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Topic: Emulsion-Free Screen Printing (Yudu hack) - mini tutorial  (Read 5663 times)
Tags for this thread: screen_printing , yudu , yudu_hack , tutorial , craftster_best_of_2013  Add new tag
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craftADDchick
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« on: May 12, 2013 09:49:40 AM »

I've had a Yudu for a few years now, and while I love how it made me less afraid of screen printing, I hate working with the emulsion sheets. I know there are other emulsion options, but the drying time between each step was my least favorite part (confession: because I usually wait until right before the deadline before I do things).

But then, I came across a blog post somewhere that said you could use vinyl on a screen. I knew I could use cut black vinyl as a mask to burn the image in the emulsion, but that's all. The post wasn't 100% clear on where the vinyl went on the screen, but after I let my brain chew on it for a bit, it spit out the answer: on the underside.

I was just in the Sea Creature Swap, and my partner loves sharks, and listed the hammerhead as a possible theme in her questionnaire. I found an image of a tattoo design, but when I imported it into my vinyl cutting software, it needed a lot of cleaning up, so I spent a couple of hours working on that. Because of how I did the settings on the vinyl cutter (a Silhouette), it came out a little bit differently than the original tattoo design.

I used Contact Paper as the vinyl and cut it out. I then transferred the cut design (after weeding out all of the non-essential bits) to the back of the screen. Then, on both sides I went over it with the edge of a credit card to make sure it was stuck on there as well as it could be.

Back/Underside of the screen:



Front/Top of the screen:



I covered up any exposed areas around the edges with clear packing tape.

Then, I did a test print on a piece of muslin (shown here stitched up as a drawstring bag for the swap):



It came out pretty well, so I did another test print on a t-shirt (for me to keep), and it also came out well. There are a couple of spots where it bled a smidgen under the edges, but because of the design, it's not that noticeable:



Finally, I printed on 2 microfiber pillowcases. Right after I printed the second one, I turned to look at the first one and noticed that the ink had bled around the image, giving it a grey outline. Since it didn't happen at all on the muslin or t-shirt, I'm attributing it to the fabric. But, it ended up looking kind of cool, so I sent them along as an "extra" in the swap (and came up with a replacement item for the "official" item Smiley ).



When I was done, I peeled off the vinyl (and packing tape), washed off the screen with tap water, and I was done. No emulsion to fuss with, no expensive emulsion remover to buy!

I'm definitely going to use this method again! I did have a bit of trouble transferring the vinyl onto the screen because I didn't have enough transfer tape, so I had to peel of the backing of the vinyl and press it onto the screen as I went. I had a little stretching of the vinyl (it didn't help that I didn't have a lot of time to fuss with it), but it wasn't a problem in the end. But, if I do a more detailed design in the future, I need to use a different method to transfer it. I read somewhere that I might be able to use clear Contact Paper as the transfer tape (less expensive than buying transfer tape at the craft store), so I'll have to try that for the next time.
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2013 11:47:34 AM »

The print looks great!

Just a tip to prevent bleeding. Your squeegee pressure affects how much bleeding there will or won't be. Make sure you're pressing firmly - I've worked with tons of contact paper stencils before and have had great success  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2013 01:58:02 PM »

Thanks for the tip, sheepBlue! I think that the little bit of bleeding under the vinyl (not the grey outline phenomenon) probably came about because I was working with such a big piece of vinyl and I pretty much applied it by hand. I actually tore it in 2 places, but managed to match it up nicely, and it didn't even show. I did have a few wrinkles on the edges, even though I burnished the heck out of it. I think the grey outline bleed was probably made worse because I had to thin the ink with water, so it looks like the capillary action of the microfiber just wicked the extra water, plus a bit of color, outwards.

For my first attempt with using vinyl, I'm still pretty impressed with myself! But, I definitely learned a lot, and I'll add your tip to the wisdom I've collected along the way Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013 02:16:13 PM »

My edges will wrinkle sometimes too. When peeling off the backing to the contact paper its almost impossible to get it to lay perfectly but the pressure from the squeegee pushing the ink over the surface will fix it so it shouldn't bleed.
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2013 02:38:16 PM »

I just got a couple of "Pro" Squeegees at JoAnn Fabrics (on clearance!), so maybe that will help me keep a more even pressure. I have a lot more muslin (plus a ton of this tan fabric that I bought for who knows what), so I can play around with it and perfect my technique. I know what I'll be doing this summer! I think for Christmas, everyone is going to get a screen printed something... I think I see stacks of tea towels in my future for starters...
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013 02:46:36 PM »

ooh nice...
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craftADDchick
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013 03:48:14 PM »

ooh nice...

Smiley
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dressuponacloudyday
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2013 07:13:58 PM »

Ooh do you like your silhouette? I hand cut stencils a lot so I really want to indulge in myself and buy one, but I'm still on the fence about it.
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2013 02:49:48 PM »

I love my Silhouette! Although, I'm still learning how to use it for some materials... like freezer paper.
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Oleeka
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2013 02:07:17 PM »

What type of vinyl adhesive do you think is safe for the Yudu screens?  I saw a guy on YouTube who used vinyl, but he didn't say what type (just "regular sign vinyl").  I've got both repositional and permanent vinyl and don't want to screw up my screens with the permanent if I should avoid it.  The only reason I'd use the permanent is 'cause I have it and won't be using it up anytime soon. Any advice?
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2013 06:46:34 PM »

I used Contact Paper, which is probably a repositionable vinyl. I don't know what would happen if I used a different vinyl. How permanent is the permanent vinyl you have? How does it need to be removed? Does it leave a residue. If it doesn't leave a residue, it should be okay for the screen. Do you have a scrap of a similar material that you could try it out on?

I know that the Silhouette vinyl I have is removable, but I didn't use it because it's more expensive than Contact Paper. While doing research for the project, a gal on one site used a patterned Contact Paper to cut her design out of, and then used clear Contact Paper as her transfer tape. I didn't try that because I was afraid I'd botch it (and the stencil was large), but I'm going to try it on a smaller image.
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Oleeka
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2013 05:15:25 PM »

I've been trying to figure out how "permanent" the permanent adhesive is.  I tried putting a small piece on my shirt and it peeled away quite easily without leaving any residue.  I think I'm going to experiment with cutting out an image with the permanent vinyl and applying it to the fabric like a stencil, then use the same image (and ink and old t-shirt) with the re-positional stuff on the Yudu screen.  They probably won't look the same because of the different techniques, but I don't want to risk the screen just yet. I'm just glad you demonstrated a technique I can use to get just a few prints without breaking the bank.  The whole photo emulsion thing just costs too much!
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2013 06:40:21 PM »

Let me know how your experiment turns out! I'm thinking of getting a few smaller screens so I can do smaller images more easily. They're a bit pricey, so I don't want to ruin them Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014 06:37:16 PM »

Congrats!!

You're a Craftster Best of 2013 Winner!

Craftster Best of 2013 Winner

Feel free to use this badge as your avatar!
If you'd like to use it as a badge on your personal website or blog, you can grab the full code at the bottom of this page.
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014 03:55:21 PM »

Wow! Thank you so much! I am honored to be in such amazing company!
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2014 08:17:01 PM »

Thank youuuu!
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2014 09:08:11 AM »

that is great, I love how it turned out. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2014 05:43:41 PM »

Thanks! I still need to go and put the image on the front that I designed... and then I can finally wear it. I'm going with a freezer paper stencil for it, so I just need to stop making shirts for everyone else and finish one for me! Smiley

And, I'm itching to do some tea towels, so I need to start thinking up a design!
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