Screen printing can be expensive however here is how you can get cheap screen printing. You can actually do it yourself at home.
There is a couple of different ways you can print on a t-shirt like you can print your image on transfer paper then iron it out on your t-shirt and you are done. I however found out that this is not durable and washes out fast.
The best method you can use to get quality durable t-shirts is screen printing. Today i will show you cheap screen printing process you can do at home to make t-shirts for yourself or for clients if you want to do it as a business.
Screen Printing is a process that allows you to print on Fabric using meshes called screens.
Screen printing is a fun and easy process you can easily done at home and start an awesome business. The best thing is i will show you how to make all you need and get them at an awesomely cheap price.
For a video guide scroll to the bottom
- Screen printing inks – Buy on Amazon
- Squeegee and 10X14 inch Aluminium Screen – Buy on Amazon
- T-shirts – 100% cotton – Buy on Amazon
- Photo Emulsion – Buy on Amazon
- Wash out station – Handheld shower or sprayer – Buy on amazon
- DIY UV Screen printing bulb – Buy on Amazon
- Darkroom – Probably a closet, any low light area
1. Preparing your screen
You can either buy screens or make your own. I recommend you make your own. When you buy the screen it is not fully ready to use. You need to apply masking tape on the inside of the screen. This will stop the flow of emulsion when you apply on the screen.
2. Apply emulsion on the screen
Poor a little emulsion on both sides of the screen. Spread along with the squeegee such that you have a thin layer of the emulsion on both sides of the screen. Make sure the emulsion spreads evenly. This does not have to be done in a darkroom. The emulsion effect does not take effect before the emulsion drys.
3. Drying the emulsion
Put the screens with the emulsion in the dark room to dry. You can use a fan for air circulation and to ensure the screen drys faster but this is not necessary. It will depend with the weather but screen will be dry after around 3 hours without a fan remember we wan cheap screen printing.
4. Print Transparency
Print your design on a transparency.
5. Exposing your screen
Place the transparency on the flat side of the screen on UPSIDE DOWN. This is so that when you look through the inside of the screen the artwork is UPRIGHT. You can place a clear glass to ensure the transparent print does not move.
Shine your light about 2 feet above from your screen for about 13 to 15 minutes. Caution not to overexpose your screen An overexposed screen might fail to wash clean. After time is up remove glass and light.
6. Washing the screen
The screen after exposure might seem just same but change has occurred. When you exposed the screen to light the exposed areas harden and can not wash away. The areas that the image had covered will be loose and wash away.
7. Apply ink
Flatten the t-shirt on a table or flat area. Put a cardboard in between the front and back of the t-shirt so that ink does not pass through. Place the screen on a the t shirt then add ink and push it over the clear area of the screen. Ink will pass through the transparent area and print the fabric.
Once 100% dry, iron the printed area and after 15 mins iron the inner side so that the ink sets well.