How to print your own t-shirts using screen printing.
DIY t-shirts screen printing tutorials.
In this article I am going to talk about how you can screen print your t-shirts using a really DIY method. if you are running a small business or don’t want a large quantity of t-shirts printed, this method will word great for you. this way you can print to order without having to buy in bulk or the hassle of storing.
to start the process you will need a blank silkscreen. and for making the frame, I suggest watching this video here – https://youtu.be/UcuTX770Z0g
If you really don’t want to make DIY frames you can also buy frames from an art supply store.
What you will need ?
the hardest part of screen printing is getting the design on to the screen. it’s a chemical process called emulsion combined with UV light. this has to do a lot with getting the timing right. you will need few things for this process. most importantly you will need emulsion and sensitizer. please follow the instructs on emulsion brand you are buying and mix it right. when these two chemicals combined, it will harden under UV light.
you will also need some pushpins.
and lots of disposable papers to clean up the mess.
a squeegee with a straight edge.
and a dark, dry place to leave your screen to dry overnight.
first you put pushpins in each corner of the flat side of the frame so they will act like stands for the frame. when you put the frame down, screen silkscreen should not touch the ground.
in a very dim lighting conditions, spread a very thin coating of emulsion on to the both side of the silkscreen. please use a straight edge cardboard or the squeegee for this. get it as even as possible and make sure all the screen is covered.
sitting on the pins, put this on a dark, dry place to dry out. when the screen is dry to the touch move to the next step.
forgot to mention earlier, you need to have your design printed out on a transparent sheet. contrast must be as high as possible for the best results. if you dont know how to print on transparent paper, you can have it done by any photo studio. take your design to them and ask to print on a transparent sheet.
place your design back to front on the flat side of the screen. then expose it to bright sunlight or put it under a UV light. the exposed emulsion will harden everywhere but the dark sports of the design.
leave it exposed in sunlight for about 30-50 minutes. for UV lights it depends on the light you are using. you probably wont get this right at the first time, so experiment with it and you will find what will work the best for you. this period can be different to each emulsion brands, and other materials you are using.
wash your screen using regular tap water. use a shower nozzle and scrub with a soft scrubbing brush. be patient and gentle with this. avoid scrubbing harder
this is the fun part. now you can print t-shirts using your screen. put down the t-shirt and put some cardboard inside the t-shirt to make it stiff. then alight your design correctly and push against the t-shirt. use 2 to 4 clamps to keep everything in place.
take your screen printing ink and spread across your screen covering the whole design aria.
then using the squeegee, spread the ink back and forth 2-3 times.
when you are satisfied that the ink covers whole design take the clamps off and look for imperfections in the design. if you see missed spots, don’t worry, and do not do over. just use a paint brush and touch-up the missing spots.
leave the t-shirt to dry out. when completely dry, use an iron to to set it.
congratulations! now you know how to print your own t-shirts.