Burning an Image Onto a Silkscreen Ready For Printing to T Shirts – A Step by Step Guide – Part 1

There are a fews steps to burning an image onto a silkscreen. I will take you step by step through process custom face masks so you too can easily make fantastic professional looking images ready for printing onto t-shirts.

In PART 1

The steps are

1.Degrease your screen.

2. Coat your screen.

Starting at the beginning

Degreasing the screen.

Before you do anything related to coating and burning an image, always ‘degrease’ the silkscreen. This means removing any residual grease or film that will affect how the coating or washing out performs. To degrease the screen, simply apply your degreaser to the mesh fabric of the screen with a sponge, spray gun or rag. You should get into the habit of degreasing before every coating.

Coating the screen.

Coating the screens simply means applying a light sensitive/photo sensitive emulsion onto the screen mesh. U a scoop coater to do this. This is a alumunium tool in an ‘L’ shape to drag the emulsion over the screen. Before even opening the emulsion, you need a room that has no UV light – that is sunlight. When your room is free of UV light you can begin coating your screen.

To be able to still see what you are doing use a red lightbulb in a lamp which means you can still work without UV light. Fill the scoop of the reservoir with emulsion, hold the screen tilted and press the smooth side of the scoop against the mesh. Pull the scoop to the top of the screen coating the screen as you go. Turn screen over and do same on other side of the screen mesh. To get a thicker coat of emulsion on the front side ( that is the side that touches the t shirt- or the flat side) repeat the process. This will allow you to get an excellent quality of image and professional print.

You don’t need to cover all of the screen, just enough for the size of your image, the rest should be blocked of with screen block, for short or small runs of t-shirts the masking tape will do ( for less than 100). Once the screen is coated, store it in a dark place to dry comletely. Put the screens in spare cupboard, or wardrobe to dry. Face the screen print side down ( the side that touches the t-shirt) to give a better quality print as the emulsion dries in fron of the mesh and produces sharper images and much better line details.

In this article we covered degreasing the screen and coating the screen.

See PART 2 for details on burning your image to the screen and washing out the screen.

B.Johnston is passionate about t shirt design and printing. Visit [http://www.teezarama.com/teezaramablog] for updates, news, top tips and free guides to t-shirt design and printing.

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