1) to use vinyl or to use photo emulsion
vinyl is faster and cheaper, but requires a vinyl cutter for most projects
photo emulsion - can be done with chemicals in house or for about $25 from a vendor
2) to use clamps or a "professional rig (a 4-way setup usually)
clamps are great for a single color and would be harder to line up for multiple colors
a 4-way set-up is great for multiple colors and requires a bit more practice to get a great print
-ink - in this case a water soluble screen printing ink from blick - ~$7.00 for a small and $21 for a large
-something to print onto like a tshirt or a canvas
Submitted by SFlettering for the Instructables Sponsorship Program
Step 1: Using Vinyl for Silk Screening : Cutting a Reverse Image
TIP: a great way to prep calligraphy style stencils for a silkscreen project is to design the calligraphy on the rear of the vinyl (it even has marks for lining up your writing) and to cut the stencil from the backside of the vinyl.
In the photo you can see an SF stencil for San Francisco done in black letter and showing the reverse view
BTW: I made it at Techshop http://techshop.ws
Step 2: Vinyl Stencil Creation : a Backside View to See How It Will Look on a Shirt
also shown in this step are the contact paper to use to get the design off of the vinyl backing and onto the silkscreen and a ruler and knife which are essential when making your stencil.
Step 3: Test Print of SF Onto a Tshirt From the Scrap Bin
2 things are going on here that are areas to improve
1) I flooded the silkscreen and ink got onto the upper part of the stencil resulting in an area that printed poorly toward the top of the stencil.
2) I needed to use more pressure and possibly more ink on the silk screen to get a better print
TIP: use more ink than you think necessary and you can always scrape it up and save it for later.
Step 4: What to Do When Your Screen Floods and Your Print Suffers
2 ways to clean up the screen
1) remove screen and wash and clean
2) use several scrap pieces and make 4-5 prints until the extra ink creating the flooding issue is used up
Step 5: Repetition Cleans the Screen After Silkscreen Was Flooded From Extra Ink
TIP: If you get ink on the bottom of the screen consider taking the screen off the press and washing the entire screen before moving on with your printing
Step 6: Great Final Print on White Tshirt
1) more ink than expected (I used a blend of red and yellow on this print mixed very well)
2) 2 passes (when using clamp set-up) to get best overall quality
3) a clean surface that promotes contrast with the stencil and color chosen
a bit of luck resulting from practice and study of the techniques and tips for silkscreen printing with vinyl.