How to Screen Print

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Screen printing provides new opportunities for creators to customize and print shirts. All screen printing starts with a design. The better quality of design, the better the screen print will turn out to be. Working with one color at a time, different screens need to be created and a process formed to bring your design into a screen printed reality. This easy to follow guide shows you how to screen print from scratch.

1. Getting Started.

Screen printing offers a great do it yourself approach to creating customizing shirts. The first step is to create and print your design. For a single color design, you only need one print. If your design is multi-color, each color needs to be printing separately.

2. Have the Right Material.

Having the right tools available are needed in order to bring your screen printing into a reality. From 4 inch and 12 inch embroidery rings, you will need some drawing fluid, screen filler, screen printing ink, paint brush, spoon, and pencil to get started. Additionally you will need some newspaper, a squeegee, cardboard, and clamp. Some extra supplies include mesh fabric with thread large enough to allow ink to pass through. Mesh fabric can range from nylon, polyester, silk, or sheer.

3. Create Your Design.

Separate the inner and outer rings of your embroidery ring and stretch the mesh over the top of the inner ring. Cover top of inner ring and place it into the outer ring. Tighten the mesh and outer ring.

It is important to note that stretching mesh too much can create irregular holes allowing too much ink flow. Tightening the mesh will reduce the chance of shifting.

4. Sketch and Paint.

To sketch the design, place the top of the ring, centered and face down on the printed design. Sketch the design with a pencil on the bottom of the ring. If using more than one color, each color needs its own embroidery ring.

Paint on the design. Shake drawing fluid and place newspaper under ring. On the top of the ring use the paintbrush to paint over the pencil sketch. The design will appear backwards but transfer correctly. Allow to dry for one hour.

5. Apply the Screen Filler.

Shake the screen filler before use and apply n top of the ring with the drawing fluid. Use squeegee to spread the screen filler to create a mask around the design. Allow to dry for eight hours or until dry to the touch. Rince drawing fluid off and allow to dry again.

Use squeegee to remove any seeping screen filler from bottom of the ring. Too thick of a layer of screen filler might not let the drawing fluid wash off.

6. Prepping Your Shirt for Screen Printing.

First, choose an item to screen print. Place an item on newspaper and place cardbard inside the item to stop any seeping ink. Lastly, center the top of the ring face down on the item. Gently clamp your embroidery ring to a surface or be sure to apply pressure to the ring so that it won’t move during printing.

Step by Step Screen Printing.

Check out this step by step tutorial on how to screen print. This printing can be done on a variety of surface using only a handful of tools. This easy to follow approach is good for exposing, registration, and printing in two colors.

Crystal Ayres, MBA
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