Finally its Silk Screening Day! I been looking forward to this! I have no idea what to anticipate but it sound so impressive.
Okay, let the process do the talking.
Firstly, we had to wash and blow dry our screen frame to make sure its clean.
Then we were went to an enclosed red room where no outside light was allowed to be present because it would affect photosensitive emulsion that we were going to use. Heard it would be harder to wash out the residue if it got expose to light. (That process turn out to be the most painful thing to do…) We coated the netting of our frame back and front with the blue photosensitive emulsion before placing it in the dryer.
After which, we were taught to place our transparency paper and frame into a huge machine that radiate a strong beam of light. It look like a tanning machine. Now that i think of it, it felt like we send our frame to become tanned and come back looking all fancy with tattoos haha! The light causes the emulsion to harden and bind to the fabric. Where the light strikes the screen, the emulsion will bind, making a solid layer. Where the light is blocked (where the black image is placed) the emulsion remains water-soluble.
After exposing the screen, we went to wash the residue using the jet spray. That was the toughest part. The residues turn out to be quite stubborn to remove. We spent a lot of time trying to scrap off it. That was when Yi Ling mention about the waste of water. It then dwell in me the whole time when i washing it… I find that this system can be improve better by having a higher pressure jet spray to speed up the process. Another thing i realized was darker image make the residue remove much faster and easier.
After the cleaning up and drying the frame, we can finally print our design on the tote bag. This is done by applying a thick layer of ink over the top of our frame and pushed the ink across the designs with a wooden wiper tool.
Before that, i test printed on paper.
I find that the second trial give a better finish. I was happy to see the lace on the duck’s clothes printed out quite well. However we are going to print it on tote bag. The material is much rougher and the holes are bigger than paper, so it hard to predict the result.
A problem with reusing the frame too much time is that the holes will be clogged ruining the image.
What happen if there is too much unwanted ink appearing on a spot?
Is your frame lopsided?
If yes, this instruction may be beneficial for you.
1. Spread out the tote bag and hold down the sides with weights.
2. Ask a friend to hold down the lopsided part of the frame.
3. The most crucial part. Always make sure your friend never leave his/her hands off the board even after you have spread the ink. This is to ensure there is no gap letting the ink to leak out to the bottom due to the lopsided frame.
4. Put down the wiper tool and hold the sides of the frame together with your friend.
Chant 1,2,3 please make it turn out beautiful~~
5. Lift up the frame together and the design would come up nicely.
Theory behind it: The excess ink leak out due to the lopsided frame. The trick is to instantly lift the frame so there will be no time to let the extra ink go through, ruining the design.
Special Thanks to Zoelyn! Could not did it without her help<3
My family tshirt!
2 black for my parents (need to do some touch up)
1 vintage style for my brother
1 coral pink for me!