The Ins And Outs Of T-Shirt Printing.
Screen printing is basically the art of transferring ink to a desired surface (for example, in t-shirt printing), by using a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil. This is done by hand, using a special-purpose block-mount, or by specially intended machines.
Simply put, screen print t-shirts are produced by placing a stencil, attached to a fine mesh made from silk, polyester or nylon, across the t-shirt fabric, then rolling ink across the stencil using a roller or squeegee. The ink is forced or pumped through the mesh onto the t-shirt, with the stencil blocking out areas that are meant to be ink-free. Ideally, designs preferable for printed t-shirts are sharp-edged and high-contrast.
In place of a solid stencil, an impermeable substance is usually applied to mask areas from ink, this is the favored method of t-shirt printing in the UK for most small-medium scale printers.
Now are instructions on by what means to screen print t-shirts: first, get your materials – a t-shirt, a few cheap paintbrushes, a pencil, newspaper, an embroidery hoop, screen printing ink, a fine mesh fabric such as sheer curtain material, old nylons or tulle, and glue that isn’t water soluble. You will also need a pc and a printer for your design, or a good hand for drawing.
Stretch the mesh material out over the embroidery hoop and secure very tightly. Print out your high-contrast, clean-edged design on paper and trace it (or draw it freehand) in pencil onto your mesh.
Paint glue all over the negative space (blank areas) of your drawing, being careful not to unwittingly glue the mesh to your working surface. Make certain you cover up all the areas you would not like ink to touch. Allow this to dry, or set it according to your glue’s instructions. You have now created your stencil.
place your t-shirt under the stencil (place newspaper inside the t-shirt to protect the back from ‘bleed through’). Stipple the ink onto the areas of your design not covered upby glue. Make certain that the ink is forced through the mesh onto the t-shirt, but be cautious not to overload it as this may create splotches. Carefully remove the stencil and allow the ink to dry, or set it according to your ink’sdirections.
The stencil can be reused to do many more printed t-shirts.
This article is written for The Stitch Factory. For all your t-shirt printing requirements visit us online
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