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How to Burn a Silkscreen and Print Your Own Shirts at Home

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Screen printing is the top of DIY culture. If you’ve got got a band, you could display screen print your personal shirts. If you’ve got got an artwork collective, you could display screen print a few tote bags. If you’re selling an indie display, you could display screen print your personal posters. Most inventive portions appearance manner cooler after they have that home made vibe.

We’re going to reveal you the way to make your personal layout and display screen it onto anything you would like. You’ll want to dam out some hours, and you may want to have a layout or brand in thoughts to print.

This how-to is for a single-colour process. We’ll be the usage of one colour of ink, so think about a one-colour layout. When choosing your first layout, attempt for some thing easy with out lots of skinny traces. Thicker traces display up better—too skinny, and they will be messy. Your layout have to be published in stable black traces on white, and there shouldn’t be any grey regions or errant markings. This will probable require bringing the layout into a few virtual imaging software program to darken your traces, get rid of any grey regions, and flip it right into a one-colour piece.

For our test, we used our personal brand—the large G from the Gear phase of the internet site and the Gadget Lab phase of WIRED magazine. This will provide you with an awesome concept of line thickness and basic cleanliness of the layout.

Once you’ve got got a brand, you’re geared up to begin. And you’ll truely need to put on gloves and an apron even as you work.

Gather the Gear

  • Blank silkscreen pre-stretched one hundred ten mesh body
  • Transparency paper for laser jet printing
  • Photo emulsion
  • one hundred fifty watt mild bulb
  • Squeegee
  • Ink
  • Blank canvas bags/t-shirts/posters/mousepads
  • Rags
  • Gloves and apron
  • A desk included in newspaper
  • Sheet of black cloth or black paper
  • 2 lamps
  • Optional: crimson or yellow mild bulb
  • Optional: desk clamps or weights

Burn the Screen

Coat the silkscreen with image emulsion the usage of your squeegee. The emulsion will include a small box of sensitizer; comply with the instructions at the bottle to mix the ingredients. Then pour a touch of the combination at the display screen. Spread it frivolously with the squeegee to coat the complete display screen in a skinny, even layer of image emulsion. Do this for each sides.

Put the display screen in a pitch black room for multiple hours, letting the emulsion dry absolutely (take a look at the commands in your emulsion too). Do now no longer relaxation the silkscreen flat facet at the ground.

Print your black ink picturegraph on a transparency with a laser jet printer and set it aside.

Set up your mild rig. Lay the black sheet over the desk and function your lamp with a one hundred fifty-watt bulb to polish down immediately at the desk, approximately twelve inches from the desk (double-take a look at the instructions at the emulsion). Turn all of the lighting off withinside the room besides for a lamp with a crimson or yellow bulb.

Position the transparency at the display screen to burn it. Take out the framed display screen covered in dried emulsion and location it display screen facet up, wooden down at the black cloth. Using clean tape, function and steady your picturegraph to the floor of the silk display screen.

Turn at the one hundred fifty-watt bulb and burn the display screen. Again, take a look at the instructions in your emulsion, however an awesome fashionable guiding principle is to go away the one hundred fifty-watt bulb on for among 30 and forty five minutes. Then you could go back to everyday lighting.

Clean the display screen. Using a sink with cool water, spray down the display screen till all of the emulsion flakes off in which your transparency blocked mild. It can also additionally take some time to clean all of it off, so make sure to be affected person and thorough. Try now no longer to rub the display screen together along with your fingers. You have to be capable of absolutely see via the regions in which you need ink to appear. Dry it off.

Print the Swag

Lay your cloth or paper on a flat floor. If it’s a  sided piece of cloth like a T-shirt, positioned a chunk of cardboard internal so the ink you location at the the front doesn’t bleed via to the back. Place the silkscreen body over the shirt, flat facet down, at the element which you need published. You can also additionally desire to clamp or crush the body.

Apply a line of ink to at least one facet of the display screen, and the usage of the squeegee in a forty-5 diploma angle, pull the ink down the picturegraph to cowl it frivolously. Exert stress even as you drag the squeegee with a clean movement. Do this once more left to proper and up and down over the picturegraph.

Carefully elevate the display screen and set your newly published object off to the facet to dry. Give it 10 minutes. Once dry, you can desire to iron the picturegraph in brief to assist make sure the ink units earlier than washing it; make sure to place a chunk of cloth among the brand new ink and iron.

Repeat. You’ll need to rinse the display screen occasionally, specifically earlier than converting ink colorations (so that you do not blend colorations unintentionally) and after you’ve got been printing for some time (due to the fact ink buildup can clog the display screen).

Now all you want is a merch desk for all of the swag you’re gonna make. And you get to hold your Punk Rock ID Card for any other complete year—congratulations!

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