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August 24, 2006 @ 02:43 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

i made my own thread, so that this
would not get lost in the Screenprinting Sticky.

Forward -

Screenprinting is definitely not a weekend project, atleast if you want a nice end result.
it costs hundreds of dollars to get started, if you want to print with plastisol and cure it.
however there are starter kits for around $150 that use waterbased inks.

it is a very labor intensive process, and the first couple of times one tries it, mistakes will be made.
there are a lot of chemicals involved, even the ones marketed as biodegradable and ecosafe pose some risk to us humans.
however if you put alot into what you do, inevitably you will get alot out of it.

finally, it takes some amount of skill to make nice prints, but one can learn this, as long as they arent an impatient idiot.

This is a step by step, illustrated pictoral guide/walkthrough of my printing of shirts for my concept brand, name undecided but most likely it will be called Legion.


Square One -
Gathering Materials/Supplies...

the two big suppliers im using for my supplies are...
Performance Screen
and
Victory Factory.

both are excellent, well established companies.
performance offers a huge selection at great prices, especially attractive are their packages/discounts for first time customers.

victory factory is a local brooklyn shop, they make the best screens/squeegees/coaters around.
August 24, 2006 @ 02:44 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

1. Screen

i prefer aluminum screens, without listing all the reasons why they are better than wood, just know that they are. and prices for either material are about the same nowadays.

Mesh # is an important factor, the loosest i would use for printing shirts = 110 mesh.
try not to buy screens that use the 12xx etc system for mesh gauge, they are oldschool multifilaments.
for this run, im using a 137 mesh screen, the higher the # the smaller the holes.
this = less ink put down, tighter details, and harder force needed to lay down the ink.
depending on the ink/fabric you are printing on, adjust mesh accordingly.

i bought a 137 mesh, 25x36 frame at victory factory.

August 24, 2006 @ 02:45 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

2. Scoop Coater.

used to coat the screen with emulsion, if you dont know what emulsion is yet, youll find out later. just know that the screen has to be coated with it evenly.

you want to buy one that is about 2-3 inches shorter than the shorter inside dimension of the frame.

lets say your frame's inside measurements are 25x30, you want a coater that is about 22-23 inches long.

i bought mine at victory factory.

August 24, 2006 @ 02:45 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

3. Squeegee.
used to lay down the ink.
they differ in length/handle material/blade material/and blade durometer.
buy one that is 2 inches smaller than yout scoop coater if you plan to do large prints/buy a small one if you want to do just a chest logo etc.
imo wood handles are just fine/they are cheaper.
i use a 70 Durometer blade on my squeegee, durometer is how hard the rubber is, 70 is good for shirts.

i bought mine at victory factory.

August 24, 2006 @ 02:46 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

4. Hinge Clamps.
you get these clamps and mount them to the table you are printing on.
they hold the screen, and make it easy to hold the screen in place while printing.
they also hold the screen in the flipped up position so that you can take your shirt out after printing etc.

i bought mine at dick blick, the cheaper ones that sell for 9.95.
they work just fine.

August 24, 2006 @ 02:51 PM
Nawkternal

Post: 1314

Join Date: Feb 2006

nice so far most DEF im gonna use this tutorial
August 24, 2006 @ 02:51 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

5. Emulsion

You coat your screen with this, using your scoop coater.
basically it creates the stencil through which ink is applied.
it is a light sensitive goo that gets hard when exposed to uv light.
the area with the image you want stays pliable because it isnt exposed to as much hardening UV light.

i use SEX Emulsion from Performance Screen, its one of the best on the market.

August 24, 2006 @ 02:53 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

please refrain from posting until i finish this run of posts, i want less clutter.
thanks smile
August 24, 2006 @ 02:58 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

6. Exposure Lightsource.

emulsion needs to be exposed, much like film.
sensitive to the uv spectrum of light, its best to use a source of light that emits much uv.

i use an actinic/BL fluroescent (sp? ) tube, 4 feet long/32 watts.
its a T8 diameter bulb, and was purchased for my fishtank at a aquarium website.

you can also use fluorescent tubes ending in the letters BL - which indicate blacklight.
note that the bulbs arent the purplish black coared party blacklight bulbs.

other light sources such as halogen lights with the uv filter removed and the sun may also be used.

exposure times vary on how opaque your positive is, the distance of the lightsource, the nature of the lightsource, the emulsion used, and what kind of an image you are burning, its best to do a test strip and find the best time for your setup.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:04 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

7. Chemicals for Screenprinting.

screenprinting involves a variety of chemicals.
try to find ones that are made from oranges/naturally ecosafe rather than the noxious synthetic chemical based ones.
better for us and whats around us.

"bob's" chemicals from performance screen are excellent.
for first time buyers, they offer an excellent deal, $30 for a quart of the 4 chemicals that you need.

everything except the fabulous was bought from performance screen.
a helpful tip is to find used/empty bottles of household cleaners, wash them out well and use them on the bottles of chemicals, beats paying $1.50 for each of them.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:10 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

7a. Haze Reducer/DeGreaser.

used after reclaiming.
cleans the screen of contaminants like finger grease etc.
also reduces haze, a ghosting effect that occurs after screens are used for a while.

smells like oranges smile.
but dont breathe in too much of it.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:11 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

7b. Screen Wash.

cleans the screen of plastisol ink.
also you can use it to clean w/e mess you might of made with the ink, ie on tables etc.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:13 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

7c. Liquid Reclaimer.

breaks down the emulsion, needed after you are done using a burned screen.
be careful, this one is a bit strong.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:14 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

7d. Fabulous Orange Formula.

i use this as a general screen cleaning agent/degreaser when i dont have to use 7a (Haze/Degreaser) its less strong and works well for keeping a screen clean.

its cheap and effective.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:16 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

7e. Mesh Abrader

used to rough up a new screen.
its helpful cause it makes sure that a screen can be coated evenly, and that the emulsion will stick nicely.

August 24, 2006 @ 03:23 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

8. Brushes/Ink Knives/Water Source

its nice to have multiple scrub brushes, they are used for cleaning screens with the diff. chemicals.
just look for a cheap, medium stiffness scrub brush.

its also nice to have some ink knives, you also need them for applying mesh abrader, if you use something metal, make sure you dont touch the screen with it.

a hose or pressure washer is an essential part of a screenprinting setup.
we have high water pressure where i live, so i can use a garden hose and an adjustable nozzle.

otherwise one may use a cheap pressure washer.
August 24, 2006 @ 03:26 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

9. Inks

to start off, i would not buy nor sell a shirt printed with a waterbased ink.
they simply arent on par with plastisols, in terms of fading and longevity.

union ink makes great inks under their maxopake and soft hand series.
plastisols are inks that are basically liquid plastic, one must heat them once printed to a 350* heat source to cure them.
you can use a heatgun (not reccomended), a commercial flash unit, conveyor dryer, or a infrared light array to cure them. (more info on the infrared + pics to come.)

August 24, 2006 @ 03:38 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Square Two -
Prepping a New Screen.

refer to the first picture i posted in this thread for a visual of where i clean my screens.
note the rubber mat i use, it holds the screen from slipping, and also prevents possible damage to the frame.

i lean the screen on some lawn furniture, at a slight angle.
it is there that i clean the screen.
it is also close to the garden hose etc.

for a new screen, follow these steps...

Abrasion
1. get a scoop full of mesh abrader, spread it on the screen.
2. get your brush, and work it in a circular motion, do the same on both sides.
3. after a few scrubs, get your hose, put it on a strong spray and THOROUGHLY spray/clean both sides of the screen.

you want to angle the frame slightly torwards your body. using the floor as a pivot point.
this encourages a sheeting action as you spray.

DeHazing.
1. Spray Dehazer all over both sides of screen.
2. scrub with brush.
3. wash out using above method, make sure it is washed out well.

Apply Fabulous.
1. spray all over.
2. scrub.
3. wash out.

and after your done printing/want to reclaim a screen.

1. scrape off all plastisol and put back into your ink tub since it doesnt dry out.
2. spray screen wash all over.
3. let sit for a few.
4. use a paper towel to brush off the loosened ink.
5. after all ink is gone, spray reclaimer all over.
6. let sit for a while.
7. scrub.
8. use your hose and get rid of all that emulsion.
9. apply haze remover and wash it off.
10. apply fantastic and wash it off.

let it dry out, and your done.


please remember to shake/mix all chemicals/inks thoroughly, it makes things much better.

all done for now, feel free to post it up sans stupid stuff.

more to come as i have time/motivation.
August 24, 2006 @ 03:38 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

oh and no pics on the last post cause it not much to see.
August 24, 2006 @ 03:46 PM
Kodak

Post: 86

Join Date: Jul 2006

Thanks for taking time to do this. I had a question, whiy is not good to use a heat gun?
August 25, 2006 @ 01:20 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Square Three :
Preparing Your Positive.

after you have selected/completed your artwork, its time to make a positive.

one can get their work printed on a transparency/acetate.
its cheaper and just as effective to oil a piece of bond paper to make your positive.

Step One :
Print your artwork.
here ive whipped up something quick to show how i conduct an exposure test.
its a simple design, vectored in illustrator CS2.
i have printed it on regular bond paper.

August 25, 2006 @ 01:21 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Step Two :
get some veggie or baby oil.

August 25, 2006 @ 01:22 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Step Three:
pour a small amount of oil on your positive

August 25, 2006 @ 01:23 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Step Four:
using a napkin, coat both sides with oil

August 25, 2006 @ 01:25 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Step Five:
get your squeegee and place the wet positive on a smooth surface, im doing on a granite table top.

using the squeegee, squeeze out all the oil on both sides of the positive.

this makes the positive more well defined and transparent in the areas it needs to be.

also, you will find that it helps to eliminate air bubbles when it is placed on the emulsion to be burned.

August 25, 2006 @ 01:26 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

Step Six:
when you are done you will get something like this.

August 26, 2006 @ 12:15 PM
MARS-UNO

Post: 11

Join Date: Aug 2006

Location: I have lived all er...

SCREEPRINTING
It is time consuming but the end results are well worth it , great post
August 26, 2006 @ 12:19 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

ugh im having some problems with the sex emulsion.
i think i got a bad tub/it got spoiled on the ups truck in the heat.

however bob from performance screen is great and is offering me a new tub for free.

good customer service = something i love.
August 28, 2006 @ 01:53 PM
kennmon

Post: 503

Join Date: Jul 2006

ugh this emulsion is a dud.
im gonna be talking with bob, if the 2nd batch doesnt work, ulano emulsions here i come.

sad
August 28, 2006 @ 02:15 PM
ballday

Post: 421

Join Date: Jul 2006

yo man whats up wit that cooking oil and shit...

get any average inkjet printer and some transparency film.(especially if you shop wit victory factory).

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