Screenprinting Supplies

1. Screens

  • Homemade wood frame
    • Wood frame – either make your own, use canvas stretchers or picture frame
    • Mesh
    • Staple gun
  • Pre-bought wood frame with groove
    • Speedball frames (Opus)
    • Blim screens, also Dick Blick
    • To re-screen you will need screen cord, mesh and screen cord tool
  • Metal pre-stretched frames – Willox, Vancouver or G&S Dye, Toronto

2. Creating Images (Positives)

Options for creating positive images for photo emulsion method:

  • Hand drawn images with ink, acrylic paint, pen on mylar, tracing paper, vellum or other transparent paper
  • Transparencies for inkjet printer, photocopier or laser printers. You can also look for a print shop that can print and send transparencies to you.
  • Oiled photocopies
  • Found objects?

3. Cleaning Screens

  • Mr. Clean or other cleaning product to clean dirt, oil and ink
  • Hose and sink (shower head works well)

4. Coating and Drying Screens

  • Photo emulsion – Speedball (Opus)
  • Squeegee or scoop coater

Light proof space

  • Large box or light proof closet

4. Burning Screens

Basic Exposure Unit

  • Lamp/light fixture
  • Light bulb – 150W or 250W Photoflood
  • Black paper
  • Pie plate
  • Chair or other stand
  • Fan
  • Glass
  • Tape measure

5. Printing

  • Basic Printing Table
  • Masking tape
  • Mylar or transparent paper for registration
  • Screenprinting ink for fabric or paper
  • Squeegee
  • Packing tape to cover holes or parts of the screen you don’t want to print
  • Scrap paper
  • Spraybottle and paper towel or rags to wipe screen
  • Spatulas
  • Wood blocks or cardboard scraps to keep inky surfaces away from working area

6. Cleaning Screens

  • Mr. Clean and scrub brush to remove ink
  • Emulsion remover (comes with Speedball photo emulsion)

Screenprinting Stores

Blim
Vancouver and online

Blim is a art and craft store, facility and a great resource of screenprinting located in Chinatown in Vancouver. They also provide regular screenprinting workshops and an open studio as well they sell screenprinting supplies.

Blim uses reusable wood frames with a groove and cord. They also sell reasonably priced mesh (screen fabric) for $4 – 8 per a screen.

They may also create transparencies for you as well as burn screens.

G & S Dye
Toronto and online

G & S Dye is a textile design supply store in Toronto. They have their own screenprinting pigment system where you mix a coloured dye into a transparent or white base. It requires a neutral BASE and colour concentrated pigments. The pigment colours are added to the base to produce brilliant colours. This is a transparent system so the paint are for white or light coloured fabrics or paper. They also sell other screenprinting supplies that you can order online or by phone.

Opus
Vancouver and online

Opus has all the basic screenprinting supplies including Speedball emulsion and different brands of ink. They sell mesh and Speedball frames.

Materials

  • Screens: Sun Studio can order screens through Opus and I have 2 – 3 screens to borrow. You are welcome to bring or make your own screen too.
  • Ink: We will provide black, white fabric and paper ink, and coloured dyes and transparent ink that you can mix for fabric or paper.
  • Squeegees: Sun Studio can also order squeegees. I also have enough squeegees for everyone to use.
  • Image/design to print (see below for details)
  • Something to print on: paper, fabric, cards, t-shirts (see below for details)

Suggested Supplies to Bring

Here are some supplies you could bring, don’t worry if you don’t have these things, as long as a couple of people bring some of these, it should be enough.

  • Hair dryer or fan: If you have a hair dryer or fan lying around please bring it. This will speed up the drying of the screens.
  • Plastic containers: Bring some yogurt containers to mix ink.
  • Plastic knives or old spatulas: Useful for mixing and spreading ink.
  • Iron: If you have room for clothing iron, please bring it if you are printing on fabric. The ink needs to be set with heat.

Images

  • No matter what colour your final print is going to be your original image needs to be strong contrast black and white – no colour or grey areas.
  • The parts that are black in your original image, will be where the ink colour is in your final screenprint.
  • Your image can be hand drawn, a photocopy of a photograph, a design or pattern taken from the internet.
  • Size: We will be printing the images on transparencies that are 8.5 by 11 inches so your image should be smaller than that.
  • Patterns or larger images: If you are printing a pattern or larger image, you might be able to tape two pieces of transparencies together.
  • More than one image: If you want and you think you will have time, you can print more than one image. Either you can fit both your images on to one piece of paper or you can print two larger images (Most of the screens are 16 by 9 but we will have a few screens that are slightly larger)
Wrecked Woman Silkscreen Image

Original Image

 

Final screenprint

Final screenprint

 

Beaver Lodge Screenprint

Original drawing

Beaver Lodge Screenprint

Screenprint

Preparing the Image

I will be printing the transparencies on my inkjet printer before the workshop on Day 2 so I will need an electronic copy of your image by Saturday evening. You can either email it to me or give me the original or a photocopy and I can scan it.

Surfaces for Printing

Paper

  • Paper is great to print on but it doesn’t hide mistakes
  • To get the best results, use heavyweight paper (80 lb. weight or cardstock.) The heavier the paper the most likely it is to stay in place.
  • You can print on cards, cardstock, bristol board, cotton paper etc.

Fabric

  • Regular plain coloured cotton fabric works best but you could try other types of fabric and textures
  • You can print on T-shirts, scarves, hoodies, tote bags, skirts etc.
  • The more textured or rougher the fabric the less detail will show up

Wood and other materials

  • You can try printing on smooth plywood or wood panels
  • You could try clay, metal, textured fabric…

Workshop

Day 1

On Day 1 I will be introducing you to silkscreening, show you various examples, and introduce you to the process and show you different ways to prepare images. You will also be getting your screen and images ready for printing the next day.

  1. Introduction to screenprinting and what you can do with it
  2. About screens
  3. Preparing screens
  4. Setting up the exposure unit
  5. Burning the screen
  6. Rinsing out the screen
  7. Introduction to printing: ink, squeegee, workstation
  8. Introduce different ways to prepare images
  9. Preparing the image for print

Day 2

On Day 2 you will burn your images on to your screen and print your designs.

  1. Burn screens
  2. Clean and prepare screens for printing
  3. Mix ink, prepare workstation
  4. Print project
  5. Introduction to printing options: colour ranges, different colours/same screen, colour separations
  6. Clean up