Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Technique for June--Screen Printing
FRAME AND SCREEN
If you already have screens made (and don't want new ones) use those. If you have a drawing or picture that you think might make a nice screen, send it off and have a Thermofax screen made. (Lynn Krawczyk will make one for you. Contact her at her Etsy Shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/FibraArtysta. You can find other people that make them for a fee also.) You can get a Thermofax screen without a lot of cost. You can buy a pre-stretched screen from places like Dick Blick or most art supply stores and make your own prints using materials such as flour paste, interfacing, masking tape, freezer paper, blue gel school glue, adhesive shelf liner, leaves, feathers, mesh, newsprint, etc. You will need duct tape to seal the edges of the frame and create a well around the edge of the frame.
THICKENED DYES AND/OR TEXTILE PAINTS
You can use textile paints or thickened dyes with these screens. The big caveat is that if you use textile paints you must clean the screen as soon as you are finished. If you don't, the dried paint can ruin the screen. You have a bit more time to get the job done with thickened dyes. It makes the cleaning go a bit faster to use a soft brush (like a brush you might use to clean your nails) or a sponge. Also, textile paints change the hand if the fabric.
If you choose to use thickened dye, you will need--Procion Dyes, sodium alginate, urea, and soda ash. Be sure to soak your fabric in soda ash solution and air dry before printing. (There is a product called "Superclear" that sounds like it would be easier to use than sodium alginate. I think it is more expensive, though. I'm definitely checking it out. If you choose to use that, you won't need the urea either. It is available from Dharma Trading Co.--http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/2052-AA.shtml.)
Squeegee--approximately the size of your image. (You can pick these up at the art supply store. Some people buy them at an auto supply store or automotive department. If you use a small screen, you can use a credit card as a squeegee.)
Printing surface--I use a double layer of felt covered with scrap fabric. It is best to be able to pin your fabric (that you intend to print onto) to this surface.
Miscellaneous--drop cloth, containers for mixing dye and alginate, plastic spoons, rubber gloves, apron, dust mask (to use when dealing with dyes), pins, scissors, cutting mat, Exacto knife, rags, brush or sponge and dishwashing soap for cleaning screen.
You can find lots and lots of tutorials and blog entries about screen printing on line. Here are just a few.
Thermofax screen printing YouTube videos...
"Regular" screen printing YouTube video (this video is short but does show technique)
A good on-line screen printing tutorial can be found here--http://www.harmonyhanddyes.com/InstructScreenprinting.html. I copied it into word, deleted the tables and have copied it to keep as a reference.
There are lots of books that discuss the process, but there are two I particularly like. For a simple guide, Rayna Gillman's "Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth" is a good one. It is available through Amazon. The other, if you are lucky enough to have it or can find one, is Jane Dunnewold's "Improvisational Screen Printing" (now out of print). It is a wonderful book.
If you are more of a visual learner, Jane Dunnewold has a DVD called "Improvisational Screen Printing." It is available through her website--http://www.artclothstudios.com/ (in the "store" there). The DVD is also available through the Dharma Trading Company and ProChem websites.
While I was doing my search for information on screen printing, I found that Lynn Krawczyk has an article about screen printing in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of "Quilting Arts." You might find that interesting too.
I hope you will give this a try. I'm sure we'll see some fabulous results from you all.