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Topic: I WANNA SILKSCREEN!  (Read 77562 times)
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« Reply #100 on: April 11, 2005 12:10:53 PM »

I just had to add my two cents into this post.
1. The screen's fabric is typically some kind of nylon, and as long as you treat your screen lovingly it will last you quite some time. I also tape the wood frame off to keep it from getting water logged.

2. When removing emulsion, instead of painting the remover on, pour it into a spray bottle. It'll save you a lot of remover. Also,  I've found that using Greased lLightning helps clean out the screen--- emulsion remover AND ink.

I definitely reccomend printing on paper at first just to get the hang of pushing the ink through the screen and when you do move to fabric make sure you have lots of practice material and have a way to keep a good tension in the fabric.

Happy Silkscreening!

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« Reply #101 on: April 13, 2005 09:22:20 PM »

i was at the atlanta home show this weekend and these guys were i guess trying to sell equipment to help you start your own business - and its some sort of onsite silkscreening machine that lets you use your own laptop or computer to make designs print them and then use some sort of light to print the design on the screen - the set up cost $4000 and they said they finance and there is no credit check - but its sound like a rip to me --- anyone know about these guys - and how much it really should cost to start silkscreening on your own....
i would never do it - this way - i would rather make my own stuff - but i am wondering if anyone knows what technique these guys are using etc?

Sorry I just HAVE to say something about this...All the guys who responded to this giving you alternatives are wonderful ideas, but those guys probably weren't ripping you off. Professional equipment is expensive. I have to use that stuff in a class at school. We also use something that looks like a big bug light. It can ruin your eyes if you ever stare at it though. It's photo emulsion method the professional way. That's how all the printing places do it. It's pretty large equipment, and the deal those guys were talking of was probably an average one. But I really don't know. Sounds like a good deal to me when it comes to professional stuff.

If I were you though I would go with alternatives unless your starting a silkscreening company.


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« Reply #102 on: April 19, 2005 03:25:26 PM »

i've been lurking around here for awhile now and i thought i would finally put in my two cents. i've been researching this whole screen printing thing like crazy to find out what will be the best method for me. there's this one, which is awesome: http://www.livejournal.com/community/craftgrrl/3674467.html

i really like this method because its so inexpensive, but it is time consuming and does not work well with detailed prints. it works well for prints like this:

it's a little hard to do straight lines, but i think it still looks pretty good considering how cheap it was to make. quick note: I used a 99 cent squeegee that I bought from the walmart automotive department (or you can use one of those soft spatulas that you use for making cakes) to spread the ink across the screen. it worked WAY better than sponge brushes, etc. and uses a lot less ink. also, i have found that sheer curtain material works the best. i bought a huge panel of it at walmart for like 5 dollars in the curtain department.

then there's the GOCCO:
i just got my Gocco. i printed an image on my inkjet and then filled in all the black areas with the special gocco carbon pen that came with it (because the image you are using has to have carbon (xerox) in it. i followed the extremely easy instructions, but something went wrong. only half of my image showed up on the screen. i'm going to go photo copy my images and try it that way instead. hopefully it will work!! anyway, i still spread some ink on the half that was on the screen to get the feel of the whole process. that part worked well. but then there's the cleanup. the Gocco ink seems very "sticky" and it's really hard to get off of the screen. i know there is a liquid remover that they sell for that, so i'll have to try that. but since the screen is cardboard, getting it wet is not good. the screens and bulbs are so expensive. it's going to cost about $6 to burn one small screen. i don't really see myself cleaning and saving screens, so to get the most out of 1 screen i'll have to buy a lot of fabric and make a bunch of prints. i am looking to use this to make things that i want to sell. what if i make a bunch of prints and the items don't sell? then i've wasted a bunch of ink and fabric for nothing. it would be so much nicer if the screens were plastic and could be washed after a few uses and saved for later. i know i could varnish the cardboard to make it last longer, but that only goes so far. i think if you are using the gocco to print on paper and are going to be doing longer runs, its a good investment. but if you are using it for fabric then i don't know. fabric is way more expensive than paper.

photo emulsion method:
this seems like the best way to go, although i haven't done it yet because i'm still reading online tutorials, etc. there's the speedball kit, but i'm going to buy things separately and try it that way. dick blick has the supplies i need and i've printed tons of instructions that i have found online here and there. it won't really cost that much to at least try it. the reusability of the screens and the fact that you can use any screen size you want is what attracts me to this method. i'll let you know how it goes....

another note: i have used speedball ink and gocco ink (for fabric) and i like the speedball ink better. it's not as sticky, easier to clean up. i can't really compare the two when it comes to washing them because i haven't done it yet. i'm going to try the acrylic/textile medium ink method and see how i like that.

good luck on your screen printing ventures!!! i'm sure we'll all have it figured out pretty soon. i can't wait to see your finished projects!


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« Reply #103 on: April 30, 2005 11:10:52 PM »

I think this site really explains it:


and this helps you (a tutorial):


Heres a better tutorial with pics and EVERYTHING:

« Last Edit: April 30, 2005 11:34:07 PM by jubileebud » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #104 on: May 15, 2005 03:57:13 PM »

Ive been diy'ng silk screen stuff for my band for about 3 years now. havent perfected it but its fun nevertheless.

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« Reply #105 on: May 17, 2005 01:24:03 PM »

For simple silkscreen designs with a primitive look my dad (a former high school art teacher) taught me to just make the frames out of cardboard glue cheap shear material to it to sandwich it in between two of the cardboard frames, then use masking/duct/painters tape on the entire frame and a little onto the screen to waterproof it if you want to reuse it (or recycle the corrugated plastic that most election signs are made of and you don't need to tape them up to waterproof them).

Then cut out a stencil (we made our stencil out of newspaper) and layer it all like this--

top:    your homemade cardboard silkscreen frame
middle: stencil
bottom: whatever your printing onto (fabric/paper/etc)

Then, sqeegee the ink/acrylic paint on top of it all to print.

We were able to reuse our screens as long as we washed them out before the acrylic paint dryed into them. Our newspaper stencils lasted for 3 or 4 copies. We printed onto paper. it is fun to just experiment for cheap if your not wanting to layout a lot of dough for a new craft!


« Reply #106 on: May 27, 2005 07:51:21 PM »

the print gocco machine is awesome especially for business cards. its relatively cheap but maintaining costs are a PAINNNNN -- approx $6 for each set up of 1 screen, two lightbulbs. regardless it's a fun little toy. check out welsh products for gocco machine and supplies. they are the cheapest i've found for supplies. i print everything from my gocco with the gocco ink for cloth even when i'm printing on paper. i've found that the gocco ink for paper will not wash out of the little screens. if you are careful (and put duct tape on the cardboard to help make it water tight) and you use cloth ink...you can rinse out your screens, dry them and put them under something heavy to get them flat again -- then you can reuse them instead of just tossing them.

check out victory factory for screen printing supplies. also a trick i've learned for cleaning screens with screen filler is to soak the screen in soda ash/hot water. you can soak it for as long as you want without ruining the screen and it comes off like water. invest in a hose attachment with a pressure thing on it so you can blast your screens clean. i use a pressure washer type thing in this big lighted wash bin. greased lightning is also a really good standby for cleaning screens.
« Reply #107 on: May 31, 2005 05:47:24 PM »

just another set of intro-to-screenprinting instruction if you're interested:

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« Reply #108 on: July 11, 2005 11:00:59 AM »

so i thought i'd add my question to this awesome thread.

so i bought the speedball screen-printing kit (with pretty much everything i need encluded) and i was reading through the instructions for the photo emulsion method. you have to let the emulsion dry in a dark, dry place but do you need to mix the emulsion in a light-tight room as well? same with when you are coating the screen, does it need to be totally dark?

i have had some problems in the past with getting the image to show up after i expose the screen. i'm beginning to wonder if i'm possibly doing something wrong in the first few steps of the process.

thanks so much

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« Reply #109 on: July 11, 2005 03:05:01 PM »

Yea, I would imagine so. In our class, though we had a roll of emulsion, we still had to apply it in a dark room (door cracked was ok)....I dont know about the speedball kit, but just to be safe i would do it in the dark, because it is of course "exposable" with light.


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