Screen Printing American Flag T-Shirts – Classic

Since we’re nearing the Fourth of July, it’s only appropriate to speak about the American flag t-shirt. I’m sure almost every screen printer has printed the American flag tee one time or another, I know have plenty of times.

Brooklyn Screen Printing

Printing the American flag is quite simple, it usually involves just white and red ink on a navy shirt, or red and blue on a white shirt. On the most part the blue gets knocked out to be the color of the shirt, or vice versa with the white. Typically we print the flag over some letters, for example for the world cup we printed the flag through the words USA.

But the most common in flag t-shirt in NY is to print is the FDNY and serves as station shirts for local fire departments. The shirt is basically the FDNY letters printed on a navy shirt, with the blue knocked out to the navy shirts and white start with red and white strips to the right. In the front we generally print the Maltese Cross with the letters

Screen Printing For FDNY in Brooklyn

FD on one side and NY on the other, while on the inside we print the station number, engine number, or latter number.

Finally, one of the classics is the simple t-shirt with the basic American flag imprinted on the front. As you can see in the image below, we actually distressed the flag and printed navy, red & white ink – just to give the shirts the real flag look. These type of shirts are typically printed for retail purposes and sold tourist stores. Screen Printed American Flag T-Shirt

If your interested in a Brooklyn Screen Printing company for your fire station, store or next event – don’t hesitate to contact us.


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Your Guide To Ordering Customized T-Shirts

Your Guide To Ordering Customized T-Shirts


Whether it’s for sweet 16, bar/bat mitzvah or just for your company – people all over are always ordering customized tee’s. This is why it’s important to know the right way to go about ordering your shirts. The process is quite simple, but is often confusing for the average Joe Shmoe customer. Most customers don’t notice that regardless of the amount of shirts being printed, there is still much work that goes on behind the scenes to get the product from blank to printed.

The thing that I find customers have the most difficulties comprehending is artwork. I believe this is because most of the “average” customers don’t have much experience withsoftware’s such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, while us printers use the programs on a daily basis. So on that note, lets start with artwork.

Brooklyn Screen Printing Company

  1. Once you have an idea in mind, its time to get it in to an actual drawing. This involves either drawing the art by hand, then scanning it onto the computer and retracing it using a vector software (Photoshop or Illustrator). Or you can actually draw out the artwork from scratch using photo editing/vector software. I personally prefer to draw out the artwork using Illustrator, since everything in Illustrator is vectored, This means no matter how big or small you stretch out the design, it will always constrains the pixels and not distort.  When preparing artwork in any software, you should always keep in mind that you want to scale out your artwork to size and keep your resolution at 300 dots per inch. That means don’t make the artwork 1” wide by 1” tall when you want it printed 13” wide.  You also want to make sure your artwork is screen printable.
  2. Next you want to make sure your artwork is worth screen-printing, rather than embroidery, direct to garment printing, or sublimation. You’d be surprised the number of times customers come in with a 12 color design and ask to get 6 shirts printed! Sometimes printed less than 24-36 using the screen printing method is simply not worth the money since we have to create one screen for every color in every location of print. So a 6 color design will cost 6 screen set up fees. So before placing your order weigh out all methods of printing and see which is the most worthwhile for you.
  3. At this point you are just about ready to place your order, all that is left is picking the type of garments you want printed.
  4. Once you arrive at your local screen printing company, give them your artwork and place your order. Please always make sure to ask for a spec sheet or mock up and sign off on it. I can’t emphasize enough how important this is! In the event that there is a typo, or an error with your order this is what will save you.  Check the mock up or spec sheet thoroughly; because once you sign off on it, the printer will start printing.

After you sign off on the spec sheet and place the order, just sit back relax and wait for your amazing finished goods. What will happen behind the scenes is the company will break down your artwork into colors (or layers), then print out a film for each layer and expose them onto screen (templates). Then they will align the screens on the press, add ink to each screen and begin printing. Keep mind, the more screens (colors) your design has and the more garments you want printed, the longer the process will take –so have some patience!

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Brooklyn Screen Printing – Party Favors and Much More

Brooklyn New York is an area that is populated with a very large community of Jewish people. Among many of the Jewish population, it is customary to Bar Miztvah their sons or Bat Miztvah their daughters upon entering the adult life. At this time Ina young man or woman’s life it’s believed that the “kid” now takes responsibility for his or her own actions. They are responsible for their own sins as well as merits. It can be said that this is “when a boy becomes a man”.

The Jewish families living in Brooklyn, generally upper middle class, almost always throw a huge festival for the Bar / Bat mitzvah. Being Jewish I can tell you these events are lots of fun and very festive.

As you may assume, these events call for fun and amazing party favors. This is where screen printing gets tied in. Among the many favors you can give out, many families choose to give out printed t-shirts. Since we are located in the heart if Brooklyn, this means loads of business for us. The average order is about 100-200 t-shirts with a 1-2 colors print. (Very easy to print)

But today we did something a bit different. Recently a customer came in and requested for us to print on some socks, 100 pairs to be exact. Now you would think, who would even see the print on a – it’s in your shoe! That’s the thing would boggle most peoples mind. Well there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. Girls you should know this! When you are at a wedding, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah etc, you will almost always wear heels. After an hour or two of standing on your feet, they start to get a bit soar. Therefore giving out socks to all the ladies will solve a lot of problems. Instead of wearing heels, you wear a pair of socks! This is why having a cute print on the front isn’t such a bad idea.

Little do most people know, but the Brooklyn screen printing industry has a big market.

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The Evolving Screen Printing Industry In NYC

The New York screen printing industry has vastly grown in the recent years. It has started off as a small industry with very little competition, and has evolved tremendously. What once took hours to set up and cost thousands of dollars, now takes minutes and cost as little as one hundred dollars. In the past setting up a multi color job would require much more than what the naked eye sees.  Whether it was hand drawing artwork, scanning the artwork, separating the artwork, preparing the screens, aligning the screens, or printing each color manually the process took lots of time. Today with the use of software and alignments methods the time is substantially shorter and time is money.

There are many screen printing companies located in the greater New York area, but each is unique in its own way. If you do a quick Google search for “screen printing in NY”, you will notice that there is variety of different companies. Typically you will find that some of these results are a useful source of information for learning how to screen print. There might be some tutorials teaching the ins and out, or some companies trying to sell you their screen printing supplies. Finally you will find companies who offer their screen printing services to you.

Companies such as Ryonet offer both supplies to the industry, as well as offer many tutorial lessons. Besides for the fact that they can be considered the largest screen printing wholesaler in the US, they post up loads of videos to help fellow screen printers (novice and experts) learn the do’s and don’ts.

The most common results that you will find are companies looking to screen print items and garments for you. For example, if you are looking to have some shirts printed for your school’s athletic department you might come across a company that specializes in t-shirt printing (like ours), which prints basic plastisol inks on the basic every day t-shirts. If for example you are interested in making your own clothing line, you might come accross companies which use water base inks and offer specialty printing. Specialty printing and water base printing is all about the feel of the print once it is printed. Some clothing lines are based all about puff paint, which puffs once it is run through the dryer. On the other hands, water base paint is very thin and when rubbed can barley be felt.  Generally speaking, water base inks are used for clothing lines and more fashionable items.

Whether you are trying to learn, looking to buy supplies, or starting your own clothing line in NY – Screen Printing  in NYC is what you should search.

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Screen Printing Tip of the Day: The Tri-Lock

When printing multi color jobs on an automatic press the fastest and most efficient way to get your job lined up and ready for print is using the tri-lock. The tri-lock is a specially molded piece of metal that slides onto the pallet arm and uses the corner and edge of the screen to create an even and uniform print on all print heads. The tri-lock is the best tool on the automatic press to get your print ready and as long as all steps are followed thoroughly you should have perfect alignment every single time.

Step 1: Light it up

  Before even picking up the tri-lock the process begins pre screen burning.  Using your light table be sure to align all your films to the same place on the registration marks and burn all your screens accordingly. Be as accurate as possible if one of your films is slightly off alignment with the others it will negate the use of the tri lock and you’ll have manually fix it. When you burn your screens the tri-lock holder on the burning table is used to again keep alignment and consistency in where the image is burned. This is the key to the tri lock.

Step 2: Lock Em’ In

  After your screens are burned and ready to be printed load them into the corresponding print heads on the press based on their color. The tri-lock aligns with each screen on the top left corner and the left side so you’re going to want to pull it up and tight into place and lock the screen in with the switches on the top of the print head. Ensuring proper placement will give you the results for a proper print each time, another thing to remember is zeroing out all print heads before loading screens to ensure consistency for the tri-lock to work effectively.

Step 3: Test Print

  Once all your screens are loaded, the tri-lock has been used with each screen and they’ve been locked into place and all the ink has been filled with squeegees and flood bars loaded and locked into place also you’re ready to do your test print. From here its as basic as running a normal job.  If used effectively the tri-lock will give you a perfect test print first try with the registration marks lining up with each screen. If minor adjustments need to be made based on small movements, from the light table to the burning process, use the micro registrations accordingly to give the desired print.

                Overall the entire process with the tri-lock relies on detail and a keen eye in burning your screens consistently. Locking your screens into place also is an important step and in making sure your registrations are zeroed out you’ll get the desired test print each time saving the headache of manually adjusting for each color. Be patient and utilize the tri-lock effectively to up your production and polish your finished screen printing product. Now you should be ready to make your custom t-shirts!



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Screen Printing Tip Of The Day: DIY Conveyor Dryer

Screen Printing Tip Of The Day: Building Your Own Conveyor Dryer DIY

A while back, before we purchased our M&R Fusion Dryer, we decided to make our own conveyor dryer from materials available at our local Home Depot and Lowes. Our friend over at Toldeo Tee’s wrote a step by step detailed DIY guide to building the dryer, which can be found at But this is just a brief summary on building your own at home dryer.

To start off you want to make a table which will serve as the base of your dryer. Our base was 30 inches tall by 4 feet wide. It was actually a shelving unit that we used to use for some folded shirts.

Along the two sides we secured 10 foot air conditioning rails, which are used to hang AC units from the ceiling. These are used to hold the drive roller on one end and belt support on the other. The rails were placed with 2 feet extra on one end and 4 feet extra on the other. This leaves for 2 feet intake, 4 foot chamber and 4 foot cool off for when the shirts come out of the end of the chamber. To make the drive roller, we used 3 and 1/4 inch thick PVC piping cut to just below 2 feet with and capped it on both sides. We drilled holes directly in the center of both caps then lined the pipe with the mat used to line the inside of a toolbox. This lining give the roller grip so the belt can spin. Then we made 4 more of these rollers, but without any lining. We secured one on the other end and three more throughout the 10 feet. To secure the these we put 1/2 threaded pipe inside them and secured them on both ends with some bolts. It’s important to note that these rollers must be able t turn, so don’t fasten the bolts too tight. As for the drive shaft, we purchased a rotisserie motor at Lowes and and fastened it to its rod, then secured the motor to the end of the 10 foot rails.

Next, we fabricated a belt from fiberglass screen door, which is fireproof. Wrapped the belt around all the PVC pipes and secured it with high temperature silicone glue. The glue is red and is as to tolerate high temperatures. It’s important to note that the belt should not be too tight, since the weight of the shirts helps tighten he belt.

The final stage consisted of making a heating chamber, also known as the oven. The oven we built was made up of Micro Density Fiber, a material that is able to withstand high temperatures. The MDF boards look like wood, but are much heavier and thicker. We built a box around above the base (2′W x 4′L x 2′H). We opened holes on both the intake and exit to allow for the belt to roll through. Underneath the belt we laid ceramic tile, this served as a radiant heat reflector. Then purchased two 1000 watts quartz heating elements, and secured them about 8-10 inches above the belt (in the chamber). This acted as our heating source and the temperature rose to 1000 degrees at the bulb.

The dryer is all done at this stage and ou should be all set now to print your custom t shirts!

Here is the link to Toledo Tee’s step by step instructions:

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Screen Printing Tip Of The Day: Printing On Sleeves & Sweatpants

The difference between an at home screen printer and a professional successful screen printer is the ability to adapt to your enviorment and meet customer requirements. Many times customers ask us, screen printers, to pint on other garments and other items. More off than not, customers will request a sleeve print or a print down the leg of a sweatpants.

Printing on the sleeve or down the leg is actually quite easy if you think about it. It’s pretty much the same as printing on the front of a shirt or sweatshirt, but in a different location. In order to print, you will need a special pallet for your press. Usually the pallet is either one long pallet (about a few inches wide by 24 inches long) or is a double pallet that has two of these long pallets side by side (sort of like a long U). Set up your film to expose on a 23×31 screen and align it according to your pallet. Once the screen is ready you can set it up on the press like you normally set up your jobs. One, two, or three colors doesn’t matter, it’s just a matter of aligning colors.

Now your screens are set up so its just a matter of printing the garments. Grab your squeegee (mine is about 5″ wide) and flood your screen. On the sleeve you can just go ahead and print, but for sweatpants the procedure is a bit different. Since the pants are made up of cotton and polyester, you should preheat the garment by flashing it before the print. The reason you need to preheat it is so allow the garment to slightly shrink before the 1st color is laid. This allows for proper alignment of any further colors being laid.
Now it’s time to go ahead and print your custom shirts, sweatpants and other garments.

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Screen Printing Tip Of The Day: Printing On Polyester

Printing on hoodies and sweatshirts is very common in the printing business, therefore is safe to say that all screen printers will print on polyester goods at some point in their career.

Printing on polyester goods is not so different then printing on cotton, but if not done correctly can be a disaster. To start off, when your garment is made up of polyester you will need special inks. For example if you are printing white ink on a 50/50 safety orange t-shirt, you will need to use white low bleed ink. If you don’t use the low bleed ink what happens is the pigments from the dye on the garment bleed into the ink and turn its color. So in the example, the ink would initially start off as white and after the shirt has run through the dryer the ink will turn a yellowish color. This happens because the orange from the shirt is mixing with the white.

Furthermore, when printing on polyester goods it’s always a good idea to preheat the garment. The reason I say this is because polyester has a tendency to shrink when placed under heat. If you are printing a 3 color job your shirt will shrink during every flash and your alignment will be thrown off. To avoided this, you can just flash the garment first, then go ahead and “print flash print” etc.

Finally, you should also be careful when throwing your shirt or sweatshirt in the dryer. Since polyester Is sensitive to heat, it will melt and burn away quicker. So if you usually run your dryer at a belt speed of 5.5 with a temperature of 1025 degrees for cotton, you might have to lower the temperature a bit and bump up the speed. This will avoid any errors when printing any custom t shirts or sweatshirts.

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Screen Printing Tip Of The Day: Holding Your Squeegee

Today’s tip of the day involves the proper way to hold a squeegee while screen printing. Now although there are many ways to hold the squeegee, I will try to explain the two easiest ways.

There are two ways to print using a squeegee, you can either push the ink through the screen, or pull it trough the screen. No one way is right or wrong – any way that works for you is the way you should stick with (remember it will take some practice).

When using plastisol ink you most often have to flood the screen right before print and using water base you MUST flood the screen before every print. When you flood you hold the squeegee in a 85 degree angle towards the back of the screen and pull it forward towards your stomach. Since you are not “forcing” ink through, rather just “priming” the screen You don’t have to use to much pressure. At this point you need to decide whether you are going to push the ink through, or pull the ink through the screen onto the shirt. My preference, pulling, works as such. Hold the squeegee firmly with both hands. Make sure that you have your four fingers wrap over the top of the squeegee leaving only your two thumbs on the back side. In addition you want to make sure, there is no gap between the top of the squeegee and your palm, otherwise your stroke will not have enough support. Firmly push down the squeegee with your wrists at a 85 degree angle and pull forward. You basically want to “clean” the screen and by this I mean you want to not leave any ink behind the squeegee when you pull it. (You will usually hear a noise from the tip of the squeegee rubbing against the screen, this is good!). If you want to push the ink, you will pretty much follow the same method of holding the squeegee. After the screen is flooded , you hold the squeegee at a more acute angle and push the squeegee from your stomach to the end of the screen. Again you want to sort of “clean the screen”.

Go ahead and try it! Go make your custom t-shirts!

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