Paper Stencil Method is the best method for a beginner. It is the fastest, least expensive, and simplest way to prepare a screen. The Paper Stencil Method is good for geometric shapes and basic patters. It is not intended for complicated designs or lettering. Begin by cutting an illustration from paper. Keep the paper flat and not wrinkled. For more accurate and durable cut paper stencils, use freezer wrap (shiny side up). Designs can be cut with scissors or stencil knife or they can be torn to create a textured appearance.
Stencil Screen Printing is the quickest and easiest way to screen print – going from idea to finished print in as little as 20 minutes. There is no limit to the creativity of stencil art. Henri Matisse was known to use the stencil techniques in the creation of screen printed art.
This kit is reasonably priced and easy to use. Kit includes one each of the following:
8 x 10 screen, Red Baron dual edged squeegee, 4 oz black fabric screen printing ink, X-Acto knife, transparency film and full color step by step instruction sheet.
Screen Filler Method (Direct block-out or “Negative Method”) Using Screen Filler is another simple means of preparing a screen for printing. The screen filler is used to block out those areas that you do not wish to print. This allows the ink to be forced through the screen wherever the Screen Filler has not been applied.
Drawing Fluid – Screen Filler Method (Tusche – resist or “positive method”)
Photographic Emulsion Method you are to use a polyester screen fabric. Nylon will stretch with water-based inks and is not suitable. Do not use silk or organdy if you wish to reclaim the screen.
This is one of the most exciting methods of screen printing because it offers the widest range of possibilities. It makes possible the printing of fine line drawings, various hand and commercial lettering techniques, as well as photographic half-tone positives.
o PRINTING WITH FABRIC INKS For the most part, screen printing on fabric is the same as printing on paper. Use only fabrics that can be subjected to temperatures of at least 275 - 375° F. Do not use on non-porous fabrics such as nylon. Pre-test all fabrics. Fabrics with sizing must be washed prior to printing. This will assure proper adhesion of the fabric ink to the fabric.
Five Important Notes for printing with fabric inks:
- The screen frame is usually detached from the base and used alone. Usually two (2) people should work on the printing process – one holding the screen frame tightly against the fabric, and the other doing the printing.
- On articles like T-shirts, a piece of foamboard, cardboard or paper must be put inside each garment to act as a barrier.
- To improve the lubricity (slipperiness) of the ink, you may add the Transparent Base. To slow drying or to prevent screen clogging, add the Retarder Base (1-2 tbs. to 8 oz. of ink).
- Wash-up of screens and tools must be done immediately after use. If they are allowed to dry on your screen or tools, they are difficult or impossible to remove.
- After the fabric ink dries on the fabric, set a household iron at the highest dry heat (no steam) that will not scorch the fabric and with a cloth or paper between the iron and printed material, iron on each side for 3 – 5 minutes. This will make the ink withstand repeated washings.
IMPORTANT: PRE-TEST SAMPLES PRIOR TO ALL PRODUCTION RUNS. If inadequate wash fastness occurs, the print needs to be heat seat longer.
MULTI-COLOR PRINTING Multi-color signs can be achieved easily by making one screen with the entire message on it. Prepare the screen by any method you prefer. Once the screen is ready, simply block the words you do not want to print with your first color by putting masking tape or paper on the bottom side of the screen fabric.
- After you have made your first run of prints, wash the ink from the screen and let it dry. Follow this by blocking out the words you just printed and unblocking words you want to print with your second run of color. After you have made this second run, again wash the screen and let it dry. Continue to repeat this process until you have completed your multi-color print.
- Making multi-color prints of detailed artwork requires the making of a screen for each color to be printed. These screens should be prepared before you start to print. Additional Speedball® frames are available for purchase in many retail locations.
- One interesting effect can be made by having a two color print on overlapping areas. These overlaps can add a third (darker) value to the print. Speedball® Transparent or Extender Bases are formulated to enable screen printers to achieve this.
- Registration guides are very important when printing with more than one color. Details on registration guides are given in step A on the “Making Prints” section.
SCREEN CLEAN-UP - An organized work area will make clean up easy. Here are the recommended procedures:
o WATER SOLUBLE INKS
Use warm water and a soft brush. These inks will remain water-soluble even after thorough drying.
o FABRIC and ACRYLIC INKS
Wash IMMEDIATELY after the last print is pulled. Use warm water and a soft brush.
o Should ink dry in the screen; spray with Speed Clean by Speedball® or a house hold window cleaner. Rub with a lint-free cloth. When ink is removed, was with a mix of warm water and dishwasher detergent using a soft brush. Rinse with warm water.
o DRAWING FLUID
Wash with cool water.
• SCREEN FILLER
Speedball Speed Clean™ is preferable for removing screen filler, although you may also use Greased Lightning. One (1) cup of Arm & Hammer’s Washing Soda dissolved in one (1) gallon of water is also suitable. Instructions are:
- Apply to both sides with paintbrush. Scrub with a nylon bristle brush.
- Apply again to both sides. Let stand in a horizontal position for three to five minutes.
- Scrub with a nylon bristle brush while spraying with a forceful stream of hot water.
• PHOTO EMULSION
- Photo Emulsion should be washed out of your screen as soon as your print run is completed – unless you want a permanent stencil.
- Adult supervision is recommended for this procedure. Wear rubber gloves and smock.
- PHOTO EMULSION REMOVER METHOD: Be certain all the ink has been removed from the screen fabric. Apply Speedball® Photo Emulsion Remover liberally to both sides of the stencil using a paintbrush. Immediately scrub both sides of the stencil with a dry nylon bristle brush. Again, apply Speedball® Photo Emulsion Remover liberally to both sides of the stencil. Keep the screen in a horizontal position for three (3) minutes. Scrub both sides with the nylon bristle brush and flush with a hard spray of hot water. Once you have started removing Photo Emulsion you must not let the screen dry until completely clean.