Silkscreen Printed Threadless Stickers
The first bumper stickers ever made were printed on vinyl, utilizing an ancient printing method developed by the Chinese 1000s of years ago called silkscreen printing. To this day, silkscreen printing remains a popular form of printing t-shirts, signage and of course stickers.
We are going to show you how threadless stickers are made at StickerGiant...
Photo sensitive screens are exposed to unlit violet light After exposure the screens are washed with high pressure to reveal the stencils of the images to be printed. The screens are left to dry beefier being used. The stock is loaded into the press, .....and the feeding mechanism adjusted. The first screen is carefully loaded and secured into the screen printing press. The first ink color is mixed .......and then immediately poured and spread onto the first screen, final adjustments are made and the press is started.
The sheet count and feeding mechanism are carefully watched to ensure the machine runs smoothly. The UV sensitive inks are exposed to powerful UV lights and dried instantly speeding up the process. When the first color is completed, the sheets are readied to be rerun....and the stock is re loaded for the second color pass. Meanwhile, the first color screen is removed and the ink is stored to be used another day.
The press is thoroughly cleaned and the second screen is carefully loaded and secured into the press. The second ink color is mixed .......and poured and spread onto the first screen...and the press is started again applying the second color to the previously printed sheets.
The ink is literally squeezed through the very fine mesh of the silkscreen, 2 large squeegees acting together to apply the ink and remove it in a repeatable and consistent rhythm. Now that the second color is complete, it is time to start the process again and apply the backup ink to the liner of the sticker.
The liner is the paper backing of a sticker that is removed when the sticker is applied. The process starts over and the stock is brought back to the front of the press for a third pass through the machine. Between passes through the press the sheets are checked for quality and color accuracy. The third screen is fitted and inked. The sheets are checked for front to back alignment using a simple poker tool. And the final run is started...
The printed sheets are taken to the cutting machine and the sheets are cut in half to be ready for the die-cutting process. Next stop for these stickers is die-cutting. The die is prepared and checked for accuracy. Once aligned within its carrier, the die is loaded into the die cutting machine. A test sheet is run through the machine and die cut to check alignment. Any necessary adjustments are made. Once the die-cutting machine is setup and aligned properly the run starts. The die-cut sheets are given a final check, and then its back to the cutting machine for a final trim.
The edges are trimmed and the stickers cut to their final size. Bundles are readied for the shrink wrapping process where they are wrapped into neat and tidy bundles. And that is how threadless stickers are made at StickerGiant.