Screen printing techniques primarily require a fine mesh or screen securely stretched around an unmoving casing. Parts that are not to be printed are blocked on the screen. To make a print, the screen is placed on some dry paper or fabric and the ink is placed on top of it. A rubber scraper is then used to spread the ink consistently across the screen. The ink will pass through the open spaces in the screen onto the paper or fabric below it, after which the screen is removed. This technique is used for flat or somewhat flat surface printing.
This method is a combination of preparation, installation and orientation. In the initial stages, one needs to use some cutting gear to make a design. These include art knives, exacto knives, multiple blades and scalpels. You can use these to create a pattern on either a monofilament or multifilament surface of nylon or polyester, or a photosensitive indirect screen printing film. You need to have a collection of screen printing inks on hand for this. With the help of blotting pens, an artist may block the places that he/she does not want to print on.
The next step involves distributing the ink with either a spatula, a rubber blade, or a squeegee. The next step after this is to use the screen printing frames. Novices should consider using clamps and/or tape to hold the article to be printed in place. Photosensitive indirect screen printing film must be used in conjunction with tabletop printers or garment printing machines.
After the printing process is completed, it is important to cure the ink. To do this, a textile dryer, flash dryer, and a drying board is required. After the printing is completed, a fabric cleaning brush should be used to clean the screen. In many cases, a fast screen wash may be needed to take off ink stains. Instant screen openers can also be sprayed on a dry area of the screen to melt the inks and open the mesh after two or three ink coats.
In order to observe the tiny details of screen printing, flash bulbs are used. Equipment may be purchased as needed or you can buy a screen printing kit that includes all the necessary items. Until you gain a better understanding of the whole procedure, you should use pre-fabricated stencils or designs in the initial stages. You’ll often find manuals included with the kits, these are very useful for beginners and advanced users alike.
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