View Full Version : Preparing File For SilkScreen

03 March 2008, 06:38 PM
I have a piece of artwork that was done in Photoshop. It was done as a traditional looking piece of art where there is color blending and gradations. I need to prepare it for silk screening.

How do I go about doing this or is it not possible with this type of image? And what is the best file type and color space to do this in?

Hopefully this isn't too broad of a question. We had prepared the work for print, now the client wants it on T-shirts.


03 March 2008, 11:42 AM
Itís actually very easy.
Hereís a good walk-through link for preparing PS art for 4 color (5 color if your not printing on white) t-shirt screen printing:

03 March 2008, 03:08 PM
Thanks very much. I'll give that a try.

03 March 2008, 04:34 PM

Color separating for 4/C or Multi-Color T-Shirt printing is not that easy
unless you really know what you're doing.

Just handing off a file to a shop thinking that you're giving them something
that is ready to go is a big crap-shoot. What works for one shop, doesn't
work for another one.

Your best bet is to contact a printer that has had a lot of experience with multi-color
work, go there (if possible) & see samples of their work.

If you're happy with what you see, then you'll be better off letting their pre-press
dept. do the seps for you (which they will charge for).

Also if the shop is local, then plan on going in for a press-proof.

Again, multi-color T-Shirt printing is not easy.
If it's done wrong, it's gonna cost you $$$$ and the client.

If cost is an issue, then you might consider doing heat transfers.

03 March 2008, 05:05 PM
Just handing off a file to a shop thinking that you're giving them something that is ready to go is a big crap-shoot.

It goes without saying to communicate with the printer to eliminate any guesswork on the art submitterís part. The vendor will surely let you know what they need to avoid problems they are all to familiar with when dealing with client s who think they know what they are doing.

I worked with textile screen printers for years, having artwork I created printed on goods for a retail shop I owned many years ago. Iíve had my hand in the printing process as well. Itís not rocket science, though it does require knowledge that comes from hands on experience on the printing end. You wonít be involved in that process.
Do what the printer tells you.

03 March 2008, 05:12 PM
Thanks, guys.

I've been involved with 2-color printing for years, just not in silkscreen.

We will definitely be in touch with the printer. Silkscreen does seem like a different beast, so hopefully they can give us instructions or, if worse comes to worse, I can give them the file in the "best" possible condition to make it easy for them to separate as they need it.

04 April 2008, 01:10 PM
Just a quick update. I figured lots of people ask questions, but don't always say how things went, so...

Got the shirts back and they look great. Don't think the printer had any problems (at least there were no extra charges!), so I guess I did it correctly.

The shirt was for a school play, Little Shop of Horrors, and we had to put the art from the program on a black T-shirt. Looks pretty cool.

So, thanks to everyone for there help and links provided!! Much appreciated.


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