Understanding the Basic Screen Printed Bags Terms

Screen printed bags and products are the first choice of many people now. Not only it is cost effective but also opens wider doors of different styles and designs of exactly your choice. Screen printed products look like finely painted items and due to this its demand is on rise and the screen printing business is booming. But before getting in screen printed bags business, you should know some basic terms used in this industry.

1. The term “Artwork”:

It refers to the picture, caption, slogan or statement you want to print on your t-shirt. This is the first step in screen printing and for this purpose many softwares are available in the market. The important thing here is to do it in vector format. For printing the artwork generally Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator are used.

2. The ‘SEPS’:

The ‘SEPS’ or in common words the separations are the separate films on which each color is printed. This will aid in burning the images of each different color on the screen to give a clear fine print.

3. The Screen:

It is a square tool which is made of aluminum or wood. On it a tightly woven net or a “mesh” is firmly stretched. It is used for effectively burning the print on the t-shirt.

4. The MESH:

As mentioned in the third point, it is a web like meshy material which is tightly stretched on the screen. It is porous in nature and has small pores of various sizes which allow the ink to seep through it in different quantities depending upon the print design. The screens have varying mesh count depending upon the design and lesser mesh count screens allow more quantity of ink to pass through it.

5. Emulsion and its use:

This is a liquid which is used to block those pores of the screen where you don’t want the ink to pass through. Emulsion is applied on the screen and when it dries up in the dark room, blocks way the pores. In this way an accurate impression of the print is framed on the screen and nothing other than the desired print appears on the shirt.

6. Coat:

It refers to blocking away unnecessary pores on the screen by coating it with the emulsion.

7. The burning process:

Here halogen light or very high wattage light bulb is used to burn the design on the item to be printed. The image blocks out the light on the screen and here the emulsion remains soft and gets eventually washed out and the ink seeps through it to create the impression. In this way a fine print is produced.

8. The use of Halogen and high wattage bulb etc:

These permanently block off the pores on the screen and are used for creating a sharp impression of the print on the screen. In this way a clear print in burned on the silk screen to get good end results.

9. SQUEEGEE and its purpose:

This is used for finely smearing the ink all over the screen.


This is the special ink used for screen printing purposes. It has distinctive properties suited to its purpose e.g., it does not dry off even when left out until it is specifically dried off at high temperature.

11. The Flash unit:

It dries up the ink sufficiently to get another color printed on it. While toping a color with another print, flash unit is used to dry the initial color up to a certain limit then the next color is applied.

12. The use of Pallet in screen printing:

It is a piece of wood on the top of which the shirt to be printed is placed.

13. Auto press:

This is a huge printing unit in the form a of an equipment which can print up to 14 colors. It is used for collectively printing off the shirts.

14. The conveyor dryer:

It is used to dry up the shirts at the final stage of printing.

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