How does Screenprinting work?
About two years ago, when my husband and I started this business, Screenprinting was a foreign idea to me. I looked at all the equipment that we brought home and listened to the processes with a blank look and wondered how I would ever be able to master this technique in our business.
Now a year later I am amazed at what I’ve learned along the way and very grateful to a lot of people and resources that have helped get us this far… With that in mind I would like to share with you the basics of our screen printing process and maybe point you to some resources that have helped me get started!
1. Get an idea…. My husband had a dream about printing Christian T-shirts and now also get most of the ideas for our T-shirts. Some of the most successful designs was born out of time spent with God and him scribbling it on paper in his quiet time.
2. Design…. This for me is the most fun part. Corel Draw is the program I use to get the idea from paper to graphics and literally the possibilities are endless! I learned a LOT from youtube videos describing each process.
3. Make a screen…. Not that hard, but it does take a bit of time. This involves coating a mesh covered screen with emulsion (light sensitive chemicals) and letting it set for at least two days, then printing your design onto transparency paper, taping it onto the screen and then exposing the design with a very bright light.
The emulsion that did not solidify (covered by the design) is then washed off and the screen after drying is ready to be used to print!
4. Printing…. The screen with your design on gets fitted onto a Screen printing carousel (T-shirt underneath). The printing part is a bit tricky and it takes a while to learn the proper technique of using a “squeegee” to press the ink through the screen onto the T-shirt.
5. Dry and cure…. After drying, the ink needs to be cured, usually by being pressed under a high temperature element (This lets the water in the ink evaporate and lets the ink settle in the fabric so that it doesn’t wash out!)
And the finished product……………..check it out HERE
Screenprinting is a fun way of designing and making T-shirts! If you are interested in learning more, have fun exploring the following links: