While an automatic press can give your shop a big boost, a manual press remains a vital piece of equipment.
May 18, 2017
An automatic screen printing press is an exciting addition to any shop's production floor. Automatic presses speed up production time, so press runs that used to take a day now only take hours. However, screen printing shops that adopt automatics shouldn't be too fast to retire their manual screen printing presses.
Contract screen printing can be demanding, but if you're prepared for the challenge it can really pay off!
May 18, 2017
You've decided to go for it and make contract printing a part of your business. You know it'll be very competitive, so you've got to carefully evaluate what you'll offer and at what cost.
For great quality screen prints, you need ink that's ready to do the job - so take some time to prepare it!
May 17, 2017
There are countless screen printing inks that claim to be "ready for use", but in reality almost all inks require some care before they hit your press. Whether you're seeking the right consistency, the right color or a special effect, there are proper ways to get your ink ready for printing.
In order to find the perfect screen for the job, don't just consider what you're printing - consider what machine you're printing with!
May 12, 2017
There's an old adage: "Keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole". Of course, with screen printing it's sort of reversed, as it's most important to keep your eye on the holes in your screen mesh.
Choosing to print garments that are eco-friendly can help reduce your shop's environmental footprint...and it can help you attract customers!
May 11, 2017
"Green" living has gone beyond a fad and become a part of the modern fabric. While there have been garment brands offering environmentally friendly apparel - and screen printing shops specializing in green printing - for decades, eco-friendly clothing has gone mainstream.
If you're ready to handle the biggest orders, becoming a contract printer might be the right move for your business.
May 10, 2017
Are you looking for a way to increase your output and your profit? Do you have lulls in your regular screen printing schedule that you'd like to fill with work?
Your squeegee can have a big impact on your printing - make sure you're using the right one for the job!
May 05, 2017
A screen printer needs the right tools, and one of the most important screen printing tools is the squeegee. There are several variables to consider when selecting a squeegee, and it's important to understand how each affects your prints so you can choose the right squeegee for each job.
You might think that you need water-based ink to get a soft hand, but plastisol can work too!
May 03, 2017
Screen printing customers have been increasingly demanding a softer hand feel to their printed t-shirts. Many apparel screen printers have turned to water-based and discharge ink to achieve the soft, retro prints customers request. But plastisol can get the job done too!
Changes in temperature and humidity can have a big impact on your printing. Learn how to prevent potential issues!
May 01, 2017
It's that time of year when the weather is at its most unpredictable, and that means you should be prepared for all the different ways it can affect your screen printing! It's easy to overlook the role that temperature and humidity play in regard to printing results, but they're important factors.
Halftone printing can open up new opportunities for finely detailed, photorealistic screen prints.
April 28, 2017
If you're ready to challenge yourself - and make your shop stand out - halftone printing could be for you. With halftone prints, you can create shaded effects and photorealistic images on garments.
When your prints aren't turning out quite as they should, your screen tension may be to blame!
April 27, 2017
As you strive to maintain top quality in your screen printing, one of the most important factors to achieving great looking prints is also one of the easiest to overlook: Your screen tension.
Learn how to overcome one of water-based ink's biggest challenges - maintaining a sturdy stencil!
April 25, 2017
We all know that screen printing with water-based ink brings some challenges. One of the biggest challenges of water-based ink is fighting stencil breakdown during printing.
A good looking, smooth functioning website is the centerpiece of your business's online presence.
April 21, 2017
From the traditional to the digital, you have an arsenal of marketing tools at your disposal. The reality, however, is that your biggest marketing tool is also one of the most basic elements of your business: Your website.
Providing valuable content to your target market is a great way to boost your business's web presence.
April 19, 2017
People have become accustomed to a constant barrage of internet advertising, from spam in their email inboxes to "sponsored" social media posts to banner and pop-up ads on every website. With such information overload, people have also become accustomed to tuning out all of that extraneous information.
While they're usually harmless enough, some ghosts can cause problems with your prints! Learn how to remove and prevent them.
April 18, 2017
Most of the time, reclaiming your screen printing screens is a pretty straightforward task. But occasionally you'll run into an issue that can affect your print quality if not dealt with quickly: ghosting.
It's tempting to focus entirely on digital marketing, but you shouldn't neglect traditional methods!
April 13, 2017
As a small business owner, you may struggle to decide where to allocate a limited marketing budget, thinking it will only cover either digital or traditional marketing, not both. Which is right for you?
Learn how developing an effective social media strategy can make it easier than ever to attract and retain customers.
April 12, 2017
Once dismissed as a fad, social media marketing now should be an integral part of any small business's marketing strategy. Through social media, businesses can connect with existing and potential customers and tailor marketing messages to their target customers.
Make it easy for customers to find your business by creating a unique, cohesive web presence.
April 10, 2017
You likely went into the screen printing business because you enjoy designing and printing - marketing probably wasn't a skillset that was on your mind. But without effective marketing, your business can't succeed. Your potential customers need to know who you are and understand why they should be doing business with you.
There's no shortage of options when it comes time to choose a conveyor dryer. Learn how your ink choice and work rate affects your decision!
April 07, 2017
When you decide to make a go of printing t-shirts for a living, you'll soon realize that in order to produce garments in any significant quantity, you need a conveyor dryer. But there are so many choices, from tiny tabletop models to giant industrial dryers six feet across. How do you know which is right for your shop?
Last time we explored some ways to cure certain challenging garments. Here are some more tips to ensure a proper cure, no matter the substrate!
April 06, 2017
When many screen printing veterans first got started, they may not have realized just how many variables factored into properly curing their prints. As the industry has advanced, new technology has made it even more difficult to get fully caught up. Fortunately, by familiarizing yourself with the basics of curing and doing some careful tests, you can make it easier to get a proper cure.
Some fabrics are easier to cure than others - learn how the right technique and the right conveyor dryer can help!
April 04, 2017
As screen printing has advanced, new fabrics and inks have increased in popularity and brought with them a number of different challenges. In this day and age, it's more important than ever for screen printers to develop, test, record and implement conveyor dryer procedures to properly cure their prints.
A wide variety of products can increase profits and keep your customers coming back for more.
March 31, 2017
One of the most effective ways to succeed in screen printing is to create a niche for your business - focusing on one particular strength and developing and marketing it to the best of your ability. Having one special skill that people can count on you to deliver is great, but you want to be careful you're not restricting your product offerings too much.
Be ready to handle any print order that comes your way by keeping a close eye on your shop's supplies.
March 30, 2017
All retailers walk a fine line with inventory. You want to have the right goods on hand to meet your customers' needs in a timely manner, but you don't want to get stuck with a stockroom full of merchandise that doesn't sell for months on end. Screen printers are not exempt from this dilemma.
The best screen printing stencils start with high quality film positives - here are some tips for producing them!
March 27, 2017
Developing art into film positives poses — for many screen printers — the biggest challenge in the screen printing process. Printing film positives that result in crisp, sturdy stencils does take some digital know-how, but like most of screen printing tasks, you can create film positives successfully by carefully following a process and paying attention to detail.
When the ink hits the shirt, you need a good squeegee to keep your print quality high. Here are some squeegee maintenance tips!
March 24, 2017
There are many variables that can affect the quality of your screen prints. One tool that has a profound effect is your squeegee. If your squeegee isn't in good shape, your prints will suffer.
A common issue you'll run into at your screen printing shop is dye migration. Learn some tips for keeping your prints vibrant!
March 23, 2017
As a screen printer, the last thing you want is an unhappy customer wanting to return items. In another blog post, we shared some tips on how to keep your plastisol prints from washing out. Those tips will go a long way towards keeping your prints vibrant and making them last, but there's another issue you may run into: dye migration.
Make the most out of your ink supply by learning some tips for extending its shelf life.
March 21, 2017
A screen printing shop can accumulate a lot of ink. Storing that ink can prove a challenge, and often shops will simply look for a quick and convenient spot in which to store their inks. It's important to put more thought and consideration into your ink storage, however.
Samples can be a great way to show off your work, learn how to make the most of them!
March 16, 2017
Samples are a staple for marketing your screen printing business, attracting customers and nabbing new orders. However, there's a fine line between samples increasing your business and overdoing samples and eroding profits.
When you let a customer take part of the screen printing process out of your hands, you can open yourself up to problems. Learn how to overcome them!
March 15, 2017
As a screen printer, some of your daily operation is sure to include creating artwork for customers. Keeping as much of the screen printing process as possible under your control is the key to getting good results - you have plenty of variables to deal with. However, your clients will often want to provide the artwork for their orders themselves. If your customers know what they're doing, this can save you some time. But more often than not it can cause a big headache.
Reducing waste and boosting efficiency at your shop can be a big help to the environment - and your wallet!
March 13, 2017
No matter the reason - customer demand, a desire to cut costs and waste, or a sense of personal responsibility - more and more businesses are doing what they can to lessen their environmental impact. When it comes to the eco-friendly trend, the screen printing industry is no exception.
Learn how to take advantage of one of the most lucrative opportunities available to screen printers: schools!
March 10, 2017
Schools can bring a lot of business to your screen printing shop, from team uniforms and warm-up gear to student uniforms and school “spirit wear”. If you can contract with a school, or a school’s supporting organizations, you can find a steady flow of work for your screen printing shop.
Keep even your most demanding customers happy by delivering high quality products every time.
March 08, 2017
Screen printing involves so many different variables, it can be difficult to make sure you're getting good results every time. Some issues may not even show up until after you've delivered the garments to the customer. It's not always easy, but in order to keep your customers happy you must make every effort to control the quality of your prints.
There are several different types of screen printing frames to choose from - find out which work best for you!
March 06, 2017
When it comes to screen frames, there are loyalists in all camps. Some screen printers love the old-school feel, low price and sustainability of wood. Others rely on the light, sturdy technology of aluminum frames, and still others swear by the control and print crispness that come with retensionable screens.
Fleece garments are popular but screen printing them can be a challenge! Here are some tips to help you out.
March 03, 2017
Screen printing customers love fleece, whether it’s hoodies for a school team or a trendy zip-up with a great art print. Screen printers’ affection for fleece, however, tends to be a little more limited. Getting good results on fleece can be a challenge, and a misprint can be a costly mistake because of the much higher cost of fleece garments compared to t-shirts.
Flash curing after every color? You might be wasting your time, try printing wet-on-wet instead!
March 01, 2017
Have you noticed an overreliance on your flash cure is slowing down your production? A flash cure can be a helpful tool or it can be a waste of time; you have to know when it's necessary and when it isn't.
You might think your press alone determines your print quality - but your exposure unit plays a big role too!
February 27, 2017
Running a screen printing business means making big purchasing decisions. In addition to choosing a press, a dryer and perhaps a flash cure unit, you'll need to choose a screen exposure unit.
Sports are a big market for screen printed apparel - make the most of the opportunity by avoiding some common printing obstacles.
February 24, 2017
Athletic apparel, primarily team jerseys and workout gear, has long been the bread and butter of screen printing shops. With “performance” fabrics, favored for their lightweight feel and quick-drying properties, becoming more and more popular for weekend athletes and everyday wear, screen printers are seeing more and more requests for use of these fabrics.
Use a flash cure to your advantage and cure prints perfectly without slowing down production.
February 22, 2017
When it comes to your screen printing production, a flash cure can either be your best friend or your worst enemy - it can be a big help or it can slow you down. Understanding the different types of flash units and their appropriate uses will help you get the most out of them.
Feeling overwhelmed by your screen printing shop's work load? Make sure you're working at peak efficiency!
February 20, 2017
Every print shop longs for a full schedule that keeps the presses running and revenue flowing. Keeping that full schedule isn’t only about hustling to find new customers and generate orders. A busy shop also requires efficiency to keep up with customer demand and keep production rolling.
Want to put a together a high performance team at your screen printing shop? Check out these strategies for hiring and retaining the best employees.
February 17, 2017
Most screen printers who open their own shops don’t come from a management background, and the hiring and retaining of good employees can be one of the most intimidating aspects of owning and operating your own business.
Shirts may be your bread and butter, but don't be afraid to think outside the box and screen print new items!
February 15, 2017
When you think of screen printed products, shirts are probably the first item that comes to mind. But you definitely shouldn’t stop there! There’s a whole world of different materials waiting to be screen printed, and expanding your offerings will help you attract new customers and keep old ones coming back for more.
The right pallet adhesive goes a long way towards ensuring tight registration and quality prints.
February 13, 2017
To get a crisp, clear screen print, you need to make sure your substrate will stay in place each time the squeegee strokes across the screen. That means using a pallet adhesive to hold your print materials in place.
Don't let a limited ink selection hinder your creativity - give specialty inks a try!
February 10, 2017
In the screen printing world, a myth surrounds specialty inks. Screen printers often avoid puff, glow-in-the-dark, metallic and gel inks because they're considered difficult to work with.
Want to get started making money from your screen printing passion? Here are some tips for going pro!
February 08, 2017
Screen printing makes an excellent hobby. If you're creatively inclined, making a design and reproducing it on a shirt can be a very satisfying feeling. It's even better when you share your work with friends and family! After awhile, you may find yourself wanting to spread your designs to an even wider audience.
In order to succeed in screen printing, you need to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Find a niche!
February 06, 2017
Just like most other types of businesses, the field of screen printing is rife with competition. To succeed, you need to attract and retain customers. But how can you do that when other screen printing shops are offering similar services?
Once you've selected the right emulsion for your print job, it's time to get your screens ready for stencils!
January 31, 2017
Now that you understand the different types of screen printing emulsions and have selected the right emulsion for your shop, it’s time to talk about using those emulsions the right way to prepare your screens for a successful print run.
Good screen printing results start with a good stencil, and the best stencils start with the right emulsion!
January 27, 2017
A quality screen print requires a quality stencil. That means using the right screen printing emulsion for your job. So what types of screen printing emulsions are there? How are they different? How do you determine which type of emulsion to use?
Follow these tips to keep your white-on-dark print jobs looking sharp.
January 11, 2017
Almost nothing poses as big of a challenge for screen printers as printing white ink on black or other dark-colored shirts. White-on-dark prints can come out rough, splotchy or blurry, and they can be challenging to fully cure.
It can be a challenge, but with proper setup you can wow your customers with four color process printing.
January 09, 2017
To create a photorealistic image in screen printing, most printers rely on four color process. That involves printing the four basic print colors — cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) — in fine, half-tone dots.
With a little practice, you can master water-based inks for that soft hand feel everyone loves.
December 23, 2016
Water-based inks have grown in popularity due to their soft hand feel and lower environmental impact. For printers accustomed to plastisol inks, printing with water-based inks can provide some challenges because water-based inks don’t apply and react the same way plastisol inks do.
The best screen printing results always begin with well-executed pre-press.
December 19, 2016
It's easy to think of your screen printing press as the backbone of your operation. But remember, a press can only deliver quality prints if it's printing through quality screens.
A reliable source of compressed air is key to quality screen printing with a pneumatic press.
December 14, 2016
A screen printing shop needs a good air compressor, one that can fully power its screen printing presses and other equipment. Without the right air compressor, your machine can jolt and bounce. That can affect the quality of your prints and cause undue wear on your screen printing press.
Make sure you're taking the necessary steps to keep your prints vibrant and long-lasting.
December 09, 2016
It's a scenario straight from a screen printer's worst nightmare: You send a full order of high-quality, crisp t-shirts out the door. Days pass or even weeks, and suddenly you have an unhappy customer demanding to return the order because your perfectly laid prints are now washing out of the garments.
The right mesh count can go a long way towards producing the results you're after.
December 07, 2016
For newer screen printers, choosing the right screen mesh count often presents the most concern and confusion. Because of that, many newer screen printers - as well as some more seasoned ones - often use the same medium-grade mesh counts for all jobs. While a mid-range 160 mesh screen will get you far with your printing, you're doing yourself a disservice if you don't learn about and experiment with different screen mesh counts for different projects.
Screen printing heat transfers can be a convenient way to boost your shop's efficiency.
November 16, 2016
When you're running a small business, you need to take advantage of the technology and techniques that will help you increase efficiency while still providing quality products to customers.
Getting vibrant plastisol prints on dark garments can be a challenge - but you can overcome it!
November 08, 2016
If you're screen printing with plastisol ink, you might find yourself struggling to get vibrant colors in your final products. Many plastisol inks just don't have the opacity to give you the results you're looking for on their own.
A little communication goes a long way towards simplifying the printing process for you and your clients.
November 01, 2016
Your screen printing business is nothing without its customers. However, from time to time you’ll come across some clients that are more difficult to deal with than others. Some might be impossibly picky; others may have unrealistic expectations for what you can deliver. The key to keeping customers happy is communication.
Large-format screen printing can give you an edge - but it's not without its challenges!
October 27, 2016
Feeling squeezed by the restrictions of a standard-sized screen print? If your creativity can't be contained in your usual print size, you may want to give oversized printing a try. To really push the envelope, you can print whole backs and fronts of shirts, or even try all-over printing.
The key to a high-quality screen print is good pre-press technique.
October 25, 2016
So much of your focus as a screen printer goes into perfect printing operations: Using the right off-contact, squeegee angle and pressure, and curing at the right temperature for the right amount of time. But when it comes to setting yourself up for the perfect press run, much of your success hinges on your screen printing pre-press operations.
Screen printed labels can add an extra touch of professionalism to your products.
October 18, 2016
When we talk screen printing, it's easy to picture full-size, multicolor designs printed across the front or back of a t-shirt. But that's not the only place you can show off your work! Whether you've got your own clothing brand or you're printing shirts for a customer's label, creating custom tags can be a cool way to add a professional look to your products.
Take care to make sure these common errors aren't holding your business back.
October 13, 2016
Use these tips to avoid common printing mistakes and keep your customers happy.
October 06, 2016
Blurry prints. Smudged or rough ink. Improper registration. Images that wear away when washed. As a screen printer, these are some of the common problems you work to avoid. Every misprint costs money, and problem prints that make it into your customers' hands can damage your business's reputation.
One of the best ways to promote your screen printing shop is to do what you do best: print!
October 06, 2016
To survive in the t-shirt screen printing industry - let alone be successful - your business must maintain healthy relationships with its customers as well as its competitors. You could be the most experienced screen printer this side of the sun but nobody will know it without a strong presence and reputation in the field. There are many ways to build and improve your screen printing business. Here are a few suggestions that are sure to increase your visibility in the t-shirt screen printing community and attract new customers...
Tips for developing your skills whether you're pushing or pulling your squeegees.
October 05, 2016
In the world of screen printing, a hot debate surrounds technique: Should you push or pull your squeegees on your manual screen printing machine? Some printers will argue that the best technique for manual screen printing is to pull your squeegee down the screen toward you in the traditional screen printing manner, while others will argue that pushing the squeegee away from your body is best.
Save time and money by making exact off-contact adjustments before every job.
September 26, 2016
When it comes to presenting your customers with a finished product, you want to provide clean, crisp prints that accurately reflect their original designs. A lot goes into producing a quality print, but even if you have a top-of-the-line screen printing machine, the best inks and the perfect screens, you're going to have a hard time keeping tight registration if you're not accurately adjusting your off-contact for each job.
Getting better quality prints with your screen printing press is just six steps away.
September 16, 2016
Are you finding poor quality and misaligned prints in your production? The most probable cause is how your pallets are leveled on your screen printing press.
Electric power can give you a big advantage in three main areas of a screen printing press.
August 22, 2016
If you’re shopping for an automatic screen printing machine, you’re probably seeing lots of different configurations to choose from. Not only do you have to figure out how many colors and what size area you want to print, you’ve also got to pick what type of power will drive your press. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming! Let’s break it down as simply as possible.
If you've got the entrepreneurial spirit and a knack for creativity, starting your own custom garment business might be a great fit for you - but it's not all fun and games!
August 17, 2016
Traffic, gas prices, long car rides - the morning commute to work can be a real pain. And once you arrive, you're spending long hours making money for someone else and missing out on what's most important - your family.
A primer on how to choose a manual press you can count on.
July 22, 2016
If you’re looking for success in the world of screen printing, you need a press that’ll work hard to meet the needs of your business. If you’re a newcomer to the industry, a manual screen printing press is a good way to start.
An automatic's return on investment will change the way you work.
June 13, 2016
How to make the most out of your trade show experience.
June 01, 2016
With dozens of exhibitors, a maze of booths and an endless supply of flashy equipment and supplies to browse, a trade show can be a pretty overwhelming place. You've put aside the time to visit, registered to attend and maybe you've even had to travel a long way to get there - you probably don't want to waste your time wandering around aimlessly!
Don't underestimate the importance of pre-press!
May 11, 2016
With so much attention on applying ink to shirts, it's easy to forget that pre-press is just as important! If your screen hasn't been properly prepared before it goes on the press, even perfect printing technique won't deliver a quality print. There are so many variables that factor into exposing your screens it can be difficult to get a good result, especially if you're unfamiliar with the process.
It’s a new year and there are some changes here at Anatol.
February 10, 2016
We’ve listened to the feedback from our customers and made the commitment not to offer you anything less than the best customer care you can get in the t-shirt screen printing equipment industry. The entire Anatol team has rededicated itself to going the extra mile to help our customers in whatever way we can. It’s not just talk – we’ve made concrete changes and are prepared to walk the long walk.
Find out everything you need to know about the process of reclaiming a screen.
January 26, 2016
So you've just finished a successful print run and decided to get started on another. You go to the rack for a fresh screen but they're nowhere to be found! Your lack of planning left you with a pile of dirty screens caked with ink. Now what?
If you want to print soft designs on dark garments, discharge inks may be your new best friend.
January 12, 2016
Do you have a favorite t-shirt? You know, the soft cotton one with the soft handed, distressed print on the front? Everyone has one, and there's a pretty good chance it was printed using water based ink. Customers love the soft feel and clean, smooth look of water based prints.
Remember, it's always easier to add more ink to the mixture than to take it out!
January 06, 2016
As a screen printer, every order you get is different. The design possibilities in screen printing are virtually limitless; some customers might not have a good idea of what they want their garment to look like, others can be very particular. A customer may request a specific printing process, fabric, ink type or color. You can meet most of these demands relatively easily. However, reproducing a specific color is often easier said than done.
It might be time to upgrade to an automatic screen printing press.
December 29, 2015
Is your screen printing shop struggling to meet tight deadlines? Is your manual press keeping you from taking bigger, more complex jobs? If so, it might be time to upgrade to an automatic t-shirt screen printing machine. With a single operator, an automatic press runs at least 3-5 times faster than a manual press, allowing you to tackle larger production runs with more colors. And with automatic presses available with compact footprints, you should be able to find one that fits your existing work space - no need to restructure, no need to move!
Screenprinting can be a lucrative venture for an aspiring entrepreneur.
December 21, 2015
So you've decided you want to get into the garment printing industry but you're not sure how to get started. No worries, everyone was a beginner at some point! Let's put first things first, like deciding which style of customization you want to pursue. When it comes to printing textiles, two of the most common options are screen printing and direct to garment (DTG) printing.
There's no such thing as any particular screenprinting ink being 'the best'.
December 18, 2015
One of the most common questions we hear among beginners in the screen printing world is “what ink should I use?” To find the answer, consider another question: “what are you looking to print?”. It's not a matter of trying to find the "best" screen printing ink in the industry, but rather finding an ink that will give you the results you need. In order to figure out what ink will best suit your project, it's important to understand the properties and applications of different screen printing inks.
Upgrading Your Screen Printing Press.
December 16, 2015
Tom and his wife Tammy are owners of a small-time screen printing business that makes just under $100,000 a year. Growth has been steady and they’re ready to expand production, but the manual screen printing press they’re using limits the amount of jobs they can take. Upgrading to an automatic press raises concerns about space at their facility, but is it really a problem? Not necessarily! Tom and Tammy have plenty of options that will allow them to fit a new press into their existing space and get on their way to business growth and more profits. It’s a matter of clearing the clutter, doing the math and purchasing with a plan.
Finding the ideal dryer for your screen printing shop is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
December 15, 2015
Just as you can only print as fast as your press can operate, you can only cure as fast as your dryer can operate. While cost is important to any screen printing facility, there are a number of considerations that are vital to choosing the right conveyor dryer for your production needs. Just like your clothes dryer at home, conveyor dryers come in two types: gas and electric. Which is right for you? Let’s find out!