Screen Printing on Apparel

Screen printing is a popular method of printing designs on fabric by pushing ink through a mesh screen with a squeegee. The stencil is created by blocking out areas of the mesh screen that are not meant to receive ink, leaving open the areas where the design will appear. The ink is then applied to the screen, and the squeegee is used to press or force the ink through the open areas of the screen and onto the fabric, creating the desired design. Screen printing is often the preferred method in garment printing as it allows for high-quality prints on many types of fabrics—including cotton, polyester and blends. It is a cost-effective method for producing large quantities of garments with the same design, and can be used for printing everything from t-shirts to hoodies to tote bags to towels, etc. Screen printing can be used with a wide range of inks, including water-based and plastisol ink and offers embellishments such as puff , crackle, foil, and distress printing.

We offer screen printing services for projects with at least 24pcs. If you’re wondering whether your project is suitable for this technology contact us and we can discuss the options you have at your disposal. We can accommodate most projects needs from small personal projects to large commercial orders. Call us at (323) 433-0033 to learn more about our screen printed apparel options or reach out via E-mail to [email protected] and let’s get started.

Traditional Inks

The most economical and high quality ink choice for the widest variety of screen printed apparel.

Plastisol Inks

Super durable and looks great on any color garment.

Formulated to achieve superior opacity and color matching accuracy, plastisol inks are the most commonly used inks for screen printed apparel. Made of PVC with an oil base for flow and viscosity.

Plastisol Pricing

Our standard pricing includes Plastisol Inks. View custom screen printing pricing in our Apparel Catalog.

Water-Based Inks

The best choice for the environment.

Water-based inks produce ultra soft prints and are the most eco-friendly inks available. Water-based inks are used by organizations with a desire to maintain a green profile and fashion-oriented companies looking for a soft-to-the-hand feel. With the consistency of water and a translucent base, designing for these inks should be reserved for minimal detail and color printed on an organic fabric. Truly an ink for those looking to print green.

  • Most eco-friendly inks available
  • Super soft to the hand

Screen Printing Techniques in Los Angeles

Push your design even further

Accentuate your designs with any one of our special effects inks and applications. Whether it’s adding lifelike textures by utilizing a High Density Ink or giving your image a reflective quality by adding a foil transfer, these effects will add value and distinction to your next project.

Natural Discharge

Softest Ink Option for Black & Dark Garments.

This printing special effect is simplistic, yet highly artistic. By printing discharge agents on to 100% cotton garments and adding heat, a chemical reaction is used to create an off-white or bleached-out natural color. The result is a graphic area that is entirely void of any ink left on the garment. Due to the nature of this process, some variation in the color of your final print should be expected by you or your client. Some colors react to this process better than others.
Please contact your representative if you have any questions regarding the garment color of your choice prior to placing your order. If a specific shade of off-white is required for your project, please choose Soft Vibrant and we will match the color of your print file to the closest available ink.

High Density Inks

Take your design to new heights with our High Density Inks! High Density Inks are printed with a special screen setup to create a squared-off print that stands up to 1/8 inch above the fabric’s surface. This results in an opaque, durable, three-dimensional print that adds texture & depth to your graphic.
High Density Inks are available in any color in the Pantone Matching System solid color guides. If you do not have a PMS color guide, we can match your files to the closest available swatch. This effect is limited to one ink per garment and cannot be combined with Hybrid, Foil or Discharge Ink due to the heat required to achieve each of these processes. High Density Inks cannot be used for halftone images or graphics with fine detail. They work best with solid, bold graphic areas such as text or symbols.

Super Gels

Get the wet look with our Super Gel Inks! Similar to High Density Inks, but with softer, rounded edges. Super Gel Inks are a transparent way to compliment drop shadows or other design effects. This ink is best used to simulate liquid or accent an area of your design. While generally printed clear, Super Gels can also be tinted in a variety of colors.

Foil Transfers

Add shine to your design with colored foil transfers! Utilize one of our eye-catching foil colors to create a polished, mirror-like finish that will reflect light and make your graphic radiate like the sun. The result is a finish that is sure to make you break out your shades to keep the glare out of your eyes.
This look is created by combining a printed adhesive and a heat-transferred foil leaf. Foil can also be a great way to emphasize your multi-color design. Due to the manufacturing process, however, the other inks used in your design will have a soft-hand feel. Foil Transfers work best with solid, bold graphic areas such as text or logos and cannot be used for halftone images or graphics with fine detail. Limited to one foil color per print location. Extend the life of your foil prints by washing these garments inside-out in cold water and hang to dry.

Metallic Inks

Go heavy and drop some metal into your design. Metallic Inks give you a subtle, unfinished sheen without the polished reflective shine of foil. Available in 14 different colors.

Puff Inks

Stay puffed! Evoke 80’s nostalgia or create a throwback look to your raglan or trucker cap with Puff Inks. Puff Inks are a great economic alternative to High Density or Super Gel Inks, but have a much softer marshmallow-like quality. This effect is created by adding a puff additive to standard Plastisol Inks, which makes them rise like a freshly baked loaf of bread.
Puff Inks are available in any color in the Pantone Matching System solid color guides. If you do not have a Pantone color guide, we can match your files to the closest available swatch. Combine this with Standard Plastisol Inks of the same color in a different screen to create texture within one solid fill area.

Glitter Printing

Give your design a little sparkle. Glitter Inks are made of multicolor metallic flakes suspended in a clear Plastisol base and can be applied to your entire image or just one area. Glitter effect is available in any color in the Pantone Matching System solid color guides. If you do not have a Pantone color guide, we can match your files to the closest available swatch. Just tell us which areas.


Put the spotlight on your designs with TBSP own Glow-in-the-Dark Ink! Best used as an overprint with white or light-colored inks, this special effects ink is translucent and can be used over one specific area or all over your image. Because of the phosphorescence nature of this ink, the final print will have a slight green cast and Pantone matching is unavailable.


Screen printing is a multi step printing technique which transfers ink onto fabric, and other materials, primarily using a mesh screen, ink, and a squeegee. Printing with screens involves the separation of colors, usually done with design software, and placing these color separations on their own screens. Screen printing is the most popular printing technique for garments being that the solid colors are printed vividly and the print lasts a long time. We can print on almost any material, from screen printing on shirts to screen printing on towels, depending on what your needs are, we can find the right printing solution for you.

Screen printing your design onto a garment is done by a series of steps. Once production has received the necessary items to bring your design to life, we begin with extracting colors from the design. Using design software, production reduces and separates colors to be printed onto it’s own film. Once the image is printed and transferred onto mesh screens, the design is ready to be screen printed onto hoodies and shirts or any other fabric material. The garment is laid out onto a surface, adjusted for printing placement, and finally, the screen lays onto the shirt to transfer an image mechanically or by hand using a squeegee and ink. After all the colors are transferred onto the garment, it is removed from the surface and placed in a flat bed dryer for curing. At last, there is your shirt with a screen print of your design.

Printing technologies vary, that’s why screen printing and digital printing options are available to you depending on the needs of your project. Screen printing and digital printing differences lie in their color printing process.Single color printing is used in screen printing vs digital printing where 4 colors can be printed at once. With printing on screens, solid colors hold a better vibrance and for bulk orders, can have a fast turnaround time. In digital printing, customers can print with no minimums and can print pictures onto a shirt or any other garment.

There are six different types of screen printing. We have spot color screen printing, halftone screen printing, grayscale printing, duotone printing, CMYK screen printing, and simulated process screen printing.
Spot color printing is the most used process, using single solid colors to print at a time. In halftone printing, a single color ink is used to create a gradient effect using halftone dots. Grayscale screen printing uses a whole image and prints the dots in grayscale. This print offers great detail by pulling out colored tones only and switching to grayscale. Duotone screen printing uses the combination of two halftones for printing the same image with two colors. This print result looks like a sepia photograph. CMYK printing is the most complex, printing four colors at one time using Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Lastly, simulated process printing screen prints 4 colors at one time and is becoming increasingly popular because of its ability to print realistic imagery using screen printing.

Screen printing can be both simple and lengthy work depending on the complexity of a project. There is pre work and post work to be done for this printing process to be completed. When screen printing on a hoodie, for example, the pocket causes an uneven surface for transfer, so production has to adjust screen placements to ensure there is enough distance between the screen and fabric for the ink to be applied smoothly and not end up too smudgy. If your project is asking for puff screen printing, there are extra additives that need to be applied iinto the ink to create the reaction, also requiring additional steps to cure properly. Screen printing on hats need to be applied using transfer paper and a hot press. These are only a few examples of the screen printing process that show it can go from easy to intricate depending on how elaborate a project is..

With screen printing, there are multiple inks to choose from such as discharge inks, plastisol inks, and water-based inks. Each of these inks have different properties that work well with different materials and print patterns. Working with these inks also requires distinct skill sets and expertise. Different inks produce different feels for the print on fabric. Soft-hand screen prints such as puff printing and even rough crackle ink screen prints are some examples of different types of ink techniques.

The materials required for screen printing include a metal or wooden frame with a mesh screen, a squeegee, ink, a color station mechanism, a conveyor belt dryer for curing, artwork, and a garment or fabric. We can screen print on polyester, cotton, wool, denim, and many more fabrics. Nylon or any other synthetic fabric is to be avoided because they can shrink when drying.

Screen printing is a fantastic option for printing. It’s long lasting, vivid, and is fast and affordable for large scale projects. Some screen printed garments can last over 20+ years depending on the aftercare of the garment and print. Colors are solid and vivid, and the feel of a screen print is weighty and durable. When working with us, our customers have the option of screen printing on their own shirts or printing with garments we can provide as well. In the end, the final product is completely customizable and in the hands of the customer.

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