Screen Printing Fail!

Sometimes you swing and miss!

As with many of my projects, this week I attempted something I have never done before.  Screen Printing.  Now I have been wanting to try this for a couple years now.  A while back I purchased a starter kit to do a DIY screen print.  Included in that kit were all the chemicals, inks, and a screen that are needed.  Now I know you are supposed to use a photo sensitive emulsion for your screen.  However, I had also seen that for a small quantity of prints, some have used cut vinyl. Essentially a sticker.  Now since I have a vinyl cutter I figured I would give this method a try.  I had figured maybe some aspect of this wouldn’t go quiet as planned.  But, I had watched several videos, and read all I could find on how to properly do this.  So I felt fairly confident I could pull it off as a successful first attempt.  I was wrong.  You see, since I was printing a light, fluorescent orange ink on a dark shirt, I knew it would need multiple coats to get good coverage and a solid bright color on the dark shirt.  One critical aspect of resetting your screen in exactly the same spot proved impossible. Everything else worked as planned. But I had shadow images because I was not able to set the screen in exactly the same spot for the multiple layers. That said, I failed at my first attempt of making my first screen printed t shirt.  While from a distance it turned out ok, within 5’ you can clearly see the defect. It actually hurts your eyes as it is blurry because of the shadow image.  So, I learned a valuable lesson for my next attempt.  Make sure the screen gets put down in the exact same spot for each coat of ink. To resolve this I have purchased a screen printing press.  I will for sure be using this for my second attempt.  Hopefully with better results.  I understand this process requires some practice to perfect and I’m ok with that.  I will also follow the advise of others and print a coat of white before the fluorescent top color.  This is supposed to make your top color much brighter and more vivid.  Of course, this also will require that the project be a two color print, so I will need to use my press for sure.  Thankfully I purchased one that is set up with multiple screens for two color applications.  

Here’s to better luck and execution next time!  Check back to see how my second attempt goes sometime in the near future.  


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