I wanted to screen-print onto the sleeves of a shirt. It turns out that’s not trivial:
When the fabric is bumpy (the seam down there), the screen doesn’t make contact properly with the fabric, which makes the print crappy.
So I need something soft-ish under the shirt to ensure proper contact with the screen. Something rubbery, perhaps… I’m not quite sure what, but I’ll visit a hardware store tomorrow and see if I find something.
After printing, you can either reclaim the “silk” (i.e. monofilament nylon) by washing and scrubbing a lot, or you can just pop the silk off and staple a new silk onto the frame.
I prefer the latter, because then I can save the silk for imaginary future use. Yeah, like I’m ever going to reprint any of these shirts…
Anyway, the main problem with stapling silks is unstapling the silks. A normal staple remover doesn’t work, because the staples dig into the wood, and you have to dig into the wood, too, to extract the staples.
Enter this tool I just got:
I’ve removed the staples from two frames now, and it works pretty well. I’ve been using a teensy flat-head screw driver until now, and I’ve been stabbing myself a lot. This tool gives me a lot more control. It’s totally stab-free.
But it’s not a wonder tool — removing the staples with this tool is slower than with a screw driver and a pair of pliers.
My arms like the lack of wounds tonight, though, so I’m going to continue using it.
Today’s experiment was to wash the emulsion off the screen with cold water, but with higher pressure. (But putting my thumb over the hose. Hi-tech.)
It worked very well. I got no wash-off of the exposed areas, which has been a problem before, when I used luke-warm water. The only problem is that water was spraying all over the bathroom, so I had to do that naked, or change my clothes a lot.
And I wanted to try printing several shirts with the same screen, without washing the paint off the screen in between. That didn’t work very well. It seems like the paint is drying and clogging the screen in just a few minutes. It is like 35C here now, so that may explain it… Or perhaps I should be thinning my paint.
Anyway. Results! Two-sided shirts:
It’s from this beautiful two-page spread by Bruno Richard: