Screen Printing is a process that prints a design on a piece of clothing. This can be done by stretching a fine mesh (the screen) over a frame and coating it with emulsion. The emulsion is then bitten with the teeth of each letter to expose the design. A squeegee is used to spread ink across the screen, which sticks particles onto the thin film applied to it, and is then backlit by a powerful light to show an image through the fabric.
1. Your Design Meets The Screen
You will need to get the design onto a computer and make it into a format that the printer can use. You will also need to know how to use it. The screen printing machine interprets the design and can print it exactly as you have designed it. The screens are placed on the frame, and the squeegee is ready to apply the ink. The sponge is attached to the end of the squeegee, and a rubber dam is placed over it so that it does not press down onto the fabric when printing.
2. Get Ultraviolet
Ultraviolet light is used to make the pattern that you want on your garment. Ultraviolet lights are invisible light but can be seen by some kinds of microscopes. They are similar to ultraviolet rays, but they are invisible. The light is called ultraviolet because it is beyond violet, which is the color of the rainbow after red (the visible range). You may have heard of UV rays, but UV light is different. Ultraviolet lights are also called black lights because they appear black when off and glow brightly when turned on. Black lights look blue-violet when turned on, which is why there are often pictures of people with blue skeletons on their posters and advertisements.
3. Feeling the Pressure
Screen printing uses ink and a squeegee. The squeegee is placed on the screen and then used to apply pressure to the ink. The pressure transfers the ink from the screen to the fabric placed below it. This allows the ink to transfer onto any object below it once it is removed from a frame. This is created by placing a sheet of film or fabric over the emulsion design and pressing down hard on it. The emulsion will then be transferred through all layers onto your garment or material (or anything else).
4. Allow It to Set
Screen printing requires a minimum amount of time for the ink to set and the image to be printed. You will not be able to see your design immediately, but it will continue to strengthen over time. This process can take as little as ten minutes but typically takes twenty minutes or longer, as you will see your design print rather quickly. The time can depend on the amount of ink used for your design and the temperature of the environment (humid or dry).
Screen printing allows you to create a unique and original print design on your clothing, artwork, or even home décor. You can be as innovative with your design as you want because the possibilities are endless for your print designs. Depending on how long you let the ink set, you can make your graphic design look like a watercolor, oil painting, or even a drawing with a pen and pencil.