14 March 2012

Silk Screening #Fail

It seems I have been fasting the online community lately, and so I have for various reasons, I will post an OHTY re-brand update this week...

But in the meantime I've been desperately searching for a quick and easy AND cost-effective way to do silk screening. I think I may end up doing some sort of stamping instead.

Let me start by clearly stating this process is just for DIY hobbyists and not meant for commercial printing. By no means. Ha!

I was using this How-To guide from eHow to start off and it seems simple enough.

Well not so much.

Instead of using embroidery hoops I used canvas stretcher strips and stapled the fabric to it much like stretching canvas.

This did not work because the fabric I bought was too sheer and lightweight. Because of this I was not able to get a nice tight fit around the strips. An embroidery hoop probably would have worked better.

Furthermore, the fabric was not woven tightly enough, too many large spaces. I thought it would make it easier to pass the paint through, but it ended up looking like a 64-bit image than a nice smooth image.

I drew the image on the reverse side, hard to see, eh?

I drew my image on the "silk screen" with a pencil, which was not successful. It was hard to see the pencil lines. I used too soft of a pencil and not a stiff enough fabric.

I used mod-podge to fill in the negative space where the paint should not come through. That was messy and tedious making sure the holes were properly filled up.

Upon closer inspection, it looks like a rough pixellated image. I forgot her tail too. Oops.

Clean up was also difficult. The fabric of course became heavy, it will probably stretch out because of it...


The lessons I've learned:

I would probably use thin, solid pieces of wood with no rounded curves (as the stretcher strips do) and stiffer fabric that is still sheer enough for paint to pass through, maybe tulle would work great.

I also would use some form of a squeegee and not a foam roller like I used for this experiment. The foam roller just soaked up the paint and it was hard making the paint pass through the fabric.

Also make sure that the apparel you are silk screening is properly tied down and stretched tight. My experiment was hastily done and things will work better when you follow this rule.

And if you don't know or haven't figured it out- you cannot use regular paint. No acrylics, tempera, oils, watercolors (heavens to betsie! *rolls eyes*) FABRIC paint.

Silk screening can be a lot of fun! But like scrapbooking the supplies are ridiculously expensive. Its funny how capitalism makes everyday found materials so expensive when put all together.... its all just wood, plastic, rubber, textiles, paint... Oh well.

I was looking for a fun way to make apparel since everyone I know is having/has had babies and was wanting to make things that were more personable. I have used the iron-on transfers before but those come out stiff and crinkle after they are washed. I will try again, but this time I'm thinking about making a large stamp instead- lithography if you will. I've done it before with wood blocks and a material that for the life of me I cannot remember what it was.... it was like a rubber stamp, but wasn't... when I figure it out I will let you know! Or if by any chance your brain wavelength is riding the same wave as mine- please tell me what it is because I'm going crazy trying to remember...

If you're on Twitter come follow me! I in like will do the same- I'm only following two real people, everyone else is a company. Wow.

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