How to Make Screens for Silk Screen Printing

Among the popular ways to print graphics into t-shirts and other types of cloth is the silk screen printing.

It is easier in terms of the production. This is usually used by artists to print either mono or multi colored prints.

General Idea

Screen printing is the general term for silk screen printing. It is also known as serigraphy. This type of printing has already proved its worth in the commercial and fine arts medium. Speedball screen printing materials are the type of screen materials that allows total flexibility. You can even create stencils in different ways and produce type of prints from water based, solvent free inks as well acrylic inks.

Preparing Screens

The first type of preparing screens is the use of paper method. This is considered as the most helpful method for beginners. It is fast, cheap and the simplest way. In order to do this, you have to cut the message or the design from paper. You may use an old newspaper. Keep the paper even and plain on the work table. To make it durable and accurate, use wax paper. Use stencil knife or scissors or to make a textured effect.

Cut the paper pattern. You may create your version of design by cutting and folding the paper. For the stencil, you may use either a cut-outs or the remaining paper. Place the cutouts according to the desired position and lower the screen. Ensure total contact with cutouts by pressing down the screen frame. Try you first print. By passing the squeegee to your screen, it may lead the cutout to stick to the other portion of the screen. The other type of preparation is the screen filler. This is also known as the negative method. The use of screen filler is to wipe out the areas which you don’t like to print. Using a piece of paper, make the design that you like to transfer. Place this over the table. Then directly trace the design on the fabric with soft lead pencil. Just like the first method mentioned, try it first and if the print out is already good then you may continue doing the steps. Dry the screen in a level position. Just make sure that there is nothing that touched the covered areas. Also check for pin holes in the wiped out parts. To do this, hold up the screen to the light. If you see any pin holes, fill it with screen filler and wait until it dries.

All of the methods in screen printing require three important things. First one is a screen prepared with light sensitive coating. The second one is the equal or film positive and the third one is a source of light the enables you to transfer opaque designs to your positive to the light sensitive screen.


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