Screen Printing Resources
Hey! If you're interested in screen printing at home or setting up a little printing studio, I've compiled this lil list of things you will need!
There are lots of online resources that explain and detail what the printing process is. This isn't a step by step how-to. This is simply a list of things you will need and where you can get them once you're ready and familiar with the process.
- Emulsion, scoop coater
- Transparency "film" or "positive"
- Exposure Unit (See below on DIY ideas on how to make your own exposure unit!)
- Tub/area to wash out your screen
- Noise canceling ear muffs to protect your hearing!!!!!! This one is SO important
- Pressure washer
- Screen Printing Clamps
- Drying rack/area
- Emulsion remover (in a spray bottle)
- scrub brush
WHERE TO GET STUFF:
1) ScreenTec - My go-to place for purchasing new screens (they also restretch old frames with new mesh), emulsion, emulsion remover, and ink. They also sell squeegees and scoop coaters and drying racks. Really, a lot of the above list can be purchased here. If you can't afford a drying rack (pricey!!) you can simply clear a large tabletop area to lay your prints down or use the clothesline method. Get creative!~~~
2) Deserres, Currys, Aboveground, your local art supply store etc - Screen printing ink and paper. (My go-to brand of ink is Speedball. Water based and non-toxic They also make ink for textiles) The best type of paper for screen printing is something on the thicker side. Think card stock and bristol board! NOT photocopy paper weight.
3) Unsure how to expose your screen? Can't afford a fancy exposure unit? You can totally DIY one out of a glass top table and some grow lights. Here are some ideas! I built mine for less than $100! Here's an example of a super smart idea for smaller screens.
4) Canadian Tire / Home Depot / etc - Some people us a garden hose or their shower head (I do not recommend washing out your screens in the same tub you take a shower in, lol) to wash out/reclaim screens. I use a pressure washer and a double wide laundry tub with a backsplash.
5) Astley-Gilbert / local printing house - Films/positives used for screen exposure can be printed onto transparencies or thin paper called "vellum". Most professional printing places will be able to print your artwork on one or the other. One thing to note is that vellum takes a longer exposure than a transparency.
It takes time and patience to gather everything you need to start printing and find a good work flow that works for you and your space. Your set up can be as cheap and DIY or as fancy pantsy as you'd like. But just know that it's possible! Hopefully this list and these links will help you on your journey!