Saturday, July 28, 2012

Adventures in screen printing

For the last few months, I've been hand-dying fabric and clothing.  The clothing is nice, I've come up with some colors I really like and I get compliments whenever I wear my creations.  But they are plain colors.  It's a little boring after a while.   And the fabric I've dyed is nice, but I'd like a little more design.

So, I've been looking at screen printing books and videos, although I had pretty much talked myself into the fact that screen printing was beyond my skills.  Today, I took the plunge.  I had a screen around and some paint and all the tools I needed.

I have lots of paint, textile, acrylic, oil stiks, watercolor crayons, silk paint, etc, etc, etc....  I got everything set up and poured my paint into the screen.  The paint seemed a bit thin.  And it proceeded to soak through the tape on the screen, around the stencil I was using and through the fabric.  I tried to pull it through the screen and ended up with this:

 Not really what I was looking for :)

 I cleaned everything off...used some paint just for screen printing...much thicker....and came up with this:

 The paint was a little thick, but according to everything I've read and seen, that happens on your first print.  I thought the definition was pretty good.

This was my second print:

Sloppy because I pulled the squeegee in two directions disturbing the stencil and causing the paint to go under the stencil.  Oops!

My third print was pretty much perfect:

Love this one!

I used small stencils...6x6... which were problematic given the screen is 8x10.  I need to make my own stencils which are bigger so they fit inside the screen better and I don't need so much duct tape to cover the parts of the screen that have no design on them.  I think my small stencils are best left to stenciling and not screen printing. 

So, for the next few days, I'll be making some of my own stencils to use.

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