the best screen printing machines in the market. And their four-color one station silk screen printing machine is not an exception. It is a manual press machine that has a suitable price for everyone’s budget. It is intended for small printing businesses or individual businesses.
However, you can also buy this baby and use it as a backup solution for your large, developed business.
It is ideal for beginners. If you want a highly durable machine that is made to last, this is the right unit for you. This baby requires no maintenance and can simultaneously install four screen plates. You can use it on ceramic tile, woven fabric, plastic, copybook, paper, metal, shirts, glass, leather, wood & much more.
- Easy to maintain
- It works on different materials
- Ideal backup solution for larger businesses
- Double-spring is adjustable for different weights
- Portable screen printing machine
- Full-metal construction
- The installation process can be challenging
Full Set 4-2 Color Screen Printing Kit B
(Screen Printing Machine with Dryer)
Another best-selling screen printing machine that is worth the mention is the Full Set 4-2 color screen printing kit B. It is a versatile machine. Meaning, you can use anything as a substrate. If you order it, you will get a four-color two station printing package with everything you need to open your first workshop.
No matter if you want to open a home-based printing business or learn screen printing for a hobby, this machine is the right choice. All the necessary instructions on how to make your first project and how to install your unit are included in the purchase. Also, you will receive a tutorial online after your purchase.
The screen clamp of this baby can be moved up and down, so it is suitable for screen frame within 3/4’’. Make sure to check the most important pros and cons of this unit before you make your final purchase.
- Versatile printing
- Perfect for opening a small shop
- Necessary instructions included
- The screen clamp can be moved up and down
- Suitable for screen frame within 3/4’’
- Ideal for beginners
BestEquip 2 Station 4 Color Screen Printing Machine
(Best Screen Printing Machine for Shirts)
BestEquip 2 Station 4 Color Screen Printing for T-Shirt is one of the best screen printing machines due to its compact design and excellent performance. It is most suitable for smaller printing shops. No matter if you need a machine for volume or multi-color printing, this screen printing machine is excellent for you.
BestEquip is great for beginners without any experience because it is easy to use. If you want a unit that is built to last, choose this machine. It was made with highly-durable materials that provide stability and durability. Also, it requires low maintenance. You can use this machine on woven fabric, leather, paper, metal, plastic, glass, wood, ceramic tile, circuit board, copybook, t-shirt, and various printing substrates.
- Highly efficient
- Low maintenance
- Screen printing machine for clothes and hats
- Able to independently rotate the screen printing platen layer
- No maintenance needed after assembling
- Durable equipment
- Hardly understandable user guide
INTBUYING Silk Screen Printing Machine
Finally, I am completing this list of screen printing machines with INTBUYING Silk Screen Printing Press 1 color t-shirt press. It is a single color screen printing press that is super easy to use and affordable. It has an adjustable pallet which is simple to dismantle. You can use it on substrates that require overprinting.
Those substrates include pillowcases, non-woven bags, bags, and so on. You can only switch the pallet in favor of the substrates in order to meet the needs of different types of printing. If you need a dedicated T-shirt printing unit which guarantees good t-shirt printing effect and proper positioning, this is the one.
- Accurate positioning
- Good t-shirt printing effect
- A dedicated t-shirt printing machine
- Screen printing machine for hats and clothes
- Adjustable screen frame thickness
- Easy to use and maintain
- Doesn’t include manual
- Not good for beginners
How Can I Make my Own T-Shirts at Home?
No matter if you want to express your creativity by adding a personal touch to your garments or open a home-based business, learning how to screen print your own t-shirt at home is not as hard as you think.
I will share the general steps on how to use a screen printing machine and make your first masterpiece.
How to Use a Screen Printing Machine?
First and foremost, you need to prepare your artwork. I am talking about designs that you want to add to your t-shirts. If this is your first time doing this, I recommend that you choose something simpler and with thick lines. The main goal of the design is to block light, so pick something with a solid black image.
The second step is preparing your screen and frame. You can buy a screen at a store or make your own. If you want to make your own screen and save money, please watch this video on how to do it properly:
If you buy a screen, wash it thoroughly with a mild abrasive in order to make sure that the holes are not clogged in previously used ink, dirt, dust or grease. Allow the screen to dry completely before you use it.
The third step is applying the emulsion onto the screen. Begin by combining the sensitizer with emulsion thoroughly as per the directions outlined in the containers. Cover both sides of the screen with it. As you add the mixture make sure that you spread it all over the surface evenly and cover the holes completely.
The side where the ink is is known as inkwell while the side of the screen that comes in touch with your tee is known as substrate. The next step is placing your screen in a dark place like a closet, allowing it to dry. If you want, you can use a fan in order to speed up the process. Make sure that the emulsion is fully dry before you continue. I recommend that you give it at least 45 minutes. Sometimes, it can take hours.
The fourth step is exposing your artwork to the screen. Attach your artwork to the emulsion above and let the light do its thing. Light helps to burn the artwork onto the screen which makes it easy for the ink to go through your screen and get a pass on to your shirts. Use a 250W bulb in order for the best results.
It is suggested that you hold the lamp around 2 feet away from the screen for about 15 minutes. Also, it is recommended that you shut down any other lights in your room. However, make sure that you do not overexpose your design to light because it could melt. The next step is washing your screen with water.
The sixth step is printing. Place the garment that you want to print someplace flat in order to avoid any distortions. After, lay down the screen so that the substrate side makes contact with the garment. Apply some ink horizontally across the screen top and use the squeegee to pull the ink down across the image.
Move your squeegee up and down, back and forth in order to make sure that the ink is evenly pressed. I recommend that you put your printed garment in your preheated oven (400 degrees F) for 30 seconds.
Professionals claim that this is the best way to set the ink. Others recommend ironing the back of t-shirts to set the ink. However, whichever way you pick depends on personal preference. I would select ironing.
Can You Screen Print Without a Machine?
Yes, you can screen print without a machine. In fact, you can use your vinyl cutting machine. It is a great solution for making a personalized gift or customizing t-shirts for some sort of party or reunion. You will need a screen printing ink for fabric, squeegee, embroidery hoop, sheer curtain and of course, a t-shirt.
First, create your artwork on your vinyl cutting machine software. Print the artwork on vinyl and weed it as you would usually do. While your artwork is printing use this time to adjust the embroidery hoop with the curtain that you no longer need. After, put the other hoop on top of the bottom & screw it back on.
After, cut about two inches around the hoop in order to release it from the rest of the sheer curtain. It is time that you apply your vinyl artwork. Now put the flat side of the embroidery hoop down in the center of your garment right where you want your artwork to be. Begin applying a small amount of printing ink.
Use the squeegee to apply the ink properly. You can add light pressure, so your ink is evenly applied. It is recommended that you do it with a credit card if you do not have a squeegee. Lift the embroidery hoop. Allow your t-shirt to dry completely. Iron your t-shirt for about 10 seconds. This will set the ink for good.
How Do You Make a Screen for Screen Printing?
You can buy a screen for screen printing at local stores. However, if you want to test your DIY skills and make your own, please follow this detailed guide on how to do it or watch this detailed Youtube video.
What Software Is Best for Screen Printing?
After hours of research, I have come to the conclusion that Adobe Illustrator is the greatest software for screen printing in the world. It is widely used and powerful. Yes, it might be difficult to learn for newbies but if you are determined to master the craft, you can learn from videos and guides that you find online.
Besides the Adobe Illustrator, you can choose among other powerful software for screen printing online.
Is Screen Printing or Digital Printing Better?
Screen printing includes making a stencil and using it to add layers of ink on the printing shirt. However, each color requires different stencils, meaning, screen printing is time-consuming, unlike digital printing.
Digital printing is a new process that includes your designs being processed by a PC and printed directly onto your printing t-shirt. It is not a heat transfer or applique as the ink adheres to the garment directly.
Screen printing is ideal for artwork that requires a great level of vibrancy, specialty products and printing on dark shirts. The ink applied in screen printing is way thicker than the one in digital printing. Meaning, screen printing delivers better results than digital printing in bright colors, especially on dark garments.
Digital printing is perfect for designs that require many details and small orders. Digital printing does not use screens but photographic prints which means it delivers more detailed designs than screen printing. Digital printing is ideal for light-colored shirts. Which one you pick depends on your preference or needs.
What Is Better Screen Printing or Vinyl?
Vinyl printing represents heat transfer. In this practice, you use a unit to cut out designs and letters from vinyl paper and press them with heat onto the t-shirt in order to pass the color. Vinyl printing is a mix of heat and pressure, unlike screen printing. It needs screens for each color which can be time-consuming.
You spread the ink over the screen and allow it to pass through the shirt underneath. Keep in mind that you will need multiple screens to complete the product. Screen printing is best for large customer orders or printing on darker t-shirts. I would choose vinyl over screen printing because it is easier in my opinion.
Screen Printing Machine vs Cricut
Vinyl printing is perfect for super small orders (around 16 t-shirts). This is because the adjustment time is little relative to that of screen printing. Vinyl printing is slower than screen printing.
Each t-shirt needs own setup. Which one you choose depends on the size of the orders and the complexity of your designs.
If you want to complete just a couple of orders with simpler artwork, vinyl printing is ideal for you but if you need many orders with complex designs and fonts delivered, I strongly recommend screen printing.
Is Screen Printing the Same as Sublimation?
Screen printing includes pushing ink with a squeegee via a stencil on a screen and onto your garment. It can be done with a machine or by hand. Sublimation, on the other hand, is a digital process. It requires a screen printer that is similar to inkjet printers.
First, you need to print a mirror photo of your artwork onto special transfer paper. After, you apply this paper onto your garment using a heat press. The heat sublimates the ink on the paper, meaning, the ink is transforming from a solid to a gas without turning into a liquid. After, the gas penetrates your t-shirt.
Screen Printing Machine vs Heat Press
Although screen printing is a traditional way of printing, however, better equipment and tools come out every day. If you have a lot of customer orders on your hand, screen printing is perfect for you but if you have smaller batches and multi-color designs, a heat press is recommended. It offers durable artworks.
However, before you buy a heat press machine, make sure that it is a quality machine. Looking for a way to create long-lasting and quality designs? If yes, look no further than screen printing but remember that it is not perfect for detailed designs. If you pick screen printing, you will need a large number of screens.
Anatol vs M&R
M&R machines can be configured for whatever production requirements you have and they can expand in the future. There is no doubt that m&r will meet your screen printing requirements and needs. If your production increases, add extra stations and colors to your configuration. You can have 60 stations max.
M&R machines come with an intelligent drive system for accurate and super-smooth movement, unlike Anatol. However, Anatol can last even in the busiest commercial setting running multiple shifts. Anatol printing units have a heavy-duty rolled steel frame for creating smooth cycles and eliminating vibration.
They come with 16 inches x 18 inches printing area and make the perfect tool for industrial settings. So, if you want to boost your production and expand your business, I would recommend Anatol machines.
Can You Wash a Screen Printed Shirt?
Yes, you can wash screen printed t-shirt inside out. However, it is recommended that you hand wash or use the machines' gentle cycle. Lay the printed garment flat to dry or hand it. Use cool iron if necessary.
Does Screen Printing Fade?
No, screen printing is long-lasting. It should last for the garment’s life under proper, normal use. In order to make sure that artwork lasts longer, wash your printed shirts inside out bu hand with cold water only.
Screen Printing Machine Brands
You can choose among hundreds of screen printing machine brands on the market. However, I decided to review only the best-selling printing units by the most reputable companies such as the following few.
Screen Printing Machine Types
You can choose between manual, fully-automatic and semi-automatic screen printing machines. If you want to open a big business, purchase the best automatic screen printing machine that you can afford.
Screen Printing Machine Tips
- Start your business with quality graphics
- Always check your machine before you start a new project
- Choose suitable screens and check your screen tension
- Establish the space between you and your garment
- Use the proper squeegee pressure and angle• Cure your ink correctly and always do a test
If you want to learn some more tips that will help you grow a successful business, follow this guideline.
How Much Does it Cost to Start a Screen Printing Business?
Opening a screen-printing business is relatively cheap. The specialized printing machine that you need usually costs around $10,000 or less. However, you will also need supplies including t-shirts to print on which will cost you around $5,000. This guide provides all the necessary information you need to know about the screen printing business. Legal costs, monthly rent, and marketing should be considered too.
I have simplified the process of choosing the best screen printing machine for you by reviewing only the 15 best units out there. I recommend Yudu Personal Screen Printer Machine if you want to express your creativity by opening a small shop. It is a revolutionary screen printer that will boost your new business.
If you want a commercial screen printing unit, Silk Screen Printing Machine 4 Color 4 Station is ideal for you. It comes with all the tools and equipment for installation and operation. If you want an affordable, machine, INTBUYING Silk Screen Printing Press 1 Color T-Shirt Press is the best printing machine for you.
I sincerely hope that this guide will help you choose a machine that will meet your needs and boost your creativity. Follow my site for more updates and do not hesitate to ask questions in the comments below.