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Screen Printing Basics101: Blog 2 How to Screen Print

Screen Printing Basics - silk screen tee

This is the second in a three part series. Screen Printing Basics

To do screen printing (also called silk screening) a template of the image you want to print is done on screen fabric and stretched out on a frame. Screen printing ink is placed on the screen and forced onto the fabric stencil with the use of a squeegee.

Frames - come in different sizes and mesh counts so be sure and select the frame that best suits your design or even build your own. In addition, squeegees come in different sizes, too. When choosing a mesh count for your screen the ink you are using and how intricate your design is will help you choose your mesh count. (The more detail in your design the higher mesh count needed).

Inks - there are a great number of ink types for the process (see Gadgets, Gizmos and Inks), depending on the kind of material you are printing on, say, wood, metal, paper or cotton, all of which are readily available at your local McLogan Supply store.

Creating a Photo Emulsion Stencil/ Burning Screens:

Most, if not all, of the commercialized silk screen templates (or stencil, if you will) are created using the photo emulsion technique. The trick makes use of light and sensitive emulsion component that is spread evenly throughout the screen fabric. Once the component dries out, a film positive, bearing the wanted design or graphic is placed facing down, on the screen. You ten expose it to light, which burns the image to the screen. Now your screen is developed and you pressure wash, blow out the emulsion where the image was burned.

There are many types of emulsions available to use for burning your screens. Make sure you know what inks you are going to be using because that will help you pick the right emulsion to use on your screens. (Example if you are using water based ink and do not have the right emulsion it will wash away the emulsion on your screen.)

Techniques for screen printing basics are not limited to the items above. There are other techniques to look forward to trying.

Just two things to remember: one, have fun and two, you can find all your screen printing supplies at any of our McLogan stores (online or our four locations)!

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