A sweatshirt is a relatively heavy garment intended to cover mainly the torso and arms of the human body (they are not made exclusively for human beings though, in some cases, these sweatshirts are made for dogs and occasionally other animals). It is usually worn over a shirt, blouse, T-shirt or other top. Earlier, sweatshirts were usually made from wool (typically of sheep, though possibly of alpaca or other type); however, they can also be made from cotton, synthetic fibers, or some combinations thereof. Sweatshirts can be maintained by washing, and also by using a lint roller. A sweatshirt does not fit into the category of formal wear, and is best worn as a casual wear. Sweatshirts come in different designs and colors and are a preferred one among all age groups.
Sweatshirts have undergone numerous changes in its designs and materials used, and the latest trend is the screen printed sweatshirts that has been widely accepted all over the world. Screen printing technology has advanced to a great extend that one can print almost any of their likes on garments and in particular, t-shirts. Sweatshirts with screen printed images on both the front and the back side are very popular these days.
Screen printing is a process which can be used only on flat surfaces and constitutes a fine mesh or screen which is tightly stretched around a solid frame. The areas which need not be printed are masked off on the screen. The print is then created by placing the framed screen over the item that needs to be printed along with a small quantity of thick ink. A flat metal blade is then used to spread the ink through the screen. The area where the mesh is not masked will allow the ink to be imprinted on the material while the area that is masked will prevent the ink from passing through. Finally the item that is to be printed on is passed on a conveyor belt which goes through a heat tunnel. This is done to make sure that the ink dries off quickly so that the materials can be packed or stored.
This process is for a single color, if additional colors are needed the process is repeated again and again. A revolving press is used as a platform that will allow different color prints to be properly aligned or merged with each other. Screen printing technology has improved drastically and now-a-days automatic screen printers are freely available in the market, which hardly requires any manual labor, except for the setting up and the loading and unloading work. There are different methods of masking a screen and the most popular among them is to apply the masking liquid directly on to the screen. This method is best suited when only one or two colors are required. If there is a need for more than two colors, the best alternative is to use photosensitive emulsion.
Screen printing, has been the preferred method for a long time until new technology like digital printing which is done using inkjet printers have taken over the trend. In spite of these advanced technologies, screen screening is still the preferred source of high quality prints on shirts.
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