Types of T-Shirt Printing Equipments

Published: 21st October 2009
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T-shirt printing traditionally uses a mesh for screen printing. The textile inks are filtered through the screen using a squeegee, which is a piece of rubber with a wooden handle that is used to push the ink against the mesh.

Innovations in t-shirt screen printing, however, have made the process easier and faster with new t-shirt printing equipment, especially the large drying machines that can cure multiple shirts at the same time at a faster rate.

Using A Squeegee and A Fine Mesh

A fine mesh with a high resolution is stretched from end to end in a square wood frame. The size will depend on how large the design area is on the t-shirt. Print screens with mesh counts of 160 to 280 can use multi-print standard opacity ink types while those with mesh counts of 230 to 305 can use process colors.

The ink is pushed against the mesh using a squeegee. The firmness of the rubber and the amount of pressure you apply will determine the right flooding of ink on the mesh. Too much will bleed the ink out of the design's boundaries.

Using A Rotary T-Shirt Printing Machine

There are two types of t-shirt printing machines: manual and automatic. Manual rotary presses require human labor to move the different screens for each color and to apply ink using a squeegee. They also have different types based on the number of colors they can carry: Four Color, Six Color, and Ten Color.

The automatic t-shirt printing presses, on the other hand, only requires human labor for placing the t-shirts on the platforms under the screens and for taking them off for curing. The automatic rotary t-shirt printing machines have special parts that allow automated application of ink and for rotating the shirts from one color screen to another.

Types Of T-Shirt Printing Machines Based On Function

These t-shirt printing machines have different types also based on function. Belt presses are used to print designs all over the t-shirt by attaching it to a moving belt under the screens.

They are quite expensive because the registration and ink deposit are controlled in amounts that are outside of the industry standards. Discharge inks are often used to control the thickness, or "hand," of the design.

A second type of t-shirt printing machine is the all-over press. Similar to the belt press, the all-over press can print the design over the entire area of the shirt, including the sleeves.

However, instead of a belt, the all-over press uses one large and two smaller platforms to spread the shirt under the screens for printing. Although all-over presses can provide greater control over the quality of t-shirt printing, they cannot cover the whole shirt from end-to-end because of the edges of the metal plates.

The rarest of the specialized types of t-shirt printing machines is the cylinder press. It creates a continuous image of the print around the middle of the t-shirt. It works the same way as those printing presses for designing mugs, cups and other cylindrical objects.

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T-shirt printing designs be custom printed on any fabric type and color. Other personalised t-shirts such as printed men's t-shirts and printed ladies' t-shirts are also available. Call 0800 046 7633 for a free quote now.

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