Are you planning to get started with tshirt screen printing?
Tshirt screen printing is all fun and trendy! As long as you have a good printing machine and printing inks to give a boost to your DIY printing, you can create awesome t-shirts for you and your people.
No matter if you want to do screen printing for fun at home or seeking to start a business, you will need a perfect screen printing starter kit to begin your adventure. However, selecting the right things for your DIY screen printing kit can get difficult due to the number of options available in the market. You can find different varieties of screen printing supplies including printers and inks. The choice of supplies depends entirely on your personal preference and budget.
To help you make an informed choice, we have narrowed down some of the essentials that should be a part of your screen printing kit -
What's included in a Screen Printing Kit
The first thing that comes to your mind while talking about screen printing is definitely the screen. It is one of the must-haves of an allinone screen printing kit.
A screen comes in different sizes and mesh counts, and the quality of your screen printed tshirt will depend on the mesh count and the choice of ink.
In the case of colors screen printing which asks for intricate details, the overall impact will depend on the mesh count and thickness of your ink. In the beginning, it can get a little tricky at your end to select the right ones. For example, if you are trying your hands for the first time on 4color screen printing, you should go for either 43T or 1101TPI mesh. It works great with most of the screen printing inks and gives you a fine finish especially with block letters. However, it's up to your choice and type of work to select the screens & inks that are suitable for you.
Tip : The more detailed your design the more mesh count you will need. If the consistency of your ink is thick, you will need to go for a lower mesh count.
Next you would need a station screen printing press machine to start the real job.
To your surprise, you can find tons of screen printing press machines with exciting features. However, the key is to not fall for the trap and go with the simplest design available at your disposal. For example, a table-top or benchtop press is generally suitable for beginners of screen printing machine.
The other thing you can do is purchase some good quality clamps to hold your screen in place. You can either go for removable clamps or you can also fit these clamps permanently to your screen. Again, it depends on your choice, type of work, and budget.
Many of you might not be aware of squeeges, but it is one of the simplest parts of your process. Squeeges are used to spread your ink evenly on gel printing plates. Get hold of squeeges to make your screen printing near to perfection.
The entire crux of the screen printing marathon comes down to the quality and type of screen printing ink used. Inks are available in an extensive variety, but water-based inks work best with screen printing stencil.
Unlike oil-based inks, water-based inks are easy to clean and work with. The chances of spillage are also lesser with water-based. For example, you can go for Permaset Aqua range of water-based inks to begin your screen printing.
Emulsion scoop coater is utilized in the later part of the process where you need to burn your images for printing on the screen.
Now, the use of film or a stencil completely depends on your type of work and method of placing your artwork on the screen. If you have an easy design at your hand, creating a stencil with the help of paper and scalpel is a good option. You can also draw your design on a film with an opaque pen and burn your film on the screen with an emulsion.
If you have a tricky design, film or stencil are not going to give you definite results. Instead, go for an inkjet printer and create your image on the film.
Masking Tape in Every Kit
You do not want your ink to spill or ruin the openings on the screen, and so, your starter kit should have a masking tape or screen tape that’ll help you in protecting your screen from the damage.
Old magazines and cardboard have nothing to do with your screen printing, but shielding you against drips and spills. You can also place them inside the shirt to be printed and make sure your ink doesn't seep through the openings.
Old Spoons or Spatulas
These are essential for scooping your ink on the screens.
Some Add-Ons You Might Need for your Kit
Color cards can make your color selection easier by providing you with samples of all ink colors and selecting the right one for your work.
A thickening agent to render thickness to your printing media.
It is an additive designed specially to prevent bleeding of prints.
A synthetic fixer to improve adhesion of ink to substrates.
You can get a binder to your printing solution if it is too thin to bleed out of the surface.
A retarder is added to slow down your drying process and avoid clogging of inks.
It can be added to give a soft finish to your printed material.
It can be added as a base to mix different shades of inks.
Hope this post will help you get started with screen printing with relative ease. Stay connected with Holden's Screen to know more such information!