Screen printing on cloth is a wonderful way to improve the look of cloth and to create some sort of pattern that suits your needs. You will need a reasonable amount of space plus to set aside a few time to dip in and get messy but the end results are well worth the effort. This article explains how to screen-print cloth.
1. Lay out your wooden frame onto your choice of fabric.
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2. Staple your cloth very tightly to the frame -so tight; you think it is going to rip.
Staple one of the corners first, stretches it, and then staple the opposite corner. Go back to the first corner, stretch the cloth, and staple about one inch clockwise from the 1st staple you made. Go back to the opposite corner, stretch the fabric, and staple one inch clockwise next the other staple. Keep doing this, going back and forth, and stretching all time, until you get all the way around the screen. What should happen is that you have to re-staple the earliest couple that you made because they are looser than the rest.
3. Spread your mixed-up emulsion onto the cloth very thinly in a completely dark room.
(Although a few emulsions are safe to use in a low light/sunlight environment). The package should have directions on how to prepare the emulsion. Spread on both sides; make sure the whole thing is wet, with no spots missed. To see what you are doing, use a red photo-darkroom light.
4. Let it dry in a completely dark place overnight.
5. Spread the black paper every over the floor and put your screen on top, wood side down (with staples on top)
6. Tape your transparencies with clear tape to the dry outside of the screen.
7. Set up your lamp in a straight line over the screen (distance according to directions), and turn the light on for however long it says in the directions.
8. Rinse your screen with extremely cold water. Let dry.
9. Lay your screen staple-side down on your cloth; put a line of paint on the screen, along one side, and with your squeegee, lay down a flood stroke using light pressure, the next pass should be firm with a flat motion to press the ink through the screen onto the cloth.
10. Lift up the screen plus you have an image on the fabric! Let dry.
11. Iron the rear side of the cloth for however long it says to on the paint container.
12. Wash the cloth.
- use squeegee at between 45 degree plus 90 degree angle
- use a spot heater plus print twice
- It’s simple to apply too much emulsion to the screen because you will probably have a lot of spare. But if you do this, plus drips form as it is drying, these will form holes and accidental open spaces in the screen which you resolve need to patch up later.
Things You’ll Need
- organdy silk-screen cloth
- wooden artist frame
- staple gun with staples
- set of silk-screen photo sensitizer plus emulsion
- heat-set cloth paint
- your chosen image printed out in every black (no grayscale) on a transparency
- a big cleared space to set up your light station
- Lamp with a 200 watt bulb.
- a safe light room (not a dark room), a few sheets of yellow cellophane over fluorescent tubes does the trick
- black non-glossy paper
- place to wash your screen (shower or tub)
- whatever cloth you want to print on
- household iron
- cleaning Powder (for frame washing)