Simple Silk Printing Press and Printed T-shirts for a Band




Introduction: Simple Silk Printing Press and Printed T-shirts for a Band

I play Bass saxophone in a street band in Marseille, Canebière Pression, and the band was invited to a festival organized by another band Mudanza in Salon de Provence.

I decided to offer a T-shirt with a moto for band players, together with a flat beer bottle as a joke. ,the colors of the band are Black and Orange, so I selected nice orange T-shirts. Street band players like to play loud and drink beer, they liked the T-shirt!

There are 20 musicians in the band, and it is the start of 'mass' production for me. So I decided to build a simple silk printing press, to make the process more efficient.

To make the press I followed the instructions from the internet site Serisuisse, it gives very precise indications

Presse 1 couleur

The hardware needed is very limited: 2 hinges and 2 clamps. I adapted the dimensions to the scrap wood I found in my shop.


2 hinges

2 clamps

scrap wood

Silk printing screen with your design

silk printing ink (I use plastisol)

Rubber blade

Hot air gun

Heating press (optional)

Step 1: Cut, Drill and Assemble

The wood parts are easy to cut according to the sketches. You have only to take care of the length of the supporting part of the plate (in french it is called jeannette) to ensure that it will be at the same level than the clamps.

I had to add a drill hole on the hing, and I drilled the holes on the clamps in place to be sure of the level.

The silk printing frame is clamped on the hinges. The thickness of the clamp is perfect to create a distance with the T-shirt.

To support the frame when on the 'jeannette' I also attached some adjustable legs from an I..A furniture.

Ready to print!

Step 2: Print the First Design

I don't know if you are familiar with silt printing, but it is quite simple once you have the frame with the design. I will not explain this step. In fact I made a training and during this training we made the silk printing frame with my design (I attached the PDF file, it was done by my daughter).

Put the T-shirt on the 'jeannette', trying to center it.

Then lay down the frame on the T-shirt. thanks to the shims, the silk screen doesn't touch the fabric.

Put some ink and make it go through the silk screen by pressing with a flexible rubber blade. When pressing the screen is in contact with the fabric, and when you release the pressure, the silk screen is above the fabric.

You can make it 2/3 times, and then you can lift up the screen and discover the result.

thanks to the press it is quite easy to do, the screen holds vertical, and you can let the blade and the ink on the frame.

I use plastisol ink and you need to dry it with a hot air gun. It takes some time...

Done for the first design, ready for the second.


Step 3: Print the Second Design and Cure

To optimize the silk screen, there are other designs on the screen. I needed to protect and isolate them not to print them.

The 'PLay loud' and the two lines need to be positionned precisely beside the 'Keep calm'. To be repetititve and quick, I used a plexiglass on which I made some marks, to be sure that the T-shirt is always in the same position.

I also needed to make a larger jeannette, because the second design is more on the side.

Then the process is the same than for the first design with another color. I selected a nice Cherry Red.

After drying with the hot air gun, I cured under a heating press. You can cure with the hot air gun but it takes a long time, and due to the big number, I decided to invest on a second hand heating press. I cured the ink at 170°C for 30 seconds.

It's done. T-shirst are ready for the band.

Step 4: Failure and How I Recovered

When printing the only lady shirt, which is smaller, I thought I could use the small jeannette and it was too small, and some letters were not printed. I had to recover because I had only one woman T-shirt.

I added a wood block with the right thichness on the side and attached the shirt to it, trying not to move the rest of the T-shirt.

I printed again the missing letters and used a paint brush to finish to fill the letters and lay down the ink.

At the end, you see it only if you know, isn't it?

With this entry I participate to the contest Rainbow colors 2019 ... orange! If you liked it, vote for me!

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