What is flashing when it comes screen printing?

One commonly heard term in the screen printing industry is “flashing;” however, it is not uncommon for people outside of the industry to have no idea what this term actually means or what it involves. Flashing is the process of printing the same ink color twice on a t-shirt or other material. This may seem like an odd thing to do, but it is actually very important in many circumstances.

The need for flashing arises in screen printing when the customer wishes to get a dark colored t-shirt with a light ink color printed on it. As we have said before this is absolutely possible and can come out great; however, in order for the print to be as bright and vibrant as it should be, it is essential to flash it, to basically print the design twice onto the shirt to ensure proper ink coverage. Without flashing the design may appear faded or dull, or the ink color can look distorted. With flashing though, there is no problem at all and everything should look great.

As you may have guessed, flashing can significantly increase the amount of time, labor, and materials for a print job. That is why flashing can be an additional cost for a print project. But just a word to the wise... it is a cost well worth paying. Unless you are intentionally going for a very subtle, faded style print, it is always a good idea to have flashing done if your screen printer recommends it. Even if you are going for a faded look, it can be difficult to anticipate the results.

Here at You Design It, we do not print dark t-shirts without flashing. The good news though is that our pricing is all inclusive. That means that you will not have to worry about extra fees and charges being added to your total. If flashing is required for your order it will not raise your price.

While we are on the topic of flashing, we also want to mention that it is not only dark t-shirts that require flashing. Lighter inks in general typically need flashing. For example white will need to be flashed on any color shirt, even another light color, because of course the shirt will not be lighter than white.

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