The Ultimate Guide to Screen Printing in New Zealand

branding, printing, screen printing -

The Ultimate Guide to Screen Printing in New Zealand

Screen Printing in New Zealand is one of the most common ways to brand your apparel. 

And it’s no surprise; for large print runs of simple designs, it can be extremely cost-effective.

But what is screen printing and is it right for your branded apparel? One of our screen printing experts, Anna, talks us through everything you need to know about this printing practice.

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What exactly is screen printing?

In the simplest terms, screen printing is essentially a way of using stencils to paint designs onto garments.

We make the screens from silk, with little perforated holes where we want colour to go, just like a paper stencil!

Each layer of colour requires its own stencil. We drag the ink across the stencil, wipe away the excess and remove the screen to leave the colour.

For multicoloured-designs, the inks are simply layered on top of each other, one at a time.

How long do the screen prints last?

Screen printing should last years if used and washed normally. 

You should almost always wash garments in a cold wash and never put them in a hot dryer. This extends the life of your garments, as well as the print work.

What designs work best for screen printing?

While a lot of amazing designs can be achieved with screen printing, it’s most cost effective for printing designs with few colours.

Every colour requires the set up of a screen, which requires another set up fee.

Flat colours are best, but gradients can be achieved with half-tone gradients (ask your graphic designer for help with this). 

If you can easily count the number of colours in your design, especially if you have fewer than 3 colours and a large run to do, screen printing might be the best garment printing option for your needs.

Have a more complex design? Talk to our team about Supacolour Transfer Printing!

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What garments can I get screen printed?

Almost all of our garments can be screen printed, including t-shirts, hats and hi vis jackets.

However, some garments are simply harder than others to print onto, due to their composition and coating.

If you’re looking at branding a specific garment of ours that you’re unsure about, please just get in touch and one of the team will be able to help you figure out the best printing style for your needs.

What is the minimum number for one design?

As great screen printing is quite a personalised process to get up and running (and therefore has set up costs) it’s most cost effective to do runs of 20 or more.

However, if you have your heart set on screen printing, we will consider design runs of 10 or more.

What design file do I need for screen printing?

In order to make the stencils (screens) for your design, we require vector files from Adobe Illustrator.

Your graphic designer should know exactly what file is needed; AI, EPS or any vector file.

All fonts need to be converted to outlines/curves or the original font files attached and emailed.

We have a graphic designer who can work with your files if needed (get in touch to ask about our graphic design fees).

If all this sounds like a foreign language, read our guide on Vector files for printing or get in touch with one of our customer care specialists. We’re more than happy to help.

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Can I have a mixture of colours for the same design?

Absolutely! As long as the design and the size doesn’t change, we can use the same stencil or screen.

All we need to do is clean the screen for printing with a new colour. Our team will be happy to discuss how much the screen cleaning fee is for your specific job.

How long does it take?

As most of our larger clients opt for screen printing, there can be a lead time of 3 weeks or more, especially when heading towards Christmas.

If you need your branded apparel urgently, please reach out to our team. We might be able to squeeze you in, or recommend another printing technique that will get your apparel to you quicker.

How do I order my screen printing?

All screen printing work needs to be organised with us via email. Please send us an enquiry, or reply to any of our emails, with your design and requirements, and our team will be in touch!