Screen printing is a printing technique where a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil. A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then causes the screen to touch the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multi-coloured image or design.
Contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns digitized with embroidery software. In machine embroidery, different types of “fills” add texture and design to the finished work. Machine embroidery is used to add logos and monograms to business shirts or jackets, gifts, and team apparel as well as to decorate household linens, draperies, and decorator fabrics that mimic the elaborate hand embroidery of the past. Machine embroidery is most typically done with rayon thread, although polyester thread can also be used. Cotton thread, on the other hand, is prone to breaking and should be avoided if under 30 wt.
A vinyl cutter is a type of computer-controlled machine. Small vinyl cutters look like a desktop printer. Like a printer controls a nozzle, the computer controls the movement of a sharp blade over the surface of the material. This blade is used to cut out shapes and letters from sheets of thin self-adhesive plastic (vinyl). The vinyl can then be stuck to a variety of surfaces depending on the adhesive and type of material.
One Color Vinyl
Multi Color Vinyl
A laser engraving machine consists of three main parts: a laser, a controller, and a surface. The laser is a drawing tool: the beam emitted from it allows the controller to trace patterns onto the surface. The controller determines the direction, intensity, speed of movement, and spread of the laser beam aimed at the surface. The surface is chosen to match the type of material the laser can act on.