What you will need:
A screen to print with. We sell the Drawing Fluid Screen Printing Kit (#SPKD), the Photo Emulsion Screen Printing Kit (#SPKP), the Complete Screen Printing Kit (#SPKC), and the Speedball T-Shirt Screen Printing Kit (#TSSPK). All of our kits come with detailed directions. We also carry books such as Simple Screen printing: Basic Techniques and Creative Projects (#BSP) that include screen printing directions, ideas, and examples.
How it all works:
The screen is made of a porous, finely woven fabric (silk was used originally, but now polyester or nylon is used primarily) stretched on a frame constructed of wood or aluminum. A stencil is created from a non-permeable material to block out the negative areas of the image. The area where the ink will flow through will be kept open.
The screen is placed on a piece of fabric, such as a t-shirt, apron, or bag. The ink is placed above the image on the screen and is spread across the screen using a rubber bladed squeegee. The squeegee forces the ink through the mesh of the screen and onto the chosen surface. Once the screen is lifted, you will see the newly created image beneath it. The screen can be used again and again. If used quickly you can do several prints in a row with out the ink drying in the screen. You can use the same screen with a different color after washing and drying the screen. If you want to print with multiple colors with multiple screens, you will need to let the first application of ink dry then apply the next, working from lightest to darkest colors of ink.
There are several ways to create a stencil for screen-printing. The simplest is to create it by hand in the desired shape, either by cutting a piece of paper or plastic film and attaching it to the screen (between the screen and the printing surface).
Printing on Paper:
Papers that work well for this technique are drawing paper, construction and cover stock. Avoid using papers that have a high gloss or coating. For fine art quality prints 100lb weight papers or higher work well. Water-soluble and acrylics inks work well on these papers.
Printing on Fabric:
Most fabrics work well except nylon types. It is always a good idea to do a test run before getting involved in any project. Be sure to pre-wash your fabric to remove any dirt and sizing. This will ensure that the paint will adhere properly. Textile paints are used, they are later heat set when the project is completed and dry. Be sure to wash your screen quickly after you have finished your last project. Otherwise the paints will dry.