For our next instalment in our screen printing series, we decided to bring in the professionals. Queue YUK FUN, screen printing extraordinaires who own their own clothing line. They’ve given you there five top tips to screen printing for beginners so we can all start customising.
If you have a go at screen printing using YUK FUN’s tips then tag us in your finished product on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Check out our other screen printing blog post which shows you how to make your own screen printing frame and subscribe to Mollie for more creative projects.
1. Get a friend to help
You could get some clamps to hold down your screen or even use your leg but why not rope in a friend to help? It’s way more fun and maybe if you’re nice enough to them they’ll wash the screen for you.
2. Keep a note of the shelf life of your photo emulsion
Check the expiry date of your photo emulsion, there’s nothing worse than forgetting about it and wasting a big pot of emulsion. You can also keep it in the fridge to extend the shelf life (for how long exactly check the particular brand you’re using). Remember to get it out of the fridge so it can get to room temperature a couple of hours before you use it, otherwise, it won’t be runny enough.
3. Simple is good
For your first design, we recommend choosing something simple with lines that are not too thin (you’ll need to use a screen with a higher mesh count for more detailed designs). Thicker lines are easier to print as they are less likely to get clogged up with ink, unlike fine lines.
4. Print with one colour
Go with a one colour print for your first time. We speak from experience – trying to print a 3 colour design when you’ve only been printing for a couple of months is very, very traumatising! If your design is good it’ll look just as nice in one colour than in a million different colours.
5. Make use of old debit/credit cards
These make excellent flexible scrapers for removing any excess ink left on your screen and squeegee. You end up wasting a lot less ink because you can scrape it all back into the pot really easily. Don’t tell anyone but scraping the ink off the squeegee is one of our favourite parts of screen printing, it’s so satisfying!