Screen Printing A few Words



There are three ways to screen print, using a light sensitive emulsion painted all over the screen and the image is then placed onto the screen and light is flooded over the image and screen which then leaves a image on the screen of the printed design required. The screen is washed off and the light sensitive emulsion which is not part of the design is removed. The screen is ready for printing with.


Block out transfer is another method and means that you paint the image directly onto the screen the positive area is left open. The screen is then dried and can then be used to print the image.


The third method is to use a stencil for your image (this is by far the quickest way to produce screen prints) this is cut from an acetate sheet or specially treated brown paper with a sharp craft knife and then the stencil is spray glued onto the front face of the screens mesh. You could use an old picture frame and old net curtains stretched and staple onto the frame as a make shift screen. The finer the material for the mesh a clearer image you will get.


Screens come in all sizes and can be bought from Fred Aldous or George Wiel I use a small screen or a size to fit your paper or fabric , the screen is covered and stretched with tightly woven nylon mesh, silk or cotton.


The screen when ready is then positioned face down onto either the fabric or paper that you are using (at this stage you can mark with tape the place the image has been placed and this is a guide for subsequent images to be placed for repeat printing. This method is used also for printing with more than one screen and using different colours on one image) .


Acrylic paint for paper and acrylic and printing medium for fabrics is used through the screen( you can also use permaset for fabric printing available from Fred Aldous). You can use different single colours individually or mixed colours onto the screens surface, this blending of colours can give some really unusual results as they are push through the screen .


The paint is applied to the inside of the screen along one of the short edges of the screen, the squeegee is then put into the paint and pressed down and dragged across the length of the screen keeping the pressure even throughout. (A Piece of cardboard cut to size can be used as an alternative to a squeegee but this will need replacing after each use).


The squeegee is then lifted making sure that the paint has been press through the mesh and the stencil onto the paper or fabric. Gently lift the screen and either repeat the process on another sheet of paper or fabric until you have the required number of prints.


When finished wash the screen with a pressure jet to remove the paint between the fibers or use a soft scrubbing cloth to rub away all the paint from the screen. The cleaning of the screen is very important to keep the next images clean and crisp in detail.


You now have a screen printed image