Have you ever wondered where personalized T-shirts come from? You can print your message today with the following do-it-yourself steps! My experience in the past 15 years printing t-shirts, sweatshirts and patches for bands including, Chuch, Dust To Dust, One Voice and Jesus Vanacho, has proved to be a cost effective and independent alternative process to corporate production lines.
Photographic emulsion screen printing is one of the most exciting methods of screen printing. This technique offers the wildest range of possibilities. You can re-create photographs, logos, and various hand and commercial lettering techniques to promote any endeavor you may choose to embark on.
This style of screen printing requires five important things:
1. Gathering the basic materials at your local art supply store. A light sensitive photo emulsion kit, a frame to stretch your screen to, a stapler, and a squeegee.
2. A printed transparency.
3. An adequate lighting source for the exposure.
4. A dark working area.
Before you get started, you may wish to shop around for a particular brand of photo emulsion. I use Speedball and it can be found in almost every art supply store. It comes in a box with all the necessary mixers to make your emulsion. These materials come with their own directions on mixing the chemicals. While you are there, ask a clerk about a frame and the type of screen you will need. It is important to determine what grade of silk screen you need depending on the detail of your design.
1. Take your frame (usually 8 ½” x 11” or depending on your design it may be bigger). Take a section of screen comparable in size to your frame and line it up on the back of your wooden frame. Take a stapler and begin with each of the four corners. Once you have all four corners stapled without any ruffles in the center of the screen,...