Screen Printing Tips
* Use fabrics free of sizing. Many have a coating, which sits on the fibre and prevents the screen printing inks from bonding with the fabric. It’s always worth testing the fabric first.
* Pre-wet the screen with a damp cloth before inking. This will prevent ink thickening. The ink can be thinned with up to 5% water.
* Stir the screen printing inks well before using. Print with a loose 'flood stroke'. Avoid thick or multiple coats which can affect wash fastness.
* Mix the ink with Speedball Transparent Base for transparency, economy, and a softer hand. Mix with up to 10 percent Speedball Retarder Base during periods of low relative humidity, high temperature, or slow printing.
* During breaks of ten to fifteen minutes, mist the ink in the screen with water using a spray bottle. For longer breaks, wash the screen thoroughly with water. Always keep the lid tightly sealed to prevent skin forming on the surface of the ink in the container.
* Wash the screen with water immediately after use. After the ink is thoroughly cleaned out, use normal stencil reclaiming.
* Protect the inks from freezing and do not store above 35°C for extended periods. At 20°C, inks have a shelf life of two years from manufacture.
* Buy a book or use the internet to pick up information and tips. Other techniques can be explored with screen printing. Discharge paste can be used to discharge colour from acid dyed fabrics and devore paste can be used to remove the pile from velvet. Browse the Book Shop for Screen printing books.
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