Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Screen Printing: Fun and Easy

Making quirky and fun clothes at home doesn’t cost very much and it is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Screen Printing is one way to personalise hoodies, t-shirts, baby clothes or almost any other garment you could name. We will use the t-shirt example here.

What You Will Need

• Fabric Ink
• Screen
• Squeegee/spatula
• Paper
• Craft Knife
• Masking Tape
• Plain T-shirt

If you don’t already have any of the above items then visit your local craft shop where you can purchase them fairly cheaply; everything above should cost no more than £25 and most of it can be used again and again.
If you do not want to buy a screen then you can make your own. All you need is a picture frame large enough to cover your designs and some mesh. The mesh will need to be stretched on one side of the frame and stapled to the other so it is secure and firm. If you are unsure of which mesh to buy ask the staff in your local art supplies or craft shop.
The Process

  1. The first thing you will need to do is choose a design. Novices should stick to simple shapes, letters or logos. Draw the design onto the paper and cut it out using the craft knife: This will require adult supervision if children are getting involved.
  2. Use the masking tape to cover any areas of mesh that lay outwith the border of the paper your design is on. This will prevent the ink from leaking around the design and onto your shirt. (Note: the design itself should not be taped to the mesh.)
  3. Before you start printing, it may be an idea to put a piece of paper inside the t-shirt so that the ink does not seep through the fabric. This doesn’t happen often but if the fabric you are printing onto is quite thin it is better to be safe than sorry.
  4. Place your t-shirt on a flat surface.  Once you have done that, position the paper with the design onto the t-shirt in the position you would like the design to be.
  5. Place the screen on top of both the design and the t-shirt. Measure out about a tablespoon of ink at the top edge of your screen and hold the screen down firmly with one hand. Using your other hand pull the ink over the whole of the design with the squeegee/spatula.
  6. Slowly and carefully lift the frame and peel away the paper and you should see that your personalised design will be right there in front of you. Leave the t-shirt to one side and let the ink dry.
  7. Finally, using cold water, wash your screen with a non-abrasive sponge, cloth or brush. Once the screen is dry it will be ready for more printing.

As your screen printing skills grow you can try more complex designs or even layering designs that have different colours and shades. Have fun!
These screen printing suggestions are provided by Banana Moon Clothing: providers of personalised t-shirts, hoodies and other apparel.

1 comment:

  1. ooh, they turned out great! you're inspiring me to drag out my old crusty screens… actually, I've been wanting to block print some skirts for summer. last time i contacted for screen printing and i was very satisfied


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