Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to Print Photos on T-Shirts

Who is the guy in this photo and what is he doing here??? Why, it's Ben Tanzer, writer of novels and short stories. He is also the publisher of This Blog Will Change Your Life.

I reproduce Ben's photo here as it's a good example of a photo that is good for screen printing. Why? Because it has a strong composition and high contrast. Here is how to screen print a photo or an illustrated continuous tone image as a halftone.

You want to use a high mesh count screen. I'd recommend a 305 mesh, but anything over 240 mesh will work. You will coat and expose your screen as usual. The key is to get your image on a film positive that will successfully reproduce the image.

Open the image in Photoshop and load your laser printer with clear vellum. Do not try to print a halftone film positive from an ink jet printer unless you have the proper rip software that can tell the printer how to make a halftone dot!

In Photoshop, go to color settings. Set the dot gain for 30%. Commercial printers usually set the dot gain at 20%, but T-Shirt printers set it at 30%.

Go to print the clear vellum, and when you get the print dialog box, open the screen dialog box. Set the screen frequency at 55 lines per inch. Set the dot shape to round if you are using a laser printer. Print the image to the clear vellum. This is your film positive and you can use it to burn your screen.

Try your normal exposure time. When developing the screen, use medium water pressure. If you hit the screen with too much pressure, you may blow out your half tone dots.

If the screen clogs, try again with a shorter exposure time. If the image washes o, increase your exposure time.

While printing, be sure to do some test prints before running shirts. Print on fabric test squares or newsprint to proof. Try one firm stroke -- sometimes two is too much and can blob your ink when printing halftones. It depends on the screen. If you are using a 305 mesh screen, it's more likely you can use two strokes than if you are using a 240.

Good Luck!

Steve Lafler
Manx Media

Ben Tanzer's new book is My Father's House. You can get it here.


preeti said...

Nice Technique to print Photo on T-Shirt. I found Redmoment Online Shop from where people can buy Photo on T-Shirt. People also can customize their t-shirt by printing different photos on T-Shirts.

valfrid said...

Techniques for better photo printing on t-shirts to redmoment online store you can purchase a photo on a t-shirt, users can also customize t-shirts, photos, printed on t-shirts.

Buy T shirts Online said...

That is a surprisingly informative post! I've long considered learning it, but the pronunciation thing has always put me off. Knowing that it's regular and not random helps a lot!
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