Screen Printing 101: A Simple Guide to Get the Perfect T-Shirt Print

Mochi Gang, Milk Mafia, Milk n Babble

Here at Milk n Babble we hand screen-print in my in-home studio.

Screen printing is done by pushing and pulling ink through a mesh screen.

You first start off with a screen. Create the stencil with light-sensitive emulsion. You add a thin layer of emulsion on both sides of the mesh. This emulsion is dried overnight in a dark room.

Once coated and dried, we create a negative with the graphic on it. A negative is made for each colour in the design.

The negative is placed on the coated screen and a light is shined on the screen to put the image onto the screen. The screen is then washed leaving a screen with a stencil of the image on it. A screen is made for each colour in a design. The process is lengthy and it is for this reason that screen printing is usually done for more than 12 shirts at a time. However, screen printing is ideal in terms of quality and durability.

 t-shirt screen printing

A Simple Guide to Get the Perfect T-Shirt Print

Every printer has its' reason why it entered the screen-printing market. Someone wanted to start their customizable clothing line and others founded it to earn their bread and butter. Despite various uses, screen printing is a vast field that will take a long journey to learn. It requires a lot of skills to perform, and results are outstanding when performed by best company such as Milknbabble. Read out the following article to learn proper steps about screen printing apparels.


Preparing the Artwork

To print on apparel, you will have to choose the artwork and design that you would like to print on it. You can design the artwork by yourself using computer software or download it from the Internet. Just remember that you would have to use the best quality artwork that will result in the best quality printing. You can use software like Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. 


Printing Film Positives

Once you are done with creating the artwork the next step is to print a film positive. A film positive is something like an overhead transparency. It is used to burn the image into a silkscreen. Anything that is printed on apparel it’s the first print in black ink on the film positive. You can visit the local print shop to Brent the film positive or hand draw your image on the film. 


Exposing the Image onto a Screen

The next step includes making the screen. The screen-printing frame consists of a wood or aluminum frame that is stretched with polyester mesh on it. It holds the image onto the screen and lets the ink path through it to be printed on the fabric.  Make sure to clean the frame properly before you coat the mesh on it.  


Setting up the Screen Printing Press

Before we start screen printing t-shirts, we need to have our screen set-up on the printing press. There are a few screen printing presses that you can use such as the Riley Hopkins, Vastex, Anatol, or the Ranar to name a few. You can even go without a press, but I find a press is better in terms of lining up the print for more coats. 


Printing Your Shirts

It is essential that the platen has some adhesive, to help the shirt stick and not move around when printing. You will need to flood the screen with ink, and then pull or push the screen printing ink into the mesh screen, this will deposit the ink onto the shirt. Depending on how much ink you want deposited or the look you are going for in opacity, you will need to do this process again. It is for this reason, that it is important to have a press and also having the shirt not move between printing. After depositing the ink you will need to dry and cure the ink so that the ink will last in the garment. A fully cured print will last in the wash without cracking. 

So these were the simple steps that will help you to screen print on apparel. They have many other great uses so learning the art of screen printing is a must these days.



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