Saturday, December 18, 2010

On A Roll With The Screen Printing

After my success with my most recent attempts to screen print on a tiny swatch of fabric, I decided it was time to spread my wings and try for something a little bigger. The goal of tonight's outing was to use the area of the entire screen, and see if I could get a good qualilty print onto my fabric.

As before, it started with me cutting out a length of fabric, ironing it, and taping it down to some butcher paper that was attached to a chunk of MDF.

I must confess at this point I once again owe a debt of gratitude to my online buddy Laamberry for her expertise in screen printing. I had asked her for some tips on getting the ink to flow properly through the screen, without any streaks or blank areas. The advice she gave me was basically to do multiple passes with the squeegee, from multiple directions. I always figured that you wanted to get it done with one pass, but hey, what do I know. I figured I would give her advice a try, and see how it went.

To skip ahead to the punchline, it worked amazingly well.

Here's a pic of the full sized piece of material. You can see where the edges are for the diamond pattern. That's the size of the pattern on the screen.

And here's a closeup of the diamonds. You can see that the ink went on evenly, and really well. I'm really quite stunned and impressed by the results.

So once again, another REALLY great test of the screen printing techniques and materials. As of now, I am feeling very confident about my ability to print the pattern properly on the material.

The verdict is still out on whether or not that fixer stuff is going to make the ink stay on the fabric. I'll need to wait a few days for it to fully cure before I can make that assessment. I think it might also be worth experimenting with the traditional ironing technique, on the off chance that I can find a temperature that is hot enough to fix the ink, but not so hot that it melts the milliskin.

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