“Of course you want to be rich and famous.
It’s natural. Wealth and fame are what every man desires. The question is: What are you willing to trade for it?”
Confucius, Philosopher
Bruce Gooldtherese1
Therese Rawsthorne

Swell Textiles

How to print yardage at Screenhaus

First you need to read this page – then, we need to scope your project.

To go to the next stage you’ll need a very good idea of your design and an even better idea of your fabric / meterage and it’s usage. We can design for you or you can bring your design to us at any stage of completion.

As screenprinting yardage is rare, we aim to make it as painless and enjoyable as possible but make you aware of the restrictions and gifts within the processes, so you are better informed, have better knowledge of outcomes and find a great vehicle for your design. We aim to educate and make accessible so when you’re ready we can make it happen.

The frequently asked questions section below is highly recomended reading.

Average reading time is 10 minutes …

Do you print anyones work?
We always start with seeing if your work is suitable to our processes. By properly assessing your request we can see if your work suits screenprinting or another form of printing – it may also be advised that a different printer is better suited. We are hand printers so sometimes automated machines are better suited or even digital technologies available are very good. We would prefer that you were happy with your outcome even if it is printed with someone else.

How long will it take to print my work?
It can take 3 – 4 weeks to print. (Usually 2 -3 weeks after you have approved strike-offs). This depends strongly on how much is booked ahead of you and the volume and complexity of the work. We try not to discuss timeframes unless we have all your pieces such as fabric, colours, artwork.
A strike-off is your print in your colour on your fabric and is usually a 70cm x 144cm piece.

How will my print wash and wear?
Your print will last as long as a normal print would on any garment or better.
We use the best inks available in Australia (Permaset/Colormaker) bar none.
See link here to U-tube interview about Permaset attributes – wash & wear qualities

What sort of inks and methods do you use?
Our entire operation is water based. We are centered around Permaset inks simply because we believe them to be the best in Australia – professionally and environmentally.
See link here to Permaset Website and Technical data
See link here to our Environmental Statement page

How will my print ‘feel’?
Depending on your print and design – it can be virtually nothing or it can be very noticable. The first 2 rules we have found worth mentioning are – Natural fibres print better – Synthetics, notably polyesters tend to be more prone to ‘more feel’ as they feel slick/smooth due to a coating when handled, which is lessened when printed on as we are technically printing onto plastic and changing that surface area. This is made more apparent by large areas of colour as opposed to fine lines which break up the surface area.
The second rule is regarding using opaque inks. Opaque inks are used when you are printing light colours onto a dark background. ie. Printing white onto black or similiar. These inks contain an element of clay and therefore have more physical substance.
In saying this – we should also point out that we print swimsuit materials / silks / spandex etc all the time and also many many miles of opaque and semi opaque print jobs that have design outcomes that are achievable in no other way – and produced brilliant garments.
We use the best inks available in Australia (Permaset/Colormaker) They are very good in terms of feel and we use best practice with softeners included in the inks where necessary.

I have artwork, can you prepare it for screenprinting as repeat yardage?
Can you fix my repeat?
Can you check my repeat?
Yes – We have graphic design services and print services.
We are qualified Graphic designers and screenprinters with wide and varied knowledge.

If I want to do my own art – what format should it be in?
Artwork must be prepared to our specifications.
We would definately recommend Adobe Illustrator to create as vector images are very much like traditional screenprinting and suit the technology but if your artwork demands, Photoshop can also be used for half tones / bitmaps and pixel based art.
We can produce graphics and film positives on site but we are also happy to use graphics or film positives from outside sources. Templates and ‘Specs Sheets are available below.
Artwork development or corrections will be charged for at our standard hr/rate on request.
See link here to our Artwork set-up / Press Specs page / Specs sheet / information and Template download page.

I’m outside Sydney – how can I see strike offs and prints?
We can send and liase Australia wide (Worldwide on request).

How do I get started?
First you need a purchase order – prior to this you may need to send us artwork to see if it is ready to work with, or book an appointment so we can meet and discuss your project.

How can I be confident of my print coming out how I want it?
Firstly we would recommend that you design with screenprinting in mind. The more you are aware of it’s abilities the smarter your design will be toward creating a better finished product. Colours are chosen from a PMS swatch (Uncoated) book or custom colours can be made to swatches or to match PMS colours on varied colour fabrics.
Be realistic about time frames – the majority of mistakes comes from poor planning or hanging on to the design so long by the client or their designers – that the printers and cutters don’t have enough time to produce well.
Also – to directly answer the question – Nothing is ever printed without a strike-off approval of your colours & design on your fabric.

What else do I need to know about working towards the best outcomes?
There are minimum orders / apraisals and approvals all the way through the process.
– we request that we consider multiple orders on the basis of yardage volumes, multicolours, Graphics output and production planning. A maximum of three different orders from one client is usually maximum – but all orders are design and timing dependant.

If you are a first time producer I strongly suggest that you print one piece first as opposed to a collection – what you will learn doing one piece will help develop your collection, expectations and outcomes.

What sort of fabrics can I print on?
Almost anything that is actual fabric – please read the section below for some very important technical points about sizes and delivery – but here is a good place to discus what’s great and what’s harder to work with. Jerseys are fantastic. Canvases / parchments / drills / complex silks are all fine and sometimes need some extra work although are quite normal work for us day to day. Drill is having a great revival at the moment with people printing on the reverse side for a smooth effect. There are also some great hemp and bamboo products coming out which are great to work with.
One thing that we cannot print is sheer fabrics. Sheer fabrics tend to be unstable due to open texture and are unreliable for continuous registration. We may consider a certain job on a sheer but we would say automatically that no opaque or ultra tight registration pieces will be considered – multi-colour work would depend entirely on the design being simple and open. Any sheer printing carries a surcharge.
Some older and dryer fabrics (think calico or raw canvas are either crumbly (ie. have loads of little pieces of fluff that stick to screens) or thirsty ….. when a piece of fabric is thristy it will shrink when printed and become difficult or impossible to register the next print or next colour to it – either way, be very careful when choosing either of these fabrics and that it is suitable for your task.
A sheer fabric is any open weave fabric (silk, poly, chiffon, organza that can be seen through). ie. If we can see through it ink will pass through it when being printed. There are different degrees of this – we really need to see the fabric. Above 40gsm is usually a good guide. More open weaves will also move under screen between strikes.

Some very important things to be aware of –
Fabric must be new and delivered on a roll in a protective bag.

Many older fabrics are soiled from bad storage and are unreliable to print on because of moisture / lack of moisture/ moulds/ poor handling/ staining etc etc. Dated proof of purchase may be asked for to ensure smooth running of production schedules and customer satisfaction.

We print on 20M tables so all fabric is cut at 20M intervals.
This is not unusual and together with failts in fabric / joins in fabric / odd metres ordered etc etc is something cutters are quite used to. Of course, we work to keep this to a minimum.

Maximum fabric width is 160cm wide. Usual print width is 146cm wide.
Sounds like a small point – but we have alot of trouble with both our tables and heat setting equipment which can challenge the quality of your finished fabric. We know you cannot choose a fabric as to fit the printers specs as you are considering many factors and we have ways of dealing with most commercial widths but some may need to be cut. Most fabrics are within our imediate range of 160cm or less.

We ask you to expect 10% wasteage with orders under 20M, 5% with orders under 40M, 2% for 40M – 1000M and above and therefore plan for this in your yield expectations.
As we work with predominantly ‘your’ fabrics – we are dealing with some very wide ranging possibilities – we endeavour to get maximum yield but ask you to understand that this is a hand process on a base substrate (your fabric) we haven’t seen yet and can incur some testing / and mixed results to bed in your work.
Pb: In comparison to other forms of printing (eg. Paper / machine fabric) our actual fabric wastage from any environmental point of view is extremely good and far less than industry standards.

Fabric should be PFP or PFD. Or tested by us for appropriate qualities.We find we can print on almost anything but have had significant trouble with some protective coatings on Chinese cottons – usually your fabric is fine.
PFP = Prepared for print PFD = Prepared for dye (all fabric suppliers are familiar with these terms)
We are very good at printing on almost any fabric – even those not PFP or PFD – but these will/may need some testing. The worst and most problematic fabrics we come across are over dyed synthetics usually found in remnant shops – the excess dyes can subliminate into our inks and change the hues.

Before you place an order for any services you must read and accept our Terms and conditions before entering into any print commission or design work with us.

Click here – OR – See menu at the base of this page for ‘Terms and conditions of trade’.

In closing.
We like to think if you have read this page and are becoming truly aware of what it takes to produce something unique, you are either not ready for such a leap or quietly contemplating, ready, for the next stage – if you are the later, start getting your ideas and art together – we have yardage to print.

Make your mark