T-Shirt Forums banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I have just had my first design screen printed onto t-shirts, I started with one design only to see how good the quality of print would be. I'm not quite sure what I should expect - my t-shirts are black with white and red printed onto them. I have noticed you can see flecks of the black t-shirts through the white and red though they look fairly good overall - is this to be expected from the process?

Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,698 Posts
No, this shouldn't happen unless that's the type of look you want.

That usually means that the printer didn't lay down a good whitebase or dry the whitebase fully before adding the white and red ink.

Screen printing on black or dark shirts usually requires an underprint of white (to hide the black garment color) and then the after the white underprint dries, the other colors should be applied.

You may want to talk with your printer to see if he's doing an underprint with the design and to make sure he's drying properly after the underprint. If that's the best they can do, you should look for a different printer.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,698 Posts
You should get a reprint or credit for the ones that are cracked.
I don't think he mentioned that any of the printing was cracked (which could be a different problem all together), just that some of the garment was showing through the ink.

The t-shirt that I'm wearing now has some of the garment showing through the ink in the design, but that's what the company was going for since it is a "vintage" style design. The ink coverage is very light.

Since he said the shirts look fairly good overall, I don't think it would be necessary to get a credit on the order, since it was most likely just a matter of communication and different expectations.

The shirts will probably sell just fine and the end customers most likely won't notice anything weird about the shirts.

But for future orders with the printer, he could just explain what type of printing he's looking for to make sure the printer can handle it. Most can. If his can't, then I would suggest he find one that can.

For example, in this thread, the original poster didn't like the look of the heavy ink coverage and wanted a lighter ink feel:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=1290

Here's my post from that thread that has some similar advice:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showpost.php?p=7094&postcount=7
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. I don't think the printer has put down a base coat as you can see the black fibres through the red ink. Also its very odd as the white seems to be matt and the red gloss, which surely can't be standard practice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I have had similar screenprinting issues such as ink cracking very easily on American Apparel baby rib t shirts, ink on one shirt is matt and another is glossy (with no explanation why each was different), words not being straight on the shirt at all to the point that customers notice right away and ask for another one, and some issues with one order where pink print on a brown shirts is thick and vibrant then on another order the pink is very light and brown shows through.


Now I know Rodney mentioned earlier the situation discussed above could be related to miscommunication but don't you think also that the screenprinter should be the one to make sure the communication is clear and that the customer knows the variables that could be possible. In my case, it was very clear that I did not know anything about screenprinting and spent many appointments discussing and learning from my screenprinter. And yet still I have issues with quality.

Any comments?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,512 Posts
More seriously your screenprinter, well, sucks. Assuming you're describing the situation accurately (and there's no reason not to assume you are) that doesn't strike me as particularly consistent or professional - prints should be straight, results should presumably be consistent. Even if they're not to your taste they should surely be the same from run to run, unless you've given them input in between that would cause them to change. They just sound a bit too... random.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
Yeah, Solmu's pretty much hitting it on the head. The first printer I went with was somewhat of a new outfit (as was I as a customer). They had completely different standards of what was acceptable (eg., ink thickness, the crispness of delineation between colors, variations in a run, etc). The second printer I found had been around the block a few times. They were careful to dialogue with me about my expectations and were very upfront about what they considered acceptable quality. I'm sure their standards and methods might not be in line with what some folks are looking for, but, that aside, it's all about communication...kinda sounds like marriage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
More seriously your screenprinter, well, sucks.
I figured that and it is just nice to hear it from others . Because I was so new to this, I was willing to be flexible but on a business level I knew that something was not right.

Assuming you're describing the situation accurately
The cracking was getting so bad with one run on one shirt that I had to test each one before giving to customers at an event. I had to put aside 10 minimum then use my heat press to fix it. And that worked great too.

that doesn't strike me as particularly consistent or professional - prints should be straight, results should presumably be consistent.
The printer kept making excuses why they were crooked and said there is always margin for error and that that margin should be acceptable to me. Yeah sure, but not when customers refuse to pay for it and I notice it as being so obvious. In business using excuses is the worst way to handle it. I think you learn that in business 101..I guess was just being too accepting of what I was getting.

Even if they're not to your taste they should surely be the same from run to run, unless you've given them input in between that would cause them to change. They just sound a bit too... random.
I questioned her on some of the quality issues from the start like cracking and crookedness and nothing changed really. In one style it got worse.

Thanks for the responses...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The whole thing is really difficult to judge - I showed my t-shirts to some people who thought they were unacceptabe and to others who thought they were fine, but for me they were not near the standard of the t-shirt samples I saw before having mine printed. It sound like everyone is having similar problems. A set of guidelines for screen printing would be great for novices like me with images of what can be expected from what technique etc, with ideas on what to ask your screen printer and what you should expect them to ask you, anyone have any thoughts on this? In a similar idea I created a design briefing sheet for one of my clients, which easily enabled them to see what information is required to brief me on a project (if this would be of use to anyone, to adapt for t-shirt design briefings I am happy to post it here as a PDF?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Design Brief sheet

Hi Honeyflip, I have adapted my design brief sheet to try and be aimed more towards t-shirts, feel free to adapt as you wish. If anybody has the same sort of thing for screenprinting, that would be great.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,698 Posts
It sound like everyone is having similar problems.
Easy on the generalization there. I don't think a couple of posts means that everyone is having similar problems :)

I have had similar screenprinting issues such as ink cracking very easily on American Apparel baby rib t shirts,
Ink cracking on a t-shirt is a different issue than the garment showing through in the design.

That is a simple and clear cut quality issue on the printers end that shouldn't be tolerated. Although with baby ribbed shirts, since the fabric stretches more than other t-shirt types, if there was a defect in the printing, that's where it would show up first.


ink on one shirt is matt and another is glossy (with no explanation why each was different), words not being straight on the shirt at all to the point that customers notice right away and ask for another one, and some issues with one order where pink print on a brown shirts is thick and vibrant then on another order the pink is very light and brown shows through
Again, these are straight quality issues on the printers side. Inconsistent printing, crooked printing, are all issues that the printer needs to correct or give credit for.

If all of the t-shirts have a slight show through of the garment as the original poster stated, then that could be what the printer assumed he wanted.

Now I know Rodney mentioned earlier the situation discussed above could be related to miscommunication but don't you think also that the screenprinter should be the one to make sure the communication is clear and that the customer knows the variables that could be possible. In my case, it was very clear that I did not know anything about screenprinting and spent many appointments discussing and learning from my screenprinter. And yet still I have issues with quality.
Well, as Solmu put it eloquently...your printer "sucks" :) So no matter how many meetings you had with them, the issues with "quality" weren't going to get better.

What I was referring to was assuming that the printer could print a decent shirt and all other factors being equal. Sometimes a customer assumes the printing will be heavy and sometimes the printer assumes the customer wants lighter coverage. Yes, ideally, the printer should ask which the customer wants (but many times the customer doesn't even know which they want until they see the "wrong" way).

Your case is very different than the original poster.

A set of guidelines for screen printing would be great for novices like me with images of what can be expected from what technique etc, with ideas on what to ask your screen printer and what you should expect them to ask you, anyone have any thoughts on this?
That's a good idea. I'm sure there is something like this already in existance, but I think we could write up our own to post here on the forums. A "Questions to ask your Printer" document would be very helpful for both the printer and customer.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top