Screen Printing Press in action

The devil in the details. Eliminate these 12 mistakes while screen printing.

Print the back design on the front of the shirt

  • Check where the tag is when loading. Start by printing the front of the shirts (with the design meant for the front) since that is the norm vs. both sides printed. Then when you do the backs, the fronts already got a print. This is just one way to eliminate mistakes while screen printing.

The print went out of registration

  • Another stroke was needed after flashing (quick color dry) but the palette didn’t have enough tack. So the shirt moved and the second stroke didn’t line up… You should look through the design for registration before stroking the squeegee or better yet make sure there is enough glue on the palette to keep the shirt from moving the design out of registration.

Damaged a screen

  • Carelessly bump a screen into the corner of the dryer while walking by with it. Another one bites the dust. (Stop carrying so many screens together when passing by the equipment. Make an additional trip and watch where you’re going. Don’t drink and print). Knocking your head against the wall of the shop is not going to help.💩 happens.

No under-base used in the artwork

  • The artwork was sent over as an Illustrator file… great. But the artist was never a screen printer and wasn’t aware that an under-base of white with a choke of a .35 point was needed. (His art file was great for printing on white paper, but not for dark T-shirts). The artwork has to be set up properly to avoid mistakes while screen printing in the shop.

Customers trying to save money

  • People bringing in their own shirts… killing the profit margin.  😩… we’ve got bills to pay. Okay, we may forgive that one for now.

Protecting our pipes

  • The filtration system under the sink backs up and water starts spilling all over the floor. Yeah, guess we have to change those filters from time to time. Set up a schedule for changing your filters depending on the business of your shop.

Waterbase antics

  • Mixing two different brands of water-based inks on the same design …a recipe for disaster. One is bound to wash out! Find a reliable brand and stick with it! Definitely take note and avoid this mistake while screen printing


  • Thinking about something other than focusing on the job in front of the eyes while printing. Conversation while printing is one good example of a distraction. Avoid mistakes while screen printing

Head’s up for caution

  • People walking inside the circumference of the palettes on the press … it hurts when I swing those palettes around into the hip! 😆 Set up danger zones and make everyone aware. Safety first. Nobody should leave the screen printing shop in pain.

Oops on that shirt

  • Not moving the rest of the palettes after getting the first one in place even though the 8-color design was lined up and in perfect registration. Design likely may hit low on the shirts. Set the position of all the palettes after the first color is lined up. This will definitely help to avoid mistakes while screen printing.

Blacklight Elvis effect

  • Using neon yellow… because it’s yellow and mixing it to create the shade of yellow might not be a good idea because the design is not really supposed to glow in the dark (even though it’s cool). Mixing colors to your taste is one thing. Mixing it to please the customer’s taste is another. Keep it in mind when mixing colors before printing the job, even if it means a color change within the screen.

Full-color psychedelia

  • Not limiting the number of colors sold on a shirt. Or in other words, the artist creates the design with too many colors, salesman sells the design, but the cost of screens outweighs the profit of the shirts. This is the artist’s issue and he/she should know better by creating comp designs that don’t break the bank to print!🙄 Sometimes the effort of working it out with the customer as well beforehand can make or break the outcome (we are here to make money as well as please the customer). Not one or the other.
😎And here’s a link to some more good ones to keep in mind