Screen printing – The Basics

Screen printing is one a well-known method of creating prints usually applied on cloth such as t shirts, bags and banners. The words screen printing alone will give a person an idea on what how it is done – a screen frame is used in order to make prints. This printing style is often used and offered by printing businesses as an option clients can pick from a range of printing techniques. This is also done as an enjoyable hobby at home.

The first thing needed to make this possible are the tools. There are small screen printing kits available for sale in hobby shops or even stores complete with the frame, squeegee, photo emulsion ink and activator and of course, the paint. Otherwise these have to be bought separately. Once the materials ready, the process begins.

The first thing that has to be done is to provide a design. These designs have to be printed in black ink only using a sheet of transparency paper. When the design is ready, the next thing to do is to prepare the emulsion solution and spreading it evenly across the screen. It is highly recommended that the emulsion solution be spread out in larger covering of the screen compared with the image. It should be noted that the screen covered in the emulsion solution should be dried out in a dark room.



The next step is to leave the transfer the design on the screen. A black material like cloth or a garbage bag should be placed underneath the frame and the design should be on placed on top of the screen. The design should not move and is advisable to be temporarily stuck on the frame using adhesive tape. A bright lamp should be concentrated on this image at a maximum of 15 minutes and should be gently removed until the image is left on the screen. It should not left for too long otherwise the image will be distorted very badly. Once this is finished, the screen is cleaned up using water. The screen is now ready to be used.

The screen should be placed above a material made out of cloth such as a shirt. Ink is then poured over the design and the squeegee is used once again to spread the ink all over the screen. The ink should then transfer onto the shirt in the exact same design that was originally transferred onto the screen.

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