When custom flags are printed there are a few common techniques in the printing process they are screen printing by machine or hand or by digital imaging printing.
Custom flags are most commonly printed using the screen printing technique whereby a typical flag material such as woven polyester, knitted polyester or nylon us used.
First the artwork is created on a computer for the filming machine, so for example if the flag has 2 colors then there will be 2 films made from the filming machine 1 film for each color.
The film is then treated by light to make the printing plate, again if there were 2 colors in the custom flag design there would be 2 plates made, this technique is much the same as the old way to produce photographs using the negatives from a camera in a dark room.
The printing plate is also known as a halftone.
For the colors CMYK powder is used to make the PMS colors or CMYK colors they are mixed together by a machine such as 20%M, 30%C, 40%Y, 60%K then cataplasm is added and once the colors are mixed evenly they are ready to be used.
The flag material is then placed on a flat bed this can be on a machine for large quantities which is cheaper and quicker or a long flat bed top for small runs this way is by hand and each color is applied separately.
The plate is then screened where the color dye is applied evenly through the open spaces of plate onto the flag fabric below.
If screening by hand on the flat bed top which can be any size in length, the flat bed will have steam inside of it and the temperature is very high so when the screening takes place the first color dye will dry very quickly, then the other colors can be screened.
Printing by machine is different the machine is automatic and prints very quickly
all of the colors are printed in about 10-20 seconds because of the machines high pressure and at the end of the printing machine there is an oven, that dries the colors.
There are a total of 3 machines the flags go through:
High temperature machine to fix the color.
A washing machine is use to take out the dirty dye on the surface so the flag is only left with the good color.
The fixture machine is to make the fabric square again, as the washing machine changes the shape of the fabric.
There?s an insight to how custom flags are made and the process they have to go through to end up with a custom flag.