Screen Printing Questions

Back to ALL FAQ's
    • Both Screen-Printing and Embroidery are great ways to decorate your garment, and they both have their advantages. While the option you choose is a matter of personal taste, some garments definitely lend themselves better to one form of decoration over the other. For each product in our Product Catalogue, we will give you the option to obtain a quote for both methods so you can compare pricing. If a garment is NOT recommended for Printing or Embroidery, that option will not be shown.


      Durable: Long gone are the days when you had to worry about a printed image washing off, peeling, or fading. Our Screen Printing is done to last, and will withstand years of repeated washings and wearings.

      Cost-Effective: In many cases, Screen Printing is more cost-effective than Embroidery.



      Very Durable:  Embroidered images are sewn right on to the garment, so they’re there forever.

      Garment Types:  More suitable for certain garment types such as Outerwear, Headwear, Polar Fleece, and Business Wear. Please see Embroidery Questions FAQ.

  • SCREEN PRINTING VS. IRON ONS: What's The Difference?
    • A Screen-Printed Image is one where ink is passed through a mesh (screen) directly onto a garment. Each colour is printed with a separate screen. The ink used is VERY durable, and is not something you have to worry about fading or washing off.

      An Iron On is typically done when there is a very small quantity of garments to print.

      In these cases, ink is applied to special thermal paper, which is then pressed (with heat) to the garment.

      The ink can be applied to the thermal paper with either: a) ink from an inkjet printer (onto special paper) or b) the same ink as we use for direct Screen Printing.

      Iron Ons have come a long way from the "old days" when they used to crack, fade, or peel. Having said that, Iron Ons can still be less durable than a direct screen print.

      We also sell and apply Vinyl / Thermofilm Numbers and Lettering often used for team jerseys.  See "Names and Numbers" below.

  • PRINT LOCATIONS: What Locations On A Garment Can Be Printed?
    • There are "typical" places on a garment that get printed.

      We provide some of these, and some sizing guidelines below.

      Often, we are asked to print onto unusual locations. For each garment, we provide a chart showing some of the additional options for that particular garment.

      We generally advise that you do NOT print over seams of garments.

  • PRINT SIZE: How Big Should The Image Be?
    • Image size can be a matter of personal taste. It can also be a matter of "good" taste. We've printed a lot of t-shirts in our day, so we have a pretty good sense of what is appropriate for a given location and one of our friendly Customer Service Reps will be happy to make recommendations for your particular situation. Feel free, however, to tell us if you have very specific dimensions you need your design to be.

      Before we print your garments, we typically send you a mock-up that indicates the exact size we plan to print your image. Please check this over carefully to ensure we’re on the same page as you.

  • PRINT SIZE: What's the Largest Image Size You Can Print?
    • For the most part, we are limited only by the bounds of good taste and the size of our screen-printing table boards. Our normal maximum size is approximately 13" wide x 15" tall. If you have other requirements, please ask one of our friendly Customer Service Reps.

  • "ALL OVER PRINTS": Do You Do These?
    • No. However, we will work with you if you need something printed in an unusual location. Depending on where the seams are on the garment, we often print off-centre or on the sides of garments. One of our friendly Customer Sales Reps will be happy to discuss possible options with you.

  • PRINT LOCATIONS: Terminology and Size Guidelines
    • Terms we use for typical print locations, along with typical dimensions are:

      Upper Left Chest

      • Also referred to as "Above the Heart" or "Above the Pocket".
      • Generally no larger than about 3 1/2 inches tall x 3 1/2 inches wide.
      • It can be much smaller, but going much larger tends to look a bit gaudy.


      • This is generally a print that spans one's chest.
      • Often, it is more of a horizontal image than a vertical image.
      • Typically, these shouldn't be much wider than about 11 inches across
      • Hold a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper up to your own chest, sideways, and you'll see that 11" is plenty.
      • Technically, though, if you need it to be wider, we can go up to about 14" across -- just remember that this means that a lot of your design will end up under peoples' armpits!

      Full Front

      • Realistically, this is probably no bigger than about 11" x 11".
      • Hold a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper up to your front, and you'll see that 11" is generally tall enough, and 11" wide is generally wide enough
      • Technically, we can print as large as about 14" x 14", but much of the print may get lost under people's armpits, or get tucked into their pants.

      Full Back

      • Realistically, this is probably no bigger than about 11" x 11".
      • Hold a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper up to your the back of someone, and you'll see that 11" is generally tall enough, and 11" wide is generally wide enough.
      • Technically, we can print as large as about 14" x 14", but much of the print may get lost under people's armpits, or get tucked into their pants.

      "Across The Shoulders"

      • As the term implies, this is a print relatively high on the back.
      • Width is typically no more than about 12" wide, but we can go up to about 14" if you request it.

       Nape of the Neck or "Tag"

      • This is generally a small print just below the neckline on the back of the shirt.
      • Typically, it's about 3 " x 3" or smaller.

      Sleeve Print

      • Sleeve prints are typically about 3" across, and no larger than about 4" across.
  • TEST PRINTS: Can I See A Test Print / The First One Off the Press?
    • Technically speaking, this can be done, but it is generally not the best way for you to spend your money.

      Because we most often provide e-mailed mock-ups of your designs, it is generally redundant to see the first physical print.

      If you are local and can make arrangements to be here when we go to press, we'd be happy to show you the first one off the press.

      If you absolutely need to see the first print, we can do this for you send it out to you, but please bear in mind that you will end up paying the set-up charges twice -- once for this run, and once for the eventual full production run. To see the effect of this on your price, use our Online Quoting System, using a quantity of 1.

  • CHANGING THE INK COLOUR: Can I Have Different Ink Colours On Different Colours of Shirts?
    • Yes.

      It's not unusual that different colours of garments might need different ink colour schemes in order to look good.

      Sometimes this is as simple as changing the colour of the ink in the screen, for which there is a nominal charge (please enquire).

      However, depending on the design, it may be more complicated -- we may have to actually redo the artwork / burn new screens in order to make your design work properly on the alternate colours of garments.

      Once we see your artwork, we can advise you better. Please use our Artwork Upload option at the end of the Enquiry Form to send us your graphic for our comments.

  • FULL COLOUR PRINTING: Can You Do Full Colour (4 Colour Process) Shirts?
    • We do full colour prints all the time! Many people ask us to reproduce full colour images (such as photographs, paintings, etc.) onto garments.

      Full Colour (4 Colour Process) Printing is a speciality of ours. We like doing it, and we're good at it. For us, it's just another 4 colour job. Simply plug in "Full Colour" as your "Number of Colours" in our On-Line Quoting System to arrive at your price.

      Note that 4 Colour Process is best suited for printing onto white (or very light-coloured) garments. Technically, it can be done onto dark colours, but we would ask you to please contact us directly to discuss this option more fully.

  • INK COLOURS: What Are My Options?
    • Almost anything. We can mix inks to come up with almost any colour. We have a wide range of "standard" colours, which work for most print jobs. If you need us to match a very specific colour (see Pantone Matching System), let us know. Depending on the level of accuracy required, there may be a small surcharge for this.

  • COLOUR MATCHING: Can You Match PMS (Pantone Matching System) Numbers?
    • Yes.

      We have a very good selection of "basic" colours, for which there is no ink-matching charge.

      If you have a specific Pantone Colour you need us to match, we will match it. Depending on the level of accuracy you require, there may be a Pantone Matching Charge. Please enquire when you place your order.

  • NAMES AND NUMBERS ON GARMENTS: Can You Personalize Our Garments?
    • Yes.

      Garments can be personalized in several ways, including:

      Embroidered Names, Numbers, and/or Positions

      Thermofilm (Vinyl) Names or Numbers

      Screen-Printed Names or Numbers (less cost-effective)

      One of our friendly Customer Service Reps will be happy to discuss your options and pricing with you.

  • SCREEN PRINT PRICING: What Factors Impact the Price?
    • The type of garment you choose (brand and/or style)

      The colour of garment you choose.

      The number of colours in your design.

      The number of locations that you choose to print.

      The "trickiness" of the locations on which you choose to print (ie, sleeves and hoods incur a surcharge.)

      The number of garments you are having printed (because any Set-up Charges are distributed over the total number of garments sharing those Set-ups).

      The quality of the artwork you supply to us in the first place. See Artwork FAQ’s.

  • DARK GARMENTS: Why Is It More Expensive To Print Onto Dark Coloured Garments?
    • One Word: "Primer". Imagine that you have a house that is painted black, but you want it to be painted white. If you painted your house white, you'd find that one coat of paint wouldn't do the trick.

      Same concept: we need to put down a layer of "primer". More set-ups + more printing = a slightly higher price (but a MUCH better looking house shirt!)

      (Also, dark coloured garments generally cost more than light coloured garments.)

  • SMALL QUANTITIES: What's The Fewest Items You'll Do?
    • We get this question ALL the time. In most cases, our minimum quantity is between 12 and 18 units.

      You're welcome to choose the garment you have in mind from our catalogue and select "Get Quote" (either Printing or Embroidery) and enter the number of units you have in mind.  You will be notified if you've entered a number below the minimum for a particular product, and you will be advised of the minimum for that product.

      For promotional products, in most cases the smallest listed quantity is the very fewest we can offer you.

  • SCREEN SETUPS: What Are They?
    • Please Note that our On-Line Quotes INCLUDE Screen Printing Set-ups in the price quoted.

      "Set Ups" refer to Screen Set-ups, which is actually two steps:

      a) Screen Burning: burning your images onto screens and

      b) Press Set-up: Physically placing and aligning those screens in a Printing Press.

      Both of these steps are relatively time consuming and can often take more time than the actual time it takes to print your order!

      NOTE: Set-ups are not to be confused with "Artwork", which is getting artwork ready for the Screen Burning Phase, and for which you usually don't charge.

  • REORDERS: Are Set-ups Free When I Do A Reorder? Do You Keep My Screens For Reorders?
    • Very good (and very Frequently Asked!) Questions.

      We DO keep your ARTWORK on file indefinitely, but we do not keep the actual SCREENS (onto which your images are burnt) for more than a few days after we have run the job.

      When a print job is complete, the screens are removed from the press, and are usually "stripped" (ie, the images are removed from the screens) within a day or two. So, when you call us up to run your job again, we have to burn your screens and set up the press all over again.

      However, if you are relatively certain that you will be re-running your job in the very near future, we can save you some money.

      We have some customers who rerun the same job every few weeks. In such instances, we WILL save your screens if you ask us to. And while we must take the screens out of the press in order to run other jobs, we will simply set the screens aside for a week or two until we hear from you. (That is, we will not strip the actual images from the screens).

      In these instances, when you place your reorder, we must set up the press again, but we will only charge you half of our normal set-up charge for this. If we haven't heard from you within a week or so, we may have to strip the screens, in which case we'd be back to full set-up pricing.

  • SUPPLYING MY OWN GARMENTS: I Have My Own Garments -- Will You Print Onto Them?
    • Generally speaking - no.

      Almost all of our customers buy their garments from us, and this is generally most cost-effective for our customers.  We generally don't print or embroider onto Customer-Supplied garments, but sometimes make exceptions for larger quantities.

      See our Product Catalogue at the left to find the garment you would like us to print on.

      The garment price is included in our On-Line Quoting System.