Starting a screen printing business can be a fun and lucrative endeavor, especially for an entrepreneur with many connections in his or her community. Schools, churches, clubs, businesses, sports teams, and many other types of organizations use t-shirts and other printed apparel as uniforms and gifts or for special events, so there is always a need for high-quality screen printing services. Starting a successful business also entails having the right screen printing supplies.
A manual press is a good piece of equipment to start out with, especially if the plan is to start small, and a high-quality machine can see a business through a lot of growth. A tabletop press can fit into a small space, and attaching it to a cart can make it conveniently mobile. Upgrading to an automatic press to handle a higher volume of work is a great alternative to hiring an extra employee. A good automatic press can do a week’s worth of manual work in just a few hours. In terms of ink colors, most screen printers find that four colors are the minimum needed in order to create sufficiently detailed designs.
The screen is a framed mesh through which an image is transferred. The mesh is first coated with an emulsion and allowed to dry, and then the desired image is burned into the screen with UV light. The result is a negative stencil of the image that can be placed on the fabric for the transfer of ink. Meshes come in many different sizes, in terms of frame length and width and mesh thickness. The mesh count is the number of thread intersections per square inch. The higher the thread count, the more detailed the design.
Business owners need a software package that is geared toward the type of business they do. Screen printers are no exception, and they can benefit greatly from software that is designed to handle specific details of printing orders, such as ink colors, mesh counts, and images along with apparel sizes and styles. Most printers find that an industry-specific business management software package helps them save time and grow their apparel business.