Custom Silkies Order FAQ's
Here are some FAQ's re: custom silkies orders. If you still have any questions, email me at Kellie@BombBullie.com. Thank ya!
What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is the process of transferring a stenciled design onto a flat surface using a mesh screen, ink and a squeegee. Think of screen printing as making a stencil (screen), setting up the screen(s) on a screen printing press (looks like a huge octopus), mixing up some ink (we use silicone for our silkies), and pushing (or pulling) said ink through the screen and in our case, onto silkies. Then you have to cure the ink on the silkies to get it to stay permanently through all sorts of admirable adventures and hopefully lots of washes.
What's involved in production of custom silkies orders? Me, You, computers, printers, waterproof film, screens, chemicals (lots of them, but what-up all eco-friendly here ;), washout unit, screen pressure washer, exposure unit, The BakeBox (our dryer box for making screens), ink components (base, toners or PC's, and catalyst), screen printing press, squeegees, SILKIES, big ass conveyor belt dryer to cure said silkies, box(es) to ship your order to you, USPS and UPS to ship to you. And above all else, lots of attention to detail, genuine care and passion in everything I do, gratitude for you and my being able to do my calling as my "job"...all for the love of silkies :)
Is there a minimum order requirement?
Yes, due to the nature of manual screen printing, I do have a minimum order requirement of 10 silkies per design. So all these silkies will need to have the same design printed on them as well as the same ink colors (at least 10 minimum). With screen printing, a lot of time is spent in the set-up phase which consists of not only our communication back-and-forth's, confirmation of design & order details, film printing & screen set up (coating new screens w/ emulsion, hardening emulsion on screen(s), "burning"/exposing screens), aligning screens (for multiple color jobs), and then mixing up the ink(s).
All this aforementioned "stuff" takes a couple of hours, and is done before the actual screen printing takes place. Thus, we require a minimum order of 10 per design/ink color(s).
Plus, I have to mix up enough ink to cover the print area of the screen. A design might require x amount of ink, but to cover the screen evenly for the print, it requires usually 3-5x that amount...and I hate wasting ink! I mainly use silicone ink on silkies and once I mix the ink and catalyze it, it only has a shelf life of about 4-8 hours (depending on color & amount of catalyst used). Through years of screen printing on silkies I've found that 10 is a good number for committing to a custom order. :)
How Many Ink Colors Can I Get Per Logo? And What Are the Reasons Multi-Ink-Colored Prints Cost More?
My screen printing press holds up to 6 screens, thus I can do 6 ink colors per design.
We do charge accordingly for more than one ink color. With screen printing, multi-colored designs have to first be color separated in the artwork and then the screens. Each ink color requires its own screen, and if there is more than one ink color in the design, then each screen will need to be made and aligned perfectly on the press for each print.
Once the screens are made and set up on the press, I have to make sure they're aligned and do a test print before going full into production. Mix the inks, set up, and go. Now after the first ink color is applied, I have to do a flash cure in between so that the previous ink(s) do not stick to the next screen, pull off the silkies, smudge, or in any way negatively affect the next print.
So for example, above I had a 5 color job. First I printed the white (then did a flash cure), 2nd I printed the red ink (then did a flash cure), 3rd I printed the purple ink (then did a flash cure), 4th I printed the blue ink (then did a flash cure), 5th I printed the black ink and then I put the silkies in my conveyor belt dryer to completely cure the print for 1 minute at 260 degrees F (for silicone ink).
My Design has More Colors that I actually Want (or want to pay for). Can you reduce the color(s) down without taking away from the awesomeness of my design?
Yes! We actually do this all the time. A lot of military unit logos have LOTS of colors, shading, etc. and we've been able to collaborate with said clients in reducing the number of colors and effects without compromising on the beauty of the artwork.
What are the Common Print Sizes and Areas for Silkies?
In my experience a lot of people get their logo printed on the front left thigh area of the silkies and usually stick to a size of 3-5" wide x 3-5" tall. Honestly, I wouldn't go any smaller than 3" so you don't lose too much detail. I can use a higher mesh screen for more detail, but in my experience smaller than 3" can wash out the screen and compromise the detail of your design.
Are There Any Prints You Will Not Do?
Booty Prints: I have not successfully done "booty prints" yet. I still have not figured this one out. I've done them, but upfront have warned the customer that the print will not be perfect. It's because the middle seam on the "butt" and the panty liner inside the silkies negatively affects the flatness of the shorts laying on the platen. This then affects the way the ink lays on the silkies...it's a mess.
Also, there are just some prints that I cannot do and I'll be upfront and honest with you as to why. Maybe it's the method of screen printing on these beautiful yet very tricky-to-work-with-garments, that will not do the design justice. Maybe it's too many colors, or the detail of the logo will get lost in the screen or with the types of inks I use.