ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Crafts & Handiwork

T-Shirt Screen Printing Using Ready-To-Use Materials

Updated on October 11, 2010

T-shirt Printing Colors

Water-based t-shirt printing ink is safe and easy to wash off the mesh and your hands.
Water-based t-shirt printing ink is safe and easy to wash off the mesh and your hands.

Professionals in the t-shirt screen printing industry use custom made screen printing tools and expensive materials that bring high quality results. Of course, these will require a large amount of money as investment.

However, if you are an ordinary hobbyist who wants to give hand-made gifts this Christmas, then a good way is to do your own t-shirt screen printing projects. In fact, t-shirts are not the only gifts you can make using the screen printing method, but you can also design bags, aprons and scarves.

Where To Get Your Screen Printing Materials

Making your own Christmas gifts is easy with ready-made materials available in craft stores and online. You can purchase ready-made stencil films, screen printing ink, squeegees in assorted sizes, and convenient exposure frames.

Stencil films, squeegees and exposure frames are available in Starter Kits. These sell from $25 and up from online stores. The kit already has the tools needed for screen printing: mini squeegees, blank stencil films, an exposure frame, and some ready-made graphics for you to use. All you have to do is buy screen printing ink.

In t-shirt screen printing, Jacquard and Versatex Screen Printing Inks are just two of the trusted brands to bring high-resolution images to life on fabric. The colors are vibrant, intermixable, and water-soluble. The ink is permanent on most surfaces, including paper, leather, vinyl and fabric.

Lastly, prepare the setup for the exposure process. You do not need special UV equipment for this. You can either make use of natural UV from sunlight. You can also make your own equipment—if there is no sun shining outside—by using the following materials:

  • One (1) Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb with a brightness of 27w Daylight 5500k (equivalent to 100w)
  • One (1) 10.5" Clamp Light by Commercial Electric
  • Two (2) 2"x2" blocks of wood
  • One (1) 4"x5" StencilPro or PhotoEZ stencil
  • One (1) 6" x 6" Exposure Frame

You can buy an exposure frame from a store or you can make one for yourself with clear plastic vinyl and a dark platform for the stencil. The clear plastic will cover the artwork and prevent it from moving. Keep the stencil film and the artwork in place with clamps on each corner of the frame, or you can use any clip, screw or tack to keep the layers of paper, stencil and plastic close together.

How To Make Your Own Stencil

With your computer and printer, you can make your own design using user-friendly graphic design software. Once you have printed your artwork on paper, cut the edges to size to fit the stencil film.

Place your artwork on the shiny side of the stencil face down and insert the two together in between the exposure frame’s back and front covers. Keep them together tightly by attaching the clamps or clips on the corners of the frame.

Position the frame in between the two blocks of wood. Place clamp light with the bright fluorescent bulb in it over the exposure frame. The timing of the exposure depends on the stencil brand and the artwork’s material.

The shortest exposure time is best achieved using acetate film for the artwork and using sunlight as source of UV light. Make sure your artwork is printed in black and white and the ink is very dark and opaque. If necessary, print the image repeatedly from the printer to produce a very dark image.

Place the stencil on black non-reflective surface during exposure. When using sunlight, cover the stencil before and after exposure to guard against over exposure.

Now you are ready for t-shirt screen printing and making your own gifts this Christmas!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      tshirts 6 years ago

      As a seasoned screen printer, I have to say that you require a lot of patience to be a success at screen printing. T shirts are probably the easiest to start printing, I would say have a go at single colour plastisol printing first, on light coloured shirts first until you get the hang of using a squeegee! A good tip is to print away from yourself as oppose to the normal though to print towards you.

      Good luck!

      Tony

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Excellent article, always wondered how it is done. Thanks

    • profile image

      Silkscreen Printing 8 years ago

      This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives in depth information. thanks for this nice article Good post.....Valuable information for all.I will recommend my friends to read this for sure.

    • clairebretana profile image
      Author

      clairebretana 8 years ago from Iloilo City, Philippines

      Thank you for dropping by my hub, T-shirt Printers. Thank you for your comment.

    • profile image

      T Shirt Printers 8 years ago

      Great article very interesting. Not a lot of people know the amount of work that goes into screen printing a design onto t shirts.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)