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Topic: What you need to know to screen print (General Info. and Tutorial)  (Read 44200 times)
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Sanderpoo
« on: April 21, 2005 06:40:12 PM »

I was reading some threads and it seems like lots of people have lots of questions about screen printing and are kinda hazy about the whole process and what you need and don't need.  So, I'll try to clarify some things.  I'm currently in the last week of my Screen Printing class at CMSU (I have an A in the class, so don't worry that I'm just some tard college student), so I think that I should be able to cover the basics and answer any questions. Onward to the actual information!!

I. What you need:
      A.  Frame
      B.  Mesh
      C.  Stencil
      D.  Ink
      E.  Squeegee

Elaboration on these things:

A. Frames:  There are 2 types, Rigid and Retensionable. 
         1.  Rigid frames can be bought with mesh all ready attached to them.  These type are best for at home printing because they already have the proper tension and you won't have to buy the mesh separately.  After some heavy use they will lose tension, which is a bad thing but no big deal because you probably wont be using them all day everyday and they are fairly cheap.
         2.  Retensionable frames are not what you want.  They may be called Newman Roller Frames.

B. Mesh:  When you buy a rigid frame, you are going to want to know what type of mesh is on it. Also, if you are going all gung ho about it and stapling fabric to wooden frames, this section should help you decide what to use.
   1. Fabric Types
            a.   Silk is never used. Ever.  Don't even think about it. It won't look good.
            b.   Nylon is rarely used by businesses except for on contoured substrates (like beer bottles, golf balls, you know, roundish stuff)  However, I have seen it used by some crafty folks and from the results, my guess is that it isn't holding super nice detail.  But it can be done!
            c.   Polyester is the weapon of choice for businesses (like 95% of screen printing uses this).  Now, this doesn't mean you can go grab that pea green sports jacket from the seventies, staple it to the frame and actually have it work.  The mesh is woven to be, well, meshlike.
        2.  But wait there is more to mesh!
Different types of printing use different threads per inch(that is the random seeming number that is somewhere in the title of what you are getting). Here are the usual number ranges and what you can print with each:
           a.  60 to 80- Glitter inks, doesn't hold detail at all.  Seriously, no detail.
           b.  110 to 155- T-shirts, holds pretty good detail. Could probably print on paper and stuff. This is probably what you want.
           c.  180- Used for underbases on dark shirts and tightly woven fabric.
           d.  230- Uncoated paper, plexiglass
           e.  Anything above those- You don't need 'em.  You probably won't need anything above a 155 unless you are printing on something that doesnt absorb ink very well.

C. Stencil(Emulsion):  You have several different choices with these.
        1.  Direct emulsions is a liquid that you coat both sides of the screen with. There are two types, go with Diazo. This type is pretty cheap.
      2.  Capillary comes in sheets that are fast and fabu to apply to the screen (these are my favorite).  They are more expensive but easier and more consistent to use.
      3.  Magical at home glue concotions look like they work okay, but seem like a pain in the ass.  Also, Im thinking that these arent going to hold detail worth a.something that isnt good.  So, if you are wanting some good detail and ease of use, go with #1 or 2.

D. Ink:  There are a couple different types for different job.
      1.  Plastisol is used for t-shirts, stuff you wear.  To dry it you have to heat it up to at least 320 F, otherwise it will wash off and you will be sad and cry.
      2.  Enamel is used for cards and paper stuff.  It is water based so itll dry all by itself if you just leave it out. 
      3. House Paint is used for concert poster that dude print in their basement. It is good priced and comes in lots of colors. I wouldn't use this on and shirts or anything.
     4.  Other stuff-  Ive seen that use guys are using other things like Speedball and what not.  I dont know what these are or how well they work.  The main thing I would be worried about is there durability when you are washing them.

E. Squeegee:  This is pretty basic.
      1.  Uh, just go buy a cheap one with an end that is shaped like a rectangle and youll be fine.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay!  I hope I didnt wear you guys out with all that information.  I tried to sparse it down to just what you need to know to print at home.  (I could have gone on and on about squeegee durometer and shore A, but you dont need to know that crap.  Hell, I doubt I even need to know it.)  Hopefully this is useful information and will help you kids figure out what you want to use.


Next time on Cassandra Rambles About Screen Printing:  How to get ready to print!!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2005 11:16:09 PM by Sanderpoo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2005 06:49:39 PM »

THANK YOU so much for doing that!
I've been searching all over this site and others for a good, comprehensive guide to the ins and outs of getting started on screening, and it's been HARD to find any.  This is awesome.  Can't wait to get some more craft funds together. 

(Sadly, my boyfriend has put me on a much-needed budget.  I'm knitting, painting, sewing, and a bunch of stuff and he said I needed to trim down to one or two projects at a time.... Whatever that means! Wink)
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Sanderpoo
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2005 07:19:47 PM »

Alright, in the last extremely long post I told you what you needed to know about your tools.  In this one Im going to let you in on the magic of actually setting all this stuff up and printing.  Hopefully this one wont be quite as long as the last.(  Feel free to cross your fingers.)

II.  Prepress:(this is all the stuff that you need to do to get ready to print)
   Im going to skip all the voodoo involved in getting you graphics ready for printing more than one color.  I can cover that in a later post if there is some interest in it. So, here is what you need to do.
       1.  Print out a positive of your image on some clear plasticy stuff.  You could also use regular transparencies, just make sure that theyou can't see through the black.  When you print out your design, change whatever color it is in to black so that only black will be on the print out.
      2.  Now, you need to get your screen ready to print.  This has a lot of steps to it, so brace yourselves.
           a.  If your screen is brand spankin new, you need to abrade it so that your stencil will stick well.  To do this, just take a soft bristle brush and lightly rub it on the screen.  Only do this when the screen is brand new.  (Only when brand new.  Seriously, Im not kidding.)
           b.  Next you wash the screen and if you happened to buy a kit with a degreaser in it, use that. Then spray it down with water.
           c.  Let it dry for about an hour.  (To speed up drying you can use a shop vac and suck off some excess water after you wash it.)
           d.  Apply your stencil to the mesh.  How you do this depends on the type of stencil you are using.
           e.  Let it dry, this will take longer to dry.  I would recommend just letting it dry over night, or while you are at work.  If you are extra ancy, three hours is probably the bare minimum.
           f.  Expose your image.  The print out should be face up and directly in contact with the stencil on the flat side of the screen.  (The side where if you were to lay it down, it would be completely flat against the floor.)  The time that you expose it for depends on what type of stencil you used and what type of light you are using.
           g.  Wash the screen, and the positive of your image should washout of your screen.  It is like magic!
           h.  Let the screen dry for about an hour.
            i.   Now, then if you have Blockout slather some around the edges of your stencil and let it dry for an hour.  If you dont have Blockout, dont panic.  Just take some trusty duct tape and tape off from the edge of your stencil to the frame.
           j.   Now pat yourself on the back and relax for a little bit, that was all tough work.

III.  Printing
   Okay, when you print, there is one very important thing.  Your stencil should absolutely, under no condition, be touching what it is you are printing on.  You cant just lay your screen down and squeegee away.  This will make you picture all smeary and you will cry.
        1.  My recommendation is that you find a couple pieces of wood that are about and 1/8th of an inch tall.  Take these and put them under the edge of your frame.
        2.  Now, pour some ink along the edge of the screen farthest away from you.  Take your squeegee and pull some ink toward, covering the stencil.  Dont apply pressure, just gently cover the area that you are going to print with ink. (This covering the stencil with ink is called flooding.)
        3.  Next is the printing stroke (exciting!) take your squeegee(with both hands), press down and away from you.  You need to hold your squeegee at an angle so that you are printing with the edge of the squeegee.  You should hear a nice Shhhhreeeeeeppbb sound.
       4.  OMG!!! You just Screen Printed!  Im soooooo freaking proud of you! Dance a jig!
       5.  Now do a flood stroke and print stroke everytime you print something.

IV. Cleaning all this stuff up
   Some of this depends on what type of ink youve used, so Ill try include all the possibilities.
      1.  First, you arent going to want to waste all that ink that is on your screen.  So take something a popsicle stick(or one of those paint stirrers that they give you for free) and scoop up as much in as you and put it back in the can.  Unless it is enamel ink and is drying and icky, in which case, just dump it.
      2.  Next, if you have some Press Wash, dribble some on and try to take off as much of the extra ink as you can.  If  you dont have press wash, Im honestly not sure what you can use as an alternative.  Perhaps something like paint thinner, but I have no idea how that will react with the stencil and mesh and what not.
      3.  Now you need to rip off that duct tape and wash off that stencil.  You can get stencil remover that will make them wash of easy peasy.  Other than that, Im thinking some soap and water might do the trick.  If you are having to scrub really hard, switch to something else.  That stencil isnt going to dissolve in water and the more you scrub the worse off your mesh is going to be.
      4.  Take a nap.  This is tiring stuff.  Im tired just typing it.  Whoo.


This is the hardcore stuff, and Im thinking that I probably took some stuff for granted and cut corners on my explaining.  So if there are any questions, feel free to ask, and don't worry about feeling stupid, I won't mock you too much.

Next up:  Tips, Tricks, and Everything else that is good to know!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2005 11:25:20 PM by Sanderpoo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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nitachondria
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2005 08:35:11 PM »

I'm a little curious on your steps III and IV:

I'm trying to picture this printing 1/8" above your paper or fabric and I can't even begin to comprehend how you do it. I've not gone to school for this, but I've been screen printing for three years and have always just help the screen down with one hand and one foot and printed with my free hand.

as far as any water based inks (which I'm guessing most of the people on here use) all you ahve to do is spray it out with a hose. you may have to rub off some paint with your fingers, but I would never scrub the screen. scrubbing can cause the emulsion to lift.
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Ryu Otera
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2005 10:19:39 PM »


 
           
         

III. Printing
   
        1.  My recommendation is that you find a couple pieces of wood that are about and 1/8th of an inch tall.  Take these and put them under the edge of your frame.
        2.  Now, pour some ink along the edge of the screen farthest away from you.  Take your squeegee and pull some ink toward, covering the stencil.  Dont apply pressure, just gently cover the area that you are going to print with ink. (This covering the stencil with ink is called flooding.)
        3.  Next is the printing stroke (exciting!) take your squeegee(with both hands), press down and away from you.  You need to hold your squeegee at an angle so that you are printing with the edge of the squeegee.  You should hear a nice Shhhhreeeeeeppbb sound.
       





1.)does the ink "fall" down onto the surface? how does the ink get to the shirt?
I heard of people putting it directly on and the paint sticking to the surface when you pull the screen up
2/3.)So pull, then push the squeegee???
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005 07:45:13 AM »

July 14th's Crafters Coast to Coast featured a screen printer.  She made it look SO easy.

Step 1.  Find a picture you like and "photoshop it" b/w (stenciled).
Step 2.  Print it on acetate.
Step 3.  Make a skirt, expose the stencil, squeegee and PRESTO!

Ok so it's more complicated than that but it was still fun to watch it.  Grin
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Sanderpoo
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2005 11:09:13 PM »

I'm a little curious on your steps III and IV:

I'm trying to picture this printing 1/8" above your paper or fabric and I can't even begin to comprehend how you do it.


Whoa! I disappeared for a couple months there, but now I'm back and it is 1 am, so what better to do than answer your burning questions.

Okay, the whole 1/8" thing. This is just a gap between what you are printing on and your frame/mesh.  It keeps the image from being smeary.

1.)does the ink "fall" down onto the surface? how does the ink get to the shirt?

The ink is pushed into the openings in the mesh by the squeegee. Then the tackiness of the ink causes it to stick to the printed object while the mesh is snapping back into it's original place.

Okay, that was unnecessarily complicated, lets just say that you are kind of pushing it through the screen with the squeegee.

2/3.)So pull, then push the squeegee???
Either way, it really doesn't affect the quality of the image.



 
Now that I read back through this, I find it too complicated for at home printing. I'm going to do some editing.





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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2005 09:40:00 PM »


I'm trying to picture this printing 1/8" above your paper or fabric and I can't even begin to comprehend how you do it.


i also have never had a gap between my screen and fabric.  but apparently this is the "correct" way to do it, or so i was told at some point.  doesn't make sense to me, and my prints came out find with the screen coming in complete contact with the fabric. 
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Sanderpoo
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2005 08:26:16 PM »


I'm trying to picture this printing 1/8" above your paper or fabric and I can't even begin to comprehend how you do it.


i also have never had a gap between my screen and fabric.  but apparently this is the "correct" way to do it, or so i was told at some point.  doesn't make sense to me, and my prints came out find with the screen coming in complete contact with the fabric. 

If you are printing something low resolution, it probably isn't very noticeable.  If you are printing a really sharp line on paper, you'll be able to tell.
Here is how it works:
Imagine a piece of elastic laying on a table. Now, if you pressed your finger down on it and then pushed your finger away from you, that piece of elastic would stretch out, right?  And when you pick your finger up, that elastic will snap back to how it originally was.
The mesh on your screen essentially does this exact same thing, but certainly not to the same extent. The squeegee stretches the material out and then the material goes back to how it was once the squeegee is lifted.
So, imagine that piece of elastic again, but now think about it on top of wet ink.  It'll smear.
There you go.


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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2005 10:15:50 AM »

aha, thanks for that explanation.  it occurs to me now that i also could have very well had a gap and not even known about it, heh.
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2005 06:21:30 AM »

i just bought the speedball fabric kit......  hopefully it will work out well. I used to do silk screening at a sign shop i worked at. I cant wait to design some shirts!
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comicstriptease
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2006 06:45:40 PM »

I was wondering... how do you keep the screen in place?
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monkeyrocker
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2006 09:20:25 PM »

               a.  If your screen is brand spankin new, you need to abrade it so that your stencil will stick well.  To do this, just take a soft bristle brush and lightly rub it on the screen.  Only do this when the screen is brand new.  (Only when brand new.  Seriously, Im not kidding.)
           b.  Next you wash the screen and if you happened to buy a kit with a degreaser in it, use that. Then spray it down with water.
           c.  Let it dry for about an hour.  (To speed up drying you can use a shop vac and suck off some excess water after you wash it.)

Just so I'm clear: I'm assuming you abrade and wash before applying emulsion, right?

Edit: OK, so I have MORE questions! Can you talk more about this magical capillary substance? I assume this is presensitized screen? Do you stretch it on the frame like you would untreated poly (I've never done this, but I assume it's the same as stretching canvas and that I could use premade painting stretcher bars and my handy staple gun)? Any advice on brands? I've used pretreated metal photolitho plates before; I assume it's similar stuff only on fabric.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2006 09:36:06 PM by monkeyrocker » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Amethyst
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2006 01:46:23 PM »

I don't know if this is quite the place for this, but what if you come across a shirt that's been screenprinted and you want to remove some of the printing? Is this even possible, or is it there for life, or until it rubs off?
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raining_dreams
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2006 12:34:36 PM »

 I have never in my life attempted screen printing, and I don't have anyone to teach me... so, are there are any tips I must know? Also, what type of paint, supplies, etc. should I start out with?
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2006 03:08:55 AM »

Removing screenprinted paint: you probably can't do it.  Paint is dried and cured according to the type: air dried + heat cured, heat (force) dried + cured, or uv cured.  If the paint is old and crappy you might be able to rub or pick a lot of it off, and if you print over it you should be laughing.

Starting with screenprinting?  Well, it's one of those areas of arty/craftyness that is actually quite involved.  You will find many tutorials on this site and elsewhere (search/google for 'screen printing', 'screenprinting', 'silkscreening' etc etc, which vary in complexity and budget, and in the resulting output quality.  There are cheap DIY alternatives to most of the equipment you can buy in the shops (hell, you can even make your own photosensitive emulsion), but you may or may not get as 'professional' a finish.  You've got to decide what quality you want, what quantity you want, how much you're willing to spend, whether you're prepared to go search/make cheaper alternatives, all that sort of thing.  Then you go search for tutorials til you find one that matches your budget and intentions, or do what I've done, which is aggregate the advice together into notes, and pick what works.  Get organised, make lists of what you need, go find out how much things cost, scope out where in your house/elsewhere you will do your screenprinting.  If you do exposing of arbitrary images, rather than carve your own stencil, then that will involve a more complicated process to match the resultant much more flexible output.  You need to experiment a lot, as there are a lot of variables to get right, so taking note of what you're doing as you go along.  The internet is your friend!! I'm still working it out with my screenprinting.  Good luck!
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Amethyst
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2006 04:19:05 AM »

Thank you for responding!
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FishyD
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2006 02:40:28 AM »

Should you wash and dry the shirt before screen printing anything on it?

Thanks for all the other info!  so informative, can't wait to start!  I got all the supplies, but not sure if I should wash the T first or not?
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strawberryluna
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2006 07:25:37 PM »

I was wondering... how do you keep the screen in place?
for tshirts and fabrics, if you are really careful and wily you can hold the screen down with one hand while pulling the squeegee, but it's tricky. so, having a friend helps alot.

for prints, you need to have the screen locked down and immobile on your print surface / table. these things called jiffy or hinge clamps are the most common, useful and standard. and yes, they are about $25 a pair. they screw into your print surface and work like a dream to hold your screen in the same place during the run.  http://www.utrechtart.com/dsp_view_product.cfm?classId=1913&subclassID=191310&brandname=Speedball&item=58224

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aliengrace
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2006 02:03:51 AM »

some good troubleshooting links (once one jumps in and gets puzzled by odd stuff happening with coating, exposure, printing etc.):

http://www.reflectives.averydennison.com/rfdtech/IB834.pdf

and

http://www.mino.co.jp/html/English_mino/E_trouble.html

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Amy Lou
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2006 05:01:19 AM »

First I want to say THANKYOU for that awesome tutorial... I have made loads of mistakes but I did finally complete a run of two silkcreen shirt styles...the only snafu is how to get the veratex ink to stay on the shirts? i iron them and iron them but they still seem to fade? should i use the fixer (i have only read about it) or do you have any other suggestions or ink choices....also glad to hear about another kind of emulsion!  thanks again amylou
ps i am printing on regular old tshirts
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Amy Lou
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2006 05:05:27 AM »

oh and where do you get your supplies from...especially the roll on emulsion? thanks again. amylou
ps i have a blog if you want to check it out?

www.ifthebirdsknew. blogspot.com
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HeathenPeddler
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2006 08:49:39 PM »

C. Stencil(Emulsion):  You have several different choices with these.
        1.  Direct emulsions is a liquid that you coat both sides of the screen with. There are two types, go with Diazo. This type is pretty cheap.
      2.  Capillary comes in sheets that are fast and fabu to apply to the screen (these are my favorite).  They are more expensive but easier and more consistent to use.

Does anyone have any info on these capillary sheets? Particularly in the UK? They sound like the best way to get started, even if they are not so cheap.
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2007 09:44:40 AM »

I've got a couple of questions - as a total, total newbie...?

I'm looking to print a simple design on the soles of the knitted kid's slipper/socks I'm making in puff ink (you know like "Toastie" socks, only...better), so that the soles have some grip for leetle feets.

As a complete ignoramous, is there anything arcane/inherintley evil about puff ink? Do I need to worry overmuch about fine detail? Anything else you'd reccommend? Know the name of a good puff ink for just this purpose?

Sorry for the clueless questions, but I'm, well, clueless. I missed the screen printing lesson in school art class (though I make a mean lino-cut), and have been trying to catch up since 1976...
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« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2007 02:54:00 PM »

I know this is old, but about how expensive would the materials be for this craft.  I am currently looking to do about 4 t-shirts and I don't want to spend too too much on something I may not use again or very often.

Thanks!

Nizzy
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« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2007 07:21:20 PM »

I know this is old, but about how expensive would the materials be for this craft.  I am currently looking to do about 4 t-shirts and I don't want to spend too too much on something I may not use again or very often.

Thanks!

Nizzy
From what I saw at Instructables, I figure that you could spend less than $20 for everything.  Please take into account that I have no idea how much the emulsion costs.
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Sanderpoo
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2008 10:29:36 AM »

Holey moley guacamole! I get eaten by classes and life for a couple years, come back, and this topic is a sticky. Im going to be blushing for days.

Here are some horrifically late answers to all your questions:


how to get the veratex ink to stay on the shirts?


I tried to research veratex ink to find out exactly what it was made out of, but I couldnt find anything. So, Im going to guess that it is a photopolymer ink.

Photopolymer inks have to be heated to 320 degrees Fahrenheit  before they cure. Now, in professional screen printing shops they have big dryers that look like pizza ovens. Ive never tried this, but I think you could heat up your oven and place the shirt in there for a minute or two.

Just remember that you need the ink to reach 320, so the oven will probably have to be considerably higher.


where do you get your supplies from...especially the roll on emulsion?

My college is nice enough to supply all the things I need to screen print. Im not sure who they are getting it from.

However, www.ulano.com gives listings of their distributors by region all over the world. Also, they make capillary film emulsion, so the dudes they list are probably going to be able to get some for you.



Does anyone have any info on these capillary sheets? Particularly in the UK?

www.ulano.com has all kinds of information about the capillary sheets they make. If you click on products, you can read all about them and how wonderful they are.

Here is the page with the list of all their UK distributors: http://www.ulano.com/dist/dist_europe.htm

I think that should be enough to get you started.


is there anything arcane/inherintley evil about puff ink?

Yes. In order for it to actually puff up it has to reach a certain temperature and remain there at a certain amount of time. I think this would be difficult to do at home.


Do I need to worry overmuch about fine detail?

No, holding fine detail in textile printing is difficult. You can only hold a dot as small as the holes of the mesh on your screen. The only think you can do is move to a finer screen mesh, but then youll be laying down less ink and not getting the puff you want.

Anything else you'd reccommend? Know the name of a good puff ink for just this purpose?

Nope, but those were some damn fine questions. I had to consult my notes on the puff ink. Also, Im totally jealous that you can do lino-cuts.  Hope your adventures in screen printing go well.
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2008 10:34:52 AM »

And here is the last bit that I wrote for this topic. I wrote this on April 21, 2005. It's taken me almost three years to get around to posting it. How embarrassing!

Last up is random little tidbits and advice that I have.

1.  Here is how to get your image the perfect distance from the collar of your shirt.  Lay your hand flat on the shirt with your index finger at the bottom of the collar.  Now look at where you pinky is.  That is where the top of your image should be once you print.  You can mark it off with a piece of masking tape or something then eyeball it when you print.

2.  Print a couple of times on a piece of paper before you do the really thing.  This way you can tell it is going to look fabu.  If there are any spots where there is a hole in your stencil and ink is coming through, just take some masking tape and cover it up (on the bottom side of your screen).

3.  If you are using enamel inks, you need to work speedy fast.  If you dawdle, your ink will dry in your screen.  Not can. Will.  Look at what you are printing, and if the edges and little lines arent printing, then your ink is drying in.  To combat this, keep your screen flooded while you arent printing.  If it is already dried in, do a flood stroke and then take your squeegee and rub it on those areas a little bit to knock that dried ink out.  Now, if that doesnt work, you are going to have to pull out the big guns and put some Press Wash(or whatever you are using in place of it) on a rag and rub it on the bottom side of your screen where you have drying in.

4.  Plastisol ink is not water soluble.  This means that if you get some on your hands(cheek, floor, etc.), it wont just dry on there.  You need to wipe it off with a rag.  This applies to your squeegee also.  Dont try to wash it off, it wont work.  Believe me, a rag is the way to go. Also, dont leave it to dry, because it wont, it has to heat up to 320 degrees before that happens.

5.  Process color is CMYK color, with these colors you can mix and make lots of different colors. For example, in Photoshop, when you are picking a new color, there are all these letters with number values next to them.  Most of you have probably seen colors have something like R-52 G-34 B-18.  Look and see if you can put in values for the CMYK.  Now if you make a color that you like, record the values for each of those colors and then you can use those numbers to reproduce the color when you print.  For example, you make a color that has the values of C-60 M-10 Y-30 K-0.  When you decide to make this color, use 6 parts Cyan, 1 part Magenta, 3 parts Yellow, and no Black. (K stands for black in CMYK)

Ive checked out prices for kits and things to see how much this is all going to run you.  Here are my findings, these prices and everything were found at dickblick.com:
Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Tool Kit:
-10" 14" frame
-fabric squeegee
-screen filler, 4 oz
-drawing fluid, 4 oz
-Diazo photo emulsion, 4 oz
- g sensitizer
-paint brush
-screen printing instruction book

Cost:  $32.99
I dont know what the drawing fluid is.  Im guessing that it is just block out or can be used that way.  The sensitizer is part of the Diazo, so I think that with that they are just trying to make it sound like you are getting more.  If you get this, you are still going to have to buy some inks.  But over all, this look fairly decent.

Speedball Ultimate Screen Printing Kit:
-8" 10" frame
-10" 14" frame
-graphic squeegee
-fabric squeegee
-Screen Filler, 4 oz
-Drawing Fluid, 4 oz
-Diazo Emulsion, 4 oz
-sensitizer, g
-accessory kit
-Acrylic Screen Printing Inks 4 oz each of Process Cyan, Process Magenta, Process Yellow and Black
-Fabric Screen Printing Inks 4 oz each of Red, and 4 oz Black[/i]
   Cost: $96.00
I dont like everything in this package. It looks like the type of thing where you are going to end up getting things that you are never going to use.

Naz Dar Inks (Im going on a tour of this company on Friday. Hoorah for field trips!)
These are for graphics printing, like paper, metal, cardboard, flat things.  There are lots of colors and different types. They look to be running about $30.00 a quart, but Im thinking that they might be cheaper if you go through a different company. Also, this is a super professional company. If you are wanting to print posters and what not at home, then you can use regular old house paint.

Speedball Textile
These are for textile printing, they look fairly easy to use.  A quart of one of these will set you back about $17.00.  But there is also a starter kit that has six colors in 4oz. jars for $17.00.  The starter kit seems like a good idea to me. Also, if you look around, you can find 8 oz. jars for around $8.

Union Maxopake Plastisol Ink
These are plastisol, so if you are going to use them you need a way to dry them properly.  They cost about $17 to $21.
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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2008 04:24:37 PM »

Ive checked out prices for kits and things to see how much this is all going to run you.  Here are my findings, these prices and everything were found at dickblick.com:
Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Tool Kit:
-10" 14" frame
-fabric squeegee
-screen filler, 4 oz
-drawing fluid, 4 oz
-Diazo photo emulsion, 4 oz
- g sensitizer
-paint brush
-screen printing instruction book

Cost:  $32.99
I dont know what the drawing fluid is.  Im guessing that it is just block out or can be used that way.  The sensitizer is part of the Diazo, so I think that with that they are just trying to make it sound like you are getting more.  If you get this, you are still going to have to buy some inks.  But over all, this look fairly decent.

Speedball Ultimate Screen Printing Kit:
-8" 10" frame
-10" 14" frame
-graphic squeegee
-fabric squeegee
-Screen Filler, 4 oz
-Drawing Fluid, 4 oz
-Diazo Emulsion, 4 oz
-sensitizer, g
-accessory kit
-Acrylic Screen Printing Inks 4 oz each of Process Cyan, Process Magenta, Process Yellow and Black
-Fabric Screen Printing Inks 4 oz each of Red, and 4 oz Black[/i]
   Cost: $96.00
I dont like everything in this package. It looks like the type of thing where you are going to end up getting things that you are never going to use.

I wanted to ask if anyone's ever used that...
Because I took a class on screenprinting, but since I'm not in the class anymore, no free access to the screenprinting press! Plus, my teacher's not used to hearing DIY kinda screenprinting or kits or anything...

Oh yea; when you said to expose the emulsion; do you have a dark room and anything special to expose it with??
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Charrr
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2008 11:09:29 AM »

Is this photo style screen printing? I'm using profilm/stemflex which I trace onto, cut away the paper layer with a craft knife and iron onto my screen.

I can't get massively detailed images this way, certainly nothing like some of the prints I've seen on here.

Is it possible to use the photographic method at home?
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« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2009 06:58:22 AM »

Hi everyone,
This is a great thread! Lots of fabulous information. Happy printing!
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TwistMySister
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2009 06:24:26 PM »

^^ thanks! what a good thought : )

i have some questions.... surprise surprise!  Roll Eyes

how do you apply the acetate stencil to the mesh screen? what are you letting dry??

does it need to be a "Stencil" or can it be a photographic image where lines are broken?

how do you "expose" the image? 

what does "The print out should be face up and directly in contact with the stencil on the flat side of the screen."  mean? do you have any pictures of this??


thanks alot!! xo
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« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2009 03:05:14 AM »

^^ thanks! what a good thought : )

i have some questions.... surprise surprise!  Roll Eyes

how do you apply the acetate stencil to the mesh screen? what are you letting dry??

does it need to be a "Stencil" or can it be a photographic image where lines are broken?

how do you "expose" the image? 

what does "The print out should be face up and directly in contact with the stencil on the flat side of the screen."  mean? do you have any pictures of this??


thanks alot!! xo
I think you need to run through the basics- read my terms and definitions blog post and then
read through my silkscreen 101 series
http://www.printcutsew.com/category/terms-and-definitions/
http://www.printcutsew.com/549/screen-printing-101-part-1-getting-started/
Hope this helps
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TwistMySister
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2009 01:00:25 AM »

thanks alot!! i have done screen printing before, but we used the actual big ass machine to burn the image onto the screen. i have no idea how to DIY it without a proper vacuum type machine thingy.  Huh
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« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2009 01:00:35 PM »

I have a free ebook on my blog called "SCREEN PRINT: The Ultimate Guide" that anyone can download- it's great for beginners and even for intermediate printers. Hope it helps. Smiley

I was reading some threads and it seems like lots of people have lots of questions about screen printing and are kinda hazy about the whole process and what you need and don't need.  So, I'll try to clarify some things.  I'm currently in the last week of my Screen Printing class at CMSU (I have an A in the class, so don't worry that I'm just some tard college student), so I think that I should be able to cover the basics and answer any questions. Onward to the actual information!!

I. What you need:
      A.  Frame
      B.  Mesh
      C.  Stencil
      D.  Ink
      E.  Squeegee

Elaboration on these things:

A. Frames:  There are 2 types, Rigid and Retensionable. 
         1.  Rigid frames can be bought with mesh all ready attached to them.  These type are best for at home printing because they already have the proper tension and you won't have to buy the mesh separately.  After some heavy use they will lose tension, which is a bad thing but no big deal because you probably wont be using them all day everyday and they are fairly cheap.
         2.  Retensionable frames are not what you want.  They may be called Newman Roller Frames.

B. Mesh:  When you buy a rigid frame, you are going to want to know what type of mesh is on it. Also, if you are going all gung ho about it and stapling fabric to wooden frames, this section should help you decide what to use.
   1. Fabric Types
            a.   Silk is never used. Ever.  Don't even think about it. It won't look good.
            b.   Nylon is rarely used by businesses except for on contoured substrates (like beer bottles, golf balls, you know, roundish stuff)  However, I have seen it used by some crafty folks and from the results, my guess is that it isn't holding super nice detail.  But it can be done!
            c.   Polyester is the weapon of choice for businesses (like 95% of screen printing uses this).  Now, this doesn't mean you can go grab that pea green sports jacket from the seventies, staple it to the frame and actually have it work.  The mesh is woven to be, well, meshlike.
        2.  But wait there is more to mesh!
Different types of printing use different threads per inch(that is the random seeming number that is somewhere in the title of what you are getting). Here are the usual number ranges and what you can print with each:
           a.  60 to 80- Glitter inks, doesn't hold detail at all.  Seriously, no detail.
           b.  110 to 155- T-shirts, holds pretty good detail. Could probably print on paper and stuff. This is probably what you want.
           c.  180- Used for underbases on dark shirts and tightly woven fabric.
           d.  230- Uncoated paper, plexiglass
           e.  Anything above those- You don't need 'em.  You probably won't need anything above a 155 unless you are printing on something that doesnt absorb ink very well.

C. Stencil(Emulsion):  You have several different choices with these.
        1.  Direct emulsions is a liquid that you coat both sides of the screen with. There are two types, go with Diazo. This type is pretty cheap.
      2.  Capillary comes in sheets that are fast and fabu to apply to the screen (these are my favorite).  They are more expensive but easier and more consistent to use.
      3.  Magical at home glue concotions look like they work okay, but seem like a pain in the ass.  Also, Im thinking that these arent going to hold detail worth a.something that isnt good.  So, if you are wanting some good detail and ease of use, go with #1 or 2.

D. Ink:  There are a couple different types for different job.
      1.  Plastisol is used for t-shirts, stuff you wear.  To dry it you have to heat it up to at least 320 F, otherwise it will wash off and you will be sad and cry.
      2.  Enamel is used for cards and paper stuff.  It is water based so itll dry all by itself if you just leave it out. 
      3. House Paint is used for concert poster that dude print in their basement. It is good priced and comes in lots of colors. I wouldn't use this on and shirts or anything.
     4.  Other stuff-  Ive seen that use guys are using other things like Speedball and what not.  I dont know what these are or how well they work.  The main thing I would be worried about is there durability when you are washing them.

E. Squeegee:  This is pretty basic.
      1.  Uh, just go buy a cheap one with an end that is shaped like a rectangle and youll be fine.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Okay!  I hope I didnt wear you guys out with all that information.  I tried to sparse it down to just what you need to know to print at home.  (I could have gone on and on about squeegee durometer and shore A, but you dont need to know that crap.  Hell, I doubt I even need to know it.)  Hopefully this is useful information and will help you kids figure out what you want to use.


Next time on Cassandra Rambles About Screen Printing:  How to get ready to print!!

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« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2010 02:44:49 PM »

Please help I'm a struggling first-timer!

I'm using the screen filler method (it's reddish) and screen printing ink I got at the art store. I'm doing a shirt and it didn't occur to me to get some other kind of paint I didn't know it mattered? After doing several tests I printed, not using wood between,  which came out well, I printed only to have a print that looked stripey. Instead of ink on all my places I wanted it it looked like zebra print, it just wasn't in some spots. What am I doing wrong and how do I fix it?

Thanks!!
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« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2010 04:27:27 PM »

I would appreciate some help here!  Undecided

Ok, someone told me that for fabric it is best to use a 10xx or something else xx (multifilament or something like that)   Huh Thats the only time Ive heard about it, so should I use the _xx or the regular numbers mesh (110-155)?? Also, for a VERY detailed image, which screen shoud be used if I would like to use a stencil instead of photo emulsion??

Thanks for your time!!
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