Screen Printing Process – Pros, Cons & Best Practices

Employee first day

You’ve heard of screen printing and know it has something to do with clothing, but what is the process? How can you benefit from using this method for your designs? And what are the pros and cons associated with it? In this article, we’ll explore all these questions and more as we discuss the basics of screen printing. Including its advantages and disadvantages and best practices.

Screen printing is a unique form of art that allows people to take their creativity to the next level by creating custom apparel or accessories. It involves setting up a mesh stencil on a frame which is then used to transfer ink onto fabric in desired patterns. Screenprinting allows users to create one-of-a-kind items that stand out from the crowd. The result looks professional while also being cost-effective!

No matter whether you’re just starting out or have been working with screen printing for years, there are some key considerations you should keep in mind when considering using this technique. This guide will take you through the various aspects of screenprinting so that you can make informed decisions about how best to use it for your projects – now and in the future!

What Is Screen Printing And How Does It Work?

Screen printing is a versatile method of creating artwork on various surfaces. It is often used to produce graphics and logos on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. The process involves transferring ink or other materials onto the chosen substrate through a fine mesh screen coated with an emulsion.

To transfer the image, pressure is applied to the back side of the screen while the material being printed moves across it. This creates an impression of the design in ink on whatever surface was selected for printing. Screen printing provides great detail and vivid color reproduction, making it perfect for detailed designs and logos.

Additionally, because each color requires its stencil, different colors can be used without affecting one another’s edges or details – allowing for incredibly colorful prints!

Benefits And Limitations Of Screen Printing

Screen printing has been around for centuries and is still popular today. It offers several advantages that other methods of printing don’t have. First, screen printing is a great way to create vibrant colors with high visual impact.

The results are sharp and consistent, so you get the exact look every time you make prints. Second, since no special equipment or chemicals are needed for this process, it’s much less expensive than other types of printing. Finally, because of its durability and ability to resist fading, it can be used on multiple garments without losing quality or color intensity.

On the downside, though, there are some drawbacks to using screen printing as well. It takes longer to produce an item compared to digital printing methods.

Also, if you need to print detailed images like photographs onto fabric or paper, screen prints may not be suitable due to the limited resolution available. In addition, extra care must be taken when cleaning screens after each use, and they must also be adequately stored between uses. Otherwise, they will quickly become unusable and require replacement.

These benefits and limitations should all be considered when deciding whether screen printing suits your project. With careful attention paid to the best practices of pre-press preparation and maintenance of the screens themselves, you can ensure consistently good results from this traditional production method.

Tips For Achieving High-Quality Screen Prints

Screen printing is an effective way to create custom designs and logos, but it’s essential to understand the best practices for achieving high-quality prints. With a few simple rules in mind, you can ensure that your screen-printed shirts look professional and last long. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your screen printing project.

Firstly, take care when preparing your artwork. Ensure the design is accurate and there are no mistakes or spelling errors. Secondly, always use high-quality materials such as ink and paper stock.

Print with sharp screens to ensure the final product’s precise edges and crisp details. Last but not least, be aware of any printing process limitations; if you’re using specialty techniques like four-color or simulated process, they may require additional steps or extra equipment.

By following these best practices for screen printing projects, you can always guarantee a great result!

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Some common mistakes can be made and should be avoided regarding screen printing. Here is a list of the most frequent errors for you to get your prints right every time:

Not prepping the surface correctlyYes
Using too much pressure when pressing down onto the substrateYes
Exposing screens to light while they dryYes
Allowing ink to build up on the squeegeeYes
Using incorrect mesh count/sizeYes

These mistakes can lead to ineffective designs, costly delays, and unsatisfied customers. Taking the extra steps needed before beginning each project will help ensure these issues don’t arise. Properly preparing all materials beforehand and considering any relevant environmental factors such as humidity or temperature will go a long way towards turning out successful prints. It’s also important to double-check measurements and take multiple readings if necessary before committing an image to print. Doing so will save valuable time and resources in the long run.

Screen printing is an art form that requires patience and attention to detail to achieve optimal results. However, with care and meticulousness, excellent outcomes are achievable every time one sets about creating their work.


In conclusion, screen printing is a great way to produce high-quality prints. Learning is relatively easy, and you can achieve excellent results with the right tools and techniques. The main limitation of screen printing is that it requires more effort than other methods, such as digital printing. However, if you’re patient and take the time to practice good habits. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to produce exceptional results.

Overall, I think screen printing offers many advantages if done correctly. Not only does it provide vibrant colors and sharp details. But it also allows for unique effects that aren’t possible with other methods. Plus, once you become proficient in the process, you’ll have complete control over your print job from start to finish.

For those looking to get started with this fantastic craft, I would advise researching extensively before beginning any project. Learn about the different types of materials used in screen printing and experiments. Until you find what works best for your needs. With some dedication and perseverance, you’ll soon be creating stunning designs using this versatile medium!

Related Blogs
We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.
0 items Cart
My account

Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.

Northwest Custom Apparel
Northwest Custom Apparel
152 Google reviews
Janice Herron
Janice Herron
Love their amazing customer service! From ordering over the phone, through email, or in person at Northwest Custom Apparel, everyone is very helpful, and very nice! Always! We have been ordering our apparel for our local small business through them for many years! Thank you Thank you!
Morgan Pero
Morgan Pero
Excellent people, products and customer service!
Drew Halverson
Drew Halverson
Great product offerings/results, swift communication, and helpful staff. Highly recommend!
Tim s
Tim s
Northwest Custom apparel always does great work! We have been a customer for over 25 years and are always satisfied with the products we get!!
NW Custom Apparel treats us like we’re their only customer! Everyone is always so friendly and helpful. They’re great!
Randy Birch
Randy Birch
We us Northwest Custom Apparel for our work shirts and they are incredible. The staff is super friendly, the quality of workmanship is outstanding and they stand by the work they do. I love this place.
Heidi Christiansen
Heidi Christiansen
The company I work for has been buying custom apparel for the team members for years now. We love working with NW Custom Apparel because the process is easy, delivery is timely, and materials are high quality. Anytime I’ve ever had an issue, they’re quick to resolve it. We’ve purchased both embroidered items and DTG graphic tees. We’ve purchased blankets, shirts, jackets, hoodies, etc. Everything ends up looking super professional, and our team members always have positive things to say. Ally is always there at the warehouse with a smile and a friendly greeting when I pick up materials. She is so helpful and respectful. Taylar is a wonderful customer service rep. I’ve sent her some complicated orders—like 20 different items with all different colorways and styles or 150 items with three different styles—and she is so good at getting everything just right. I plan to continue purchasing from NW Custom for high-quality custom apparel.
Hoa DeBusk
Hoa DeBusk
Have used them for years. Knowledgeable team that is always so helpful in recommending options or creating designs. Great quality too for embroidery or digital prints. Very happy with them as a vendor.
Stacey Perez
Stacey Perez
We use Northwest Custom Apparel for all of our professional embroidery needs for the orthodontic office I work at. They do great work, are quick and have never missed a deadline. Highly recommend if you need any custom apparel needs.