Friday, January 6, 2012

Screen Printing

Zach and I had our first go at screen printing the other night. It is SO MUCH FUN! Seriously addicting, and since I know what can be done, my brain hasn't stopped thinking of designs and ideas. I've been sketching some doodles and thinking of photos that we have to be printed, and we will be having lots of fun new products coming soon!

The first screen we made was our logo. Zach built a wooden frame from some scrap wood in the barn. Then he made a screen stretcher by stapling a bazillion staples through a thin piece of wood so that the tines of all the staples were exposed. These act as little grips and stretch the screen across the frame. Then we glued it with this apoxy-like glue that almost melts the screen to the frame and make it really secure.

Then we locked ourselves in the spare bathroom where there isn't a window, and worked under the yellow light. While making the screen, it's sort of like working in a dark room for photography. Light exposes the emulsion, that's why I have no photos to share for this part. We applied a coat of emulsion to each side of the screen and let it dry.

Then we printed the design out on two sheets of transparency paper to double the thickness and make sure no light can pass through. We taped the image to the screen and exposed it with an ultra violet light for 12 minutes. This next part is like magic, the area where the image was black rinses away and you're left with a perfect copy in the screen! So cool!

 We gathered up a bunch of old T-shirts to experiment on. Zach made a shirt form out of a scrap piece of wood so the material would be even.

Then we sprayed it with hair spray to keep the shirt from moving, and smoothed out the wrinkles.

Then we taped off the screen where the emulsion didn't reach

and placed the screen on top of the shirt.

We then ran a length of ink across the top of the screen

and pulled the ink across the image with the squeegee.

When we picked up the screen we had a perfect image of our logo on the shirt!

I dried the ink with a hair dryer and then we set the ink with an iron. 

1 comment:

Camille said...

This is awesome! Jim and I have always wanted to do screenprinting. I would love to buy one of your designs if you plan on selling them! :)

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