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The Good the Bad and the ugly of Screen Printing on Dark Garments

Screen Printing on dark garments is certainly not without it’s challenges, however dark shirts still seem to be the most popular choice among our customers. I have talked to some extent of the shortfalls of most digital garment printers in this arena on previous posts and will spend a few minutes here explaining what you might expect when you order your custom silk screen printing on black or dark colored shirts.

The first thing to expect is that dark shirts will always cost more for a couple of reasons. First, the shirt itself costs more than white shirts and second, printing on dark shirts in most cases will require an underbase coat to make your design colors appear vibrant and opaque.

The process of an under base requires that a separate screen be made, or at least a print flash print process be employed, either of which requires additional labor and time to perform thus driving the cost of your shirts upward.

The second thing to understand and expect is that your design will have a heavier hand due to the above mentioned process and thicker ink deposits. This is usually not a big problem as many designs have open areas within the design and don’t require solid coverage over the entire area of the design.

For designs that have solid coverage over large areas however, it can become like a rubber patch on your chest or back. There are some procedures that can aleviate this problem such as discharge inks which for lack of better terms removes the dye of the shirt making it more of a natural color and thus easier to print lighter colors over, and or the use of water base inks are used with good success.

Either of these processes are not used by every printer you may visit so you may find yourself shopping longer if this is something you want in a dark shirt, not to mention some of the discharge chemicals are not very delightful and can cause skin irritation.

Knowing what to expect when ordering custom screen printing on dark shirts will help you avoid surprises when you pick up the finished product and may save some time in the ordering process as these characteristics may influence the color of shirts that you want to order. Visit our website to learn more about ordering your custom T shirts.