How it works, what’s involved and what the heck do I need to know?


Before we can start a printing project, we’re going to need to collect some basic info on what you’re trying to get produced. On top of things like your name and business name, we’re going to ask you a bunch of questions about the details of your job.  Head over to our Quote Form when you’re done here, we’ve made it really easy to submit your info to us.

If you want to pickup the phone, you can contact us at 1-877-237-4747 and one of our Customer Service Reps would be happy to help you with any questions or inquiries you have. Unlike some shops, we have people sitting around all day just waiting to help you make some amazing shirts!

Screen Printing Process | Ironclad Graphics Kingston Ontario Canada


If you’re into “How it Works” type stuff, here’s some info on what goes into making your custom printed shirts. 

Screen Printing Process | Ironclad Graphics Kingston Ontario Canada


Each colour in your design needs its own printing screen made for it; if your design has a 3 colour front print, and a 2 colour back print, then we need to make 5 screens and do sets of colour separations for each print location. Our Production Artists have years of experience taking final customer art, and converting it into separated colours to reproduce the artwork on a shirt.

Once artwork is ready, we sent it over to our M&R I-image Direct to Screen machine. This piece of modern technology allows for the separations to be printed directly onto the screen, this gives us the most detailed and sharpest printing screens with nearly no loss of detail from computer screen to printing screen. Once the artwork is printed onto the screens, we expose them using a high powered light which hardens the emulsion and transfers your graphic image to the printing screens.

Once we install these screens on our automatic printing presses, we are ready to rock and roll with printing your design. 


Once your screens are produced and ready for printing, they are brought to the press to be setup and prepared for the actual printing part of your job. Each screen is installed on the press one at a time, and individually aligned to each colour using a micro-registration system. Once the image is lined up, the screens are firmly locked in place to ensure they don’t move, at this point squeegees and floodbars are installed on the press, and their pressure, angle and speed are adjusted to suite the ink style, image size and printing technique. 

The squeegee is a synthetic rubber blade that transfers the ink through the open areas of the screen, onto the shirt. No inkjet heads here, we press ink through mesh onto shirts. 

Screen Printing Process | Ironclad Graphics Kingston Ontario Canada
Screen Printing Process | Ironclad Graphics Kingston Ontario Canada


Each colour in your design needs to have a custom ink colour mixed to match the artwork. We have a top of the line ink mixing system, which produces bright and bold colours that print amazingly on all styles of fabric. We can match any of the 1600+ Pantone Plus colours for any fabric type, as well as produce a wide array of metallic and crystalina ink effects, as well as dimensional style printing such as puff  inks. 


Once your screens are made, your ink is mixed, garments are staged, and the press is setup, then we’re ready to fire up the machine and start laying ink onto shirts. Each shirt is loaded one at a time onto the press, which rotates counter clockwise, applying each additional colour in sequence. Once the shirt has made its way around the press, with all the colours applied, the shirt is removed from the press and placed on a conveyor dryer, which cures the ink at 350 degrees. When the shirt exits the oven, it’s inspected and if there’s a back print or other location print, then it is returned to the press, which is then re-setup with the screens for that print location, and the process starts all over again.

Once all the colours are applied for each logo, in each location, on each shirt, then the shirts are ready to be folded and prepared for shipping or pickup.

Screen Printing Process | Ironclad Graphics Kingston Ontario Canada


Once your job is done being printed, it’s time to fold and count the shirts. Most orders are bulk folded and placed into boxes for shipping or customer pickup. Larger orders are prepared on pallets and prepped for either delivery or truck shipping.

Customers who need drop shipping to different locations are welcome to inquire with us about shipping and handling fees.

You can also have your order individually folded and bagged, with or without size stickers or hang tags.