So you want to start screen printing from home … but the internet is full of conflicting advice and the costs involved seem ridiculous. The equipment is not only expensive but restrictive, allowing you to only print one color, before you have to fork out more cash to allow you to print more than one color.
Now the basics of economics dictate that for a business ( no matter the size) to survive, it needs to make a profit.
If you are spending thousands of dollars on equipment before you have even sold one item, you are putting yourself under tremendous strain to not only recoup the start up costs, but also to acquire customers, never mind the fact that since you have never printed before, there is still the time and expense that you are going to have to sink into your business before you will be able to create any form of income.
What if you could cut out those high equipment costs, while still being able to print unlimited colors from day one? … not only will you be saving money, you will be more productive from day one, since you will not have to keep learning new equipment as your needs change.
This course, will teach you how to Screen Print from anywhere, take me for example ,right now I am in Thailand, teaching kids to screen print on a platen that is portable since I need to get around using Uber.
You will need some basic Equipment, they are available from Screen Printing Suppliers, and if You need assistance with this, let me know and I will Find the equipment at the best rates in you own country.
Adobe also offers 30 day Trial copies of Photohop that you can download to complete the Photoshop Tutorials, if you get stuck with anything please message me and I will assist, I have a network of over 6000 screen printers worldwide.
Before You burn your artwork on to screens, ensure that you are able to register your art, this quick tutorial will show you how to create registration marks and make the files print ready, for registration
Artwork, after it is designed needs to printed out on film, now there are different types and suppliers of film, for both Ink jet and Laser Printers, If you do not have a printer, do not stress, since the purpose of this course is to allow you the ability to understand the process, and then you can improvise.
For instance, right now I am in Thailand, and I obviously do not have a printer available, but since I understand the process, all I need to do is print my artwork as separate .PDF files, load them into a USB, and find a print shop that can print to film.
I found a stationary store that sold me 100 sheets of overhead projector film, for $2, so now for 5 BAHT ( a few cents) I take my artwork and a few sheets of the film to the printing shop in the mall and they print my film for me.
So if you do not have a printer, do not stress :)
To create the Stencils, You need to coat your screens with a light sensitive Emulsion, you need to do this out of sunlight, at the very least cost your screens in the early evening or early morning, then once coated let them dry in a dark space facedown, if you do not have a dark space, find a box big enough to fit your screens in, and get carpet tacks, and push them into the screens face side ( making little legs) then you can stack your screens in the box without them touching.
Once the emulsion is dry, you can get ready to burn the screens, interesting fact here in Thailand , the emulsion is white Elmer's Glue and sensitizer, so it dries really easy and fast.
You need to expose (burn) the image from the film onto the screen, now to do this you need UV, instead of buying expensive ready made ones, You can easily build your own out of a 500w halogen spotlight.
The Lamp 30cm from to top will expose a screen in around 1:30min
We start with a very high end printing process, this is not even done by experienced print shops, but I always start my pupils on this, since if you can do this then everything else is easier.
As you have no point of reference to how hard it is, to you it will be the same as trying to print a single color print :)
Just like a color printer, to print full color prints you need to mix the colors to create all shades, now to try print full color with each color separate would be imposable, so using halftones and Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key ( Black)by printing wet on wet, you can get the colors to overlap and create new colors.
In the Photoshop section, you will get to create the artwork for this design.
If you only doing a few prints, and they multi color, it is possible to only use one screen to print with, provided that your design does not touch where the different colors meet.
Using tape, you can tape out sections and print one color at a time, this process is not something that you want to do with large runs but for a few one off shirts, this method works really well
If you can commit this technique to muscle memory you will print perfect prints every time, squeegee at around 70deg Angle and pull ink.
Never paint the ink since you will cause it to push through the t-shirt side and blur the print.
Since we are using water based inks and not chemical based Plastisol, we can use regular water to clean our screens in between print runs, scoop out the excess ink back into the containers and then rinse out with water, if you use a cloth, please ensure that it is non abrasive and do not scrub at the screen since you will break the stencil.
Stencil Printing is old school and very versatile for quick one offs, you can even use a plotter and x-ray plates, the kind you get in hospitals and create intricate designs.
If you are printing jersey numbers stencils are the best way to do it.
Screen Printing on wood using water based ink is amazing, it opens up a untapped revenue stream, and can be left to air dry and then coated with varnish, you can screen print on table tops for examples.
The Super Soft Premium printing process, you are going to love this, since these prints bond with the actual material they will never peel or fade.
This is a specialized printing technique that very few printers actually do, you will be able to print multi color discharge by the end of this lesson.
Lets go old school, no exposure unit, or film, you can use good old mother nature to expose your screens, this is very hit and miss and it only takes a few seconds to expose depending on where the sun is.
Best for simple designs, even if I have had some success with finer detail.
In this Module You will learn some high end CMYK color separation, as done in the first multi color print, using Photoshop.
If you are going to be screen printing for clients, chances are you will be receiving low resolution images and expected to create miracle, well after this module you will come pretty close.
You will learn some expert color separation techniques using Photoshop.
In this module, you will learn how to create a screen print ready image from a photo, using spot colors, this is a very cool technique to create artwork that looks impressive, yet is easy to print.
I have been Screen Printing for over 5 years, and teaching for three, currently I am traveling the world, perfecting my line table screen printing techniques, and applying them to my teaching.
Currently I am in Thailand with my wife and 4 year old boy, and we are just slow traveling through South East Asia before we decide where to go next.
Before I started my screen printing business, I worked 14 years in corporate Gillette, and I love combining business with creativity in my live classes.
I design, and have designed for many labels including for the biggest brand in the world ... no not Coke, that other one ... think leather, Harley Davidson's and Sons of Anarchy.