Step 1: Customer service guidance
Our process starts with the front end team who carefully work with you and suggest the best types of printing and what garments are most suited to your order. To become an account manager at The Print Bar requires extensive training to understand different print methods, ink types, all steps in the print process, and the pros and cons of different garments, fabrics, brands and promotional items. This process is very hands on, so you can trust that your account manager has actually had traditional silk screen printing experience themselves. Once you’ve paid, we order your garments from our suppliers.
There are 2 main steps in printing; the time your t shirts are being printed on a screen printing machine (known as a press), and the set up time before printing starts, called ‘pre press’.
Step 2: Pre-press (the set up stage)
Our pre-press team take over once your order is in our system. It’s then scheduled in and assigned to a machine and a print team. Next, the pre-press team start the complex job of turning your designs into stencils to perfectly reproduce your artwork. There are a number of steps for this part starting by splitting the design into separate colours, and deciding on the mesh grade, stencil thickness and mesh tension. Finally, one of our colour matching experts will mix an ink colour by eye for each of the Pantone colours in your order.
Step 3: On-press (printing)
By now your garments would have arrived and been through their first quality check, counted and ready to print. For large orders, we have 2 large automatic screenprinting presses. These are big machines that are 6 metres in diameter and weigh close to 1500kgs each. These big machines use high pressure air to press down a squeegee across the mesh stencil, laying down the ink onto your t shirts. Getting the pressure, speed and temperature just right is the key to getting a high quality t shirt print. Smaller orders and all our intricate work is done manually by hand. This gives our skilled printmakers the most control in getting the results needed for intricate designs. Once the t shirt is printed we then send them through a hot oven which looks very similar to a pizza oven. This bakes the ink into the shirt so that it can withstand years of washing.
Step 4: Quality Control
The last step involves another team member who performs quality checks and counts each t shirt from your order to make sure its up to our quality standards perfect before we ship out.