The idea of screen printing might seem a bit intimidating at first but it is much easier than you might have initially thought. Nowadays, there are so many techniques, screen printing inks and methods available in the market that you can achieve the best quality result whatever irrespective of the fabric.
By following some basic steps you will be able to customize your own Shirt in your own house on budget. You can do it with a minimum amount of materials. Silk screening works on the idea of the old age method of stencil. Here, you don’t need to cut out individual shapes. You require to coat a screen in photo emulsion, then cut an image out using a bright light. Let’s get into the details of all the required materials and the step by step procedure.
Screen printing fabric ink: Opt for a pre-mixed ink initially.
Blank screen : Preferably pre-stretched
A squeegee: A stiff piece of plastic or a thick card will also fine as long as it has a very straight and firm edge.
Transparency paper for laser jet printing
Basic fabric for your shirt
150 watt light bulb
Sheet of black fabric or paper
You need to coat the silkscreen with photo emulsion. You need to follow the instructions on the bottle to mix the emulsion with sensitizer. Next, pour a little of the mixture on the screen and spread it evenly with the help of the squeegee. The entire screen should be covered in a thin, even layer of photo emulsion on both sides.
Put the coated screen in a pitch dark room for a couple of hours. Ever the wardrobe works fine.
Once the emulsion is completely dry, you can print your black ink image on a transparent paper with a laser jet printer and keep it aside.
This step has to be performed in a dark room except for a red or yellow bulb. Set up your light. Expose the black sheet to the 150-watt bulb directly from the distance of 12 inches.
Position the transparent paper on the screen so that it can be burnt. Take out the screen coated in dried emulsion and keep it screen side up on the black fabric. Use clear tape to position and secure the image to the screen.
Burn the screen again in the dark room. After this step you can return back in light.
Clean the screen using cold water. It might take a while so be patient. Dry it off. Now your screen is ready to be used.
Put a piece of thick cardboard between the layers of shirt so that ink doesn’t bleed to other side. Place the silkscreen frame over the shirt on the part you want to print.
Using the squeegee pull the ink to one side of the screen and cover it evenly.
Lift the screen very carefully and set the item to dry. Once dry you may need to iron the item briefly to set the ink. Once again, make sure that you put a piece of paper between the layers of shirt.
Now you are all set to show off your very own DIY screen printed shirts. Similarly you can make your own posters, art prints or tote bags.