Decoration Methods

There are several ways to decorate or customize apparel and other items.

We would like to give you a brief over-view to help you understand there are different ways to fulfill your printing requests!

Screen Printing
Serigraphy is a print technique that is also known as screen-printing or silkscreening.  It is a stencil technique that uses a mesh fabric stretched tight on a support frame.  In most shops, there will be a screen charge and set up charge because each color of the design requires a different screen created by affixing a stencil to the screen and "burning" the image into the screen.  Solid areas in the stencil block the ink from getting through the screen.  In our shop, we have a 4-station and 6 station manual press.  When the screens are setup on the correct press, the registration will be adjusted manually until it is as perfect as we can get it.   A good printer knows this must be monitored throughout the entire printing of the job being worked on.   Using a squeegee, we apply the ink which covers everything except the blocked-out sections.  Light on dark may require a white backing and spot heating which may raise the cost of printing the item. The image appears on the t-shirt, sign, paper, canvas or other surface placed beneath the screen as each color is applied.   This is a time-honored printing technology that is used to print everything from t-shirts and short-run posters, to novelties like coffee mugs, decals, and other fun goodies.  Screen printing is most valued for its ability to print on a wide variety of materials with flexibility.  
No two jobs are alike when it comes to screen printing!  This requires someone with a lot of experience to make sure every job is done correctly.   Maybe you only need a simple one color design on a white t-shirt or perhaps you want a complex six color job on a black shirt.  Here at Street Graphex we have the experience to know exactly how to get the absolute best image possible on your project!  We understand that different materials will require different methods of printing to achieve the best results.  We will be honest with you on how what you want may not actually turn out as you expect it!!  

Dye Sublimation
On small projects - say just a few shirts, dye sublimation may be the most economical way to decorate. We can take any image, personalize as requested and quickly create shirts for you!   Dye sublimation is the process of using a heat sensitive dye which is dissolved into a liquid used to print graphics and text onto special paper.  This dye sub transfer paper and a sublimatable item (substrate) are then placed into a heat press.   When the heating cycle is completed, the image on the paper has been transferred into the coating on the substrate and has become part of the surface.  At very high temperatures, the solid dyes in the special paper converts into a gas without ever becoming a liquid.
The high temperature opens the pores of the coat of polymer or polyester or special coating and allows the gas to enter the surface.  When the item is removed from the heat press, the temperature quickly lowers, the pores close and the gas reverts to a solid state.   This process will not work on ordinary materials, like 100% cotton.  Natural fibers and non-coated materials have no "pores" to open.  This will cause the dye to just sit on top of the fabric and will wash out.  I tried it.  I put an image on a 100% cotton tee, ran it through the wash and it came out just a shadow.
Most all dye sublimation is done on white materials.   There are some garments now available in light colors that will accept dye sub but may not be the best color for your project or artwork.  This is because sublimation inks are transparent, and when transferred to your substrate, they need a background to show up well.  White is the best background as it does not clash with any colors.  As a matter of fact, the white background actually enhances the colors!
This process will create a beautiful image on a shirt that will not wash out!   You can wash this shirt MANY times and the image will not fade.
Dye Sublimation is used to create stunning gifts, shirts, home decor etc. We have access to over 300 substrates created specifically for this process.   From aprons to mugs, tiles to clocks, plaques to awards of many types, give Street Graphex a call at 605-432-7990 to talk about what we can do for you!

We offer embroidery of corporate logos, designs and artwork on professional and casual clothing, caps, bags, towels, blankets and many other items. Machine embroidery designs are stitched onto your garment or item with a needle and thread. Personalizations, logos, images etc. can be embroidered on a wide variety of materials producing professional-looking, long-lasting garments and other products. We can embroider almost anything! Bring us products you've already purchased or let us do the ordering for you, be it 1 item or 100. Our embroidery work is crafted to exacting detail using the finest craftmanship and graphic design.
Embroidery is very popular for branding your business. Most company designs can be recognized by the type, by a logo, or by a combination of the two. Increasing awareness of your company through the use of these visuals is an important factor in marketing. Embroidery set-up fees (digitizing) are a one-time only charge and upon request we will provide you with your digitized artwork.

Heat Printing or Heat Transfer Printing
Heat printing is a decorating process which uses heat-applied materials and a heat press to transfer designs and images onto various items. Using a desktop color laser copier/printer or inkjet printer, full color designs are printed onto specialized transfer papers and heat applied to apparel or fabrics. While this method offers the advantage of high-quality images, it has some drawbacks. Standard transfer paper will not show white images on any garment. There are also many different kinds of heat transfer materials. These are often used for production of letters and numbers on T-shirts and jerseys. This method involves heat application of designs cut from vinyl, which is available in a variety of colors, textures, and special effects. Flock and Glitters are very popular!