Screen Printing - Frequently Asked Questions
What is screen printing?
Screen printing is the art of taking a design and printing it on to a fabric or paper or card or whatever material or object you like!
It's much easier than you'd think and it's really simple to pick up and give it a go.
How do I get started?
The best way to get started is to have a good read through our 'How to screen print' guide, we've pages that cover pretty much everything! The guide is a great way to get a good understanding of how screen printing works, the various methods and what you'll need to get started.
Our top screen printing guides:
Screen printing with stencils
Screen printing with photo emulsion
What do I need?
Initially you need a kit, see our screen printing kits. But as time goes on you'll need specific bits to do different things and different jobs. We'd always recommend getting a kit to start with as this will teach you the various bits you need and you'll know what to order when you run out.
If you've a specific question on a piece of kit, please do drop us a line!
There's a few different ways to get your design printed.
Stencils - Great for beginners and printing a handful of items.
Screen filler & block out - Draw straight on the screen, great for artists!
Photo Emulsion & Diazo - Ideal for those using computer graphics and longer print runs.
There's a great video that explains the various methods here
Types of Ink
Ultimately there's plastisol or waterbased ink. Both have their pros and cons, but overall we're very pro waterbased.
Waterbased is hands down better for the environment and in our opinion easier to use, it's also much easier to clean up and manage in a more primitive set up, ideal if your printing at home or in a space where you don't have big sinks and pressure washers!
There's also the feel good factor. Waterbased ink sinks in to fabric, so after it's cured and washed it's the fabric you feel not the layer of ink.
Curing waterbased ink is pretty simple. If you're printing clothing you'll need to heat cure it. This can be done with an iron, but we'd always recommend a heat gun, or if you can a flash or tunnel dryer.
If you're printing paper or card, just leave it for a good 24 hours, or if it's in a cooler place, give it a little longer.
One of the pros to waterbased ink and a heat gun is that as you heat it, the print will steam. That's the water in the ink evaporating. Once it stops steaming give it 10 seconds and it's done. We always recommend that you do a wash test on your clothing sample, some garments will need varying times to heat cure!
For both our own Hunt The Moon ink and Speedball ink, you're aiming for 2-3 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius.
Need more information?
We've covered a few screen printing problems, tips & tricks and genera print queries in our blog. if you can't find what you are looking for their, why not drop us a line.
Got a question?
We're always happy to help and no doubt your question is something we've came across before. You can drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01822 890 037