Introduction: How to Silk Screen
Courtesy of Megan Overman
Clean screen, Squeegee, Emulsion, Ink, Ttransparency (film) of image desired
Step 1: Coat Screen
Coat screen with photo sensitive emulsion. This should be done in an area not well lit and while emulsion is drying keep screen out of light.
Step 2: Burn Screen
Take transparency and place on outside of screen, right side down, with clear tape. Locations on screen vary due to placement on textile. Place screen in exposure unit or in direct light to expose emulsion.
Step 3: Rinse Out Image
After emulsion has been exposed, remove transparency and take to wash out sink. Here gently rinse out entire screen- the emulsion where the image was will completely wash away as well as any excess emulsion that could run into image while drying. After rinse set screen aside to dry.
Step 4: Tape Up Screen
Clear packing tape works best to go around the inside of screen to prevent ink from running into edges of screen which would go through and to preserve screens. At this time pin-holing is also done. Pin holing is carefully checking the screen for specs in the screen where emulsion was missed or washed out and is not part of image. Cover pin holes via block out, tape or emulsion pen.
Step 5: Set Up Screen
Take screen to press, set in, line up (t-squares work nicely) center and screw in.
Step 6: Print
Take desired ink and spread across screen below image. Take squeegee (squeegee should span just slightly larger than width of image) and pull ink through screen. Best results for pulling squeegee are at a almost a straight up and down angle. A test pull should be done first to check for any discrepancies etc. Take textile and place on platen for desired placement and continue with print.
Step 7: Cure Ink
Depending on type of ink used, curing processes will differ. Be careful removing textile from platen as ink will still be wet. Set to dry or heat cure. Curing pvc (plastisol) ink generally takes 30 seconds at 320 degrees.