Screen printing on black t-shirts or any dark t-shirt for that matter requires more labor and setup than traditional custom printed t-shirts. While any dark color t-shirt requires the same printing methods I’m only going to mention black tees to keep it simple. In screen printing we deal with opacity (the condition of lacking transparency or translucency). Inks used for screen printing come in a variety opacity’s from very opaque to non opaque. Black is the most opaque color in the spectrum and therefore, any ink printed on black t-shirts will be less opaque than the shirt itself which means if a printer prints these less opaque colors then the design or print will be very poor. While there are some very opaque ink colors out there, at Kirkwood Trading Company we still like the use the tried and true methods of printing black t-shirts to obtain the maximum quality.
There are two factors to keep in mind when you order screen printing on black t-shirts. Black and colored shirts are higher priced than lighter and white t-shirts and the printing on black t-shirts is more labor intensive and hence costs a little more.
To properly print on black t-shirts in the least expensive manner possible the ink color needs to be white or grey. However unlike printing a dark ink on a light shirt where the ink can be hit once and then put through a dryer, the black t-shirt requires a little more work. Once the first layer of white ink is printed on a black t-shirt, the ink needs to be flash cured and then printed a second time. This prevents the darker more opaque black garment fibers from showing through the white ink. This method ensures the white ink logo or design pops out and prints smooth. Now, it gets a a little tricky. You can virtually print any dark color ink on a light colored t-shirt and it’s done, one pass of ink and it’s through the dryer. With screen printing on black t-shirts, that isn’t the case. Any color except white or grey, needs to have an under base. Typically the under base is white ink, which then gets printed like a white ink does with two hits and a flash cure. However now with color, each and every color on a black t-shirt gets printed on top of that white ink. While you don’t see the white ink under base, it still gets printed as a color and hence gets priced as a 2 color. If you are looking at to have screen printing on black t-shirts, just remember, white must be either a color or under base, and there fore makes a single color print a 2 color, a 2 color print a 3 color, and so on for pricing reasons.
For any questions on screen printing on black t-shirts or any other custom t-shirt needs you may have, you can contact Kirkwood Trading Company anytime at Kirkwood Trading Company