Capabilities: Screen Printing in Rhode Island

Screen-Printing »

Graphic Perspective offers two types of screen printing:

Water-Based Inks

Water-based ink, which is environmentally-friendly, contains dyes or pigments that suspend in water. After the application of the ink, evaporation of the water is required to cure the ink, and this can take place at room temperature. Water-based inks have a soft feel on the clothing after printing because the ink blends with the fibers of the fabric. Unfortunately, water-based inks cannot be used on dark colored materials or the newer high-tech fabrics and for these we use Plastisol ink.


Plastisol is ink that usually contains PVC compounds to produce color that will be visible when printed over dark materials. PVC is not biodegradable. Plastisols require a white underlay covered by layers of colored ink, all of which sits on top of the garment, giving it a thick, heavy feel.

Contact Graphic Perspective to find out which type of screen-printing is best suited for your application.


Screen-Printing Process »

Step 1
The Design

Many clients provide Graphic Perspective with their own design. Typical screen-printed designs use up to 4 colors, however, where necessary, Graphic Perspective can produce screen-printed products with up to 12 colors.

For designs that use more than 12 colors, Direct-To-Garment printing may be the most cost-effective option.

The cost of a screen-printed product is proportional to the number of colors used because only one color can be applied at a time, which means that each color must have its own screen and must be applied separately.

The least expensive method to produce a screen-printed garment is to use a single color

The preferred file format for the graphic design is in Adobe Illustrator (.AI) for PCs, which facilitates the creation of the color separations required to produce the screens.

Step 2
Create The Color Separation

Using the Adobe Illustrator file, the colors in a multi-color screen are separated into individual files called "color separations."

If you do not have an Adobe Illustrator file for your design, Graphic Perspective may be able to convert your design file to produce the desired color separations.

Step 3
Frame The Screen

The screen material is stretched tight and attached to a wooden frame [inset photo]. The frame is marked with the client's names and reference number for future filing and reuse.

Step 4
Apply The Emulsion

The framed screen material is coated with a photographic emulsion. This is an emulsion that contains light-sensitive crystals.

After application of the emulsion, the screen is left to dry.

Step 5
Create The Screen With Design

The color separation overlay is placed on the framed, emulsion-coated screen, and then exposed with a light source containing ultraviolet light in the 350-420 nanometer spectrum. The U.V. light passes through the clear areas of the color separation onto the photo-emulsion, hardening the emulsion onto the screen. Upon completion of the exposure process, the screen is washed and the areas of photographic emulsion that were not exposed to light are washed off the screen. What remains on the screen is a negative stencil of the design.

If there is more than one color is being used, this process is repeated for each color.

Step 6
Print The Garment

The garment to be printed is positioned on the screen press and the framed screened stencil is placed over the garment. Ink of the chosen color is poured inside the framed screen and a squeegee is used to press the ink though the screen onto the material. When the screen is removed, the colored design remains on the garment.

If there is more than one color being used, this process is repeated for each color.


If you would like to learn more about the screen-printing process, please contact Graphic Perspective.


Resources »