Couture: Exposure

Despite not having the proper light, I’m attempting to do some screen printing.  I have to practice, right?

IMG_5419 IMG_5417

So dissolve the sensitiser and pour it into the emulsion.  It turns green!

IMG_5421Squeegee the emulsion onto the staple side of the screen in a dark-ish room, and let it dry for three hours in a very dark room.

IMG_5433Then put a transparent film positive onto the staple side and wait for an hour, since I have a 100W bulb, which is really too wimpy.  People on the interwebs says that the emulsion turns either blue or a darker green when exposed, but it definitely remains green.  It turns a slightly more dark shade of green, but it’s subtle.

IMG_5430Eurhm…  when I’m printing the shirts, I’m supposed to flip the screen over, so won’t that make these prints mirror images?

YES!  THEY WILL!  D’oh.  I’m supposed to either expose the other side of the screen or flip the transparencies over.  People on the web seem to disagree on the preferred method.  In any case, they way I did it is just wrong.

IMG_5436After an hour, I take the screen into the shower and blast it with cold water on both sides.  As if by magic, lots of the unexposed areas are washed away, leaving a white silk.  Seems to work well on the logo (which was furthest from the lamp), but the bits that were closest to the lamp seem over-exposed and won’t wash away.

In any case, since these are wrongly flipped, I can’t print them anyway…  Or can I? Can I print using the wrong side of the screen?  Worth a try before I wipe the screen, perhaps…


Couture: Ironing

While waiting for the screen to dry, I remembered that I had bought some iron-on transfers when I bought the printer, so I printed out a Gary Panter image on one of them.

IMG_5424I had bought transfers for white fabric (instead of black fabric) by accident, so I got out an old white t-shirt.


IMG_5426It actually kinda works.

IMG_5427But the colours aren’t very vibrant, and the black is kinda gray-ish…

After printing out the transfer, it seems like it starts fading…  How about if I prep everything and then do the transfer immediately?

IMG_5428Nopes.  Still kinda washed-out.  And there’s a kinda of transparent residue where there’s “white”, which is kinda off-putting.

Oh, well.  I didn’t expect these to look as good as they do, so…



Couture: Supplies

I went to an art supplies store and got screen printing supplies.  Very nice shop.

The thing I’m missing now is 1) better transparencies and or a better printer and 2) a light source to do the exposure of the photo emulsion.

IMG_5413I’ve ordered some “digital negative” transparencies from the interwebs, so I’ll have to wait for those. But meanwhile, I bought some OHP transparencies from the Panduro hobby store just to see what would happen:

IMG_5415These are supposedly “laser/inkjet” transparencies, but they come out of the printer dripping wet and curled up.  Not very promising, but the black is very black, so perhaps it’s possible to use these if I’m super-careful about letting them dry for half an hour before touching them…

For the light source, I need something like a 150-250W incandescent light source.  So I went to a photo store and told them about my project, and they said that nothing they had seemed usable because of “colour correctness” or stuff.

Which seems odd.  A 250W incandescent lamp is a 250W incandescent lamp, isn’t it?  Anyway, I’ve just ordered some 150W bulbs off of the net, and I’ll use a desk lamp, and see how that works…



Couture: 7110

I’ve been meaning to get started with screen printing t-shirts.  Because of reasons.


I have done some experiments with Inkodye, but that didn’t seem all that exciting.  But in any case, you need a printer to print out transparent negatives (for Inkodye) or positives (for screen printing).  So I got an HP Officejet 7110, because 1) it’s cheap, and 2) it can print out A3 paper and transparencies, and I want big images.


The 7110 prints beautifully on paper.  The blacks are very black and juicy.  However, with the transparencies I’ve bought, it all looks a bit off.

IMG_5375 IMG_5374

See?  The black is very … pebbly, and there’s a white line every three centimeters.

So I’m not sure whether that’s going to work.  I’ve tried using two different types of transparencies, and jiggling all the paper types the printer has, but I’m still getting those lines every three centimeters.  It may be good enough — I’ve not actually tried making a t-shirt with these prints yet.

However, there’s apparently a transparency type called “film negative”, that’s supposed to be used when people are developing film.  Which you’d think would work well for this type of stuff.

So I’ve ordered that, but I’m not all that hopeful.  I may have to buy a better (i.e., more expensive) printer…


My New Fashion Designer Blog

I like making t-shirts (i.e., having professionals screenprint them), but it would be fun making some one-offs, too.  And learning how to do screen printing is kinda a project.

Then somebody linked to Inkodye, and it seemed almost perfect.  The process is simple: You apply the ink to the t-shirt and mask off the bits you don’t want to have ink on.  Then you put the shirt in the sun for 20 minutes, and wash off the unexposed ink.

I got the supplies yesterday, and, of course, I didn’t have any transparencies to print anything on today.  And there’s apparently no sun here for the next week, so I used gaffa tape instead of using a transparency.  And I used a black t-shirt.  All the instructions use a white fabric, but I want to see what it looks like on a black t-shirt.

A Roll-On Thingie

That means that the design is perhaps, er, a bit simplistic.  But it’s only a trial run! Er.  It kinda looks like a Norwegian flag from that angle.  But it’s not.

The ink smells a bit of ammonia, but it’s not too bad.

Hanging out on the balcony, developing.  Gaffa saves everything.

Ok, it’s not that sunny.  Better leave it out for 40 minutes.

Time passes.

Hm.  The ink isn’t looking any bluer on the black shirt.  Perhaps I should test on a white shirt?

Even simpler design.

Gaffa it up on the balcony.

The ants are my friends.  They’re blowing in the wind.

Hm…  not looking all that blue on the white t-shirt, either.

The snacks I’m eating are tasty kinda fishy.

So that’s the result on the black shirt.  A kinda dirty splotch.

Oh.  Perhaps I should have read the ninth FAQ:

“Because it is a dye, it does not coat the fabrics like a paint would. It actually become part of the fiber, and therefore will not add color to a black or dark-colored material.”

But  the white shirt looks nice. A very deep, rich blue.

Oh, well.  I’ll just have to learn how to do screen printing.