Introduction: Screenprint a Leather Warriors Vest
I wanted a vest from the 1979 movie The Warriors, so I decided to make one out of leather and screen print the design.
IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080120/
20"x24" Screen 110 mesh or equivelent (12XX)
Ink (Black, Red, Yellow, White)
Photoemulsion (I used Speedball Diazo)
6 Inkjet Transparencies
Step 1: Trace Design
I found several photo's of the vest from the movie and photoshopped them to have only 4 colors. I then used MagicVector to convert it to vector and tweaked the result in illustrator.
i have included the JPG and the vectors as SVG, AI, and PDF
Step 2: Seperations and Arrangement
i wanted to fit all of the components on one screen to save emulsion, so is separated each component in illustrator and laid them out in a file the size of my screen(20"x24"). i had a little space left over so i put the movie's logo on the page as well.
the WARRIORS text is 3 colors: white background, red text, and a black outline on the text
the winged skull is 5 colors, but i used 4: Black, White, Red, and 2 shades of yellow, but i put in stripe halftones to act as the darker yellow.
i included a JPG, a PDF, and an AI (don't print the jpg, it will have bad edges)
Step 3: Printing Transparency
Acrobat Reader and Illustrator has an option for printing things bigger than Letter.
Illustrator: (see Image)
you can then drag the box around to use the least amount of Transparency. keep in mind that setting the orientation to portrait or landscape may help you out.
Acrobat Reader: (no image)
File>Print>Page Scaling>Tile All Pages
once you've printed your transparencies(i had 6) you can tape them together with clear pacaging tape or similar.
Step 4: Coating and Exposing Screen
an excellent instructable on Photo Emulsion screen printing.
exact process i followed.
once i coated, exposed, and washed my screen, it came out messy around the edges. i fixed it with masking tape. keepin mind it will take longer to expose a bigger screen as the light bulb will be further away. mine took about 40 minutes@150W but don't hold me to that.
Step 5: Ink
i used all water based ink. my mesh was 160 which i really regret as the white got stuck and ruined one of the vests. i recommend using a 110 screen.
Step 6: Printing
Registration(alignment) was tricky becuase there are so many componets and i don't have any hinges. what i did was
-trace the outline of the screen's frame on your table
-trace the outline of the screen on the transparency as you exposed it(seen in picture)
-line up rectangle on transparency with rectangle on table
-place vest under transparency with the desired componet in the desired place while maintain rectangle alignment
-remove transparency from the vest
-align screen to rectangle on table without moving vest at all
-print component of design on vest(mask undesired components with 3m masking tape)
-repeat until finished
so, as long as your carefully aligning, you can get perfect alignmet this way.
It worked great for me, all of the components were within 1/16th of an inch.
I dried my vests with a heat gun in between prints.
Step 7: Cut/Sew Vests
my vests were pre-cut and punched, so i just sewed the back to the lapels with leather lace and i was done.
Step 8: Finish!