Even though new technology is usually offering more appealing results than human-made products, that’s not always the case. For example, even though digital printing is used all over the world for numerous purposes, the screen printing technique still achieves far better results.
The high quality and luxury feel of screen printing products cannot be matched by digital printing, but screen printing might seem more expensive. However, if you invest in the best printer for screen printing transparencies, you can get excellent designs over and over again.
Screening printing requires a bit of practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed at the outcome. Here is a short guide that will help you master the craft of screen printing using transparency paper.
What Is Screen Printing
Screen printing is a special technique of printing. First, a stencil is designed, which is then transferred onto the mesh screen and later onto the desired product. Screen printing is an excellent way to try out some crafty designs, and you can even do it at home. But first, you’ll need a couple of products.
Screen printing isn’t a complicated technique at all once you practice it a little bit. If you want to try it out, you’ll need transparency paper, a mesh screen, some special printing paint, and an object you want to decorate. Finally, with patience and interest in screen printing, you’ll master this technique in no time!
Once you try the screen printing method, you’ll be surprised by the design’s quality, thickness, and opaqueness.
1. Using Transparency Paper
The designs can include anything – pictures, numbers, letters, and all kinds of symbols. Essentially, anything you imagine or see online can become a great stencil. You can give reins to your imagination and let the creativity take over you for a short time. The best option is to design the stencil in specially created software, which will allow you to make adjustments and perfect your design.
Once you get the design just how you want it, it’s time to print it. You can print out these stencils on transparency paper if you have a good quality printer at home or get it done at the local copy shop.
If you’re using your printer, make sure it’s a quality printer and that the transparency paper used is compatible with the printer. Otherwise, the stencils can come out as smudgy, destroyed, and unsuccessful.
Remember, all your pictures need to be black and white to work for the screen printing, and as the transparent paper has a smooth and a rough side, make sure you’re printing all your designs on the rough side to prevent ink from sliding and moving around your paper.
In case you can’t tell which side is which, gently dab each side of the transparency paper with a bit of water, and the printable side will always feel a bit sticky.
2. Mesh Screen
Once you have your stencil on the transparency paper, it’s time to get the mesh screen. The screen acts as a transferring device in screen printing, as it transfers the design from the stencil to the actual product.
But, to do that, first, the size of the mesh screen needs to be picked out, and the stencil needs to be coated with a light-reactive emulsion layer.
Then, the transparency paper containing the design is gently placed on the coated mesh screen. When this is placed under bright light, the light-reactive emulsion layer hardens and develops over time and leaves the rest of the stencil in the liquid form. You’ll need to keep the mesh screen under a bright light for around 45 minutes to get the best possible results.
After this process is completed, you’ll need to carefully rinse away any emulsion that has stayed in liquid form, and you’ll finally have a complete stencil of your work, ready to be screen printed onto a product.
4. Screen Printing
Now comes the most fun part of screen printing. Place the screen on the desired product and pour the desired color onto the screen. The paint is leveled and pushed into the product with the help of a squeegee, a type of a blade, by dragging the paint throughout the entire screen and stencil.
You can repeat this process as many times as you like, but once you’re finished, clean the screen and stencil with a special fluid for removing hardened emulsion, and the screen is ready to be used again.
Finally, you can do a lot of things with screen printing. It’s a technique with which you can experiment countless times and each time get different results.
You can use this technique for printing on fabric and make your T-shirts and dresses stand out. You can also use screen printing on glass and wood objects, as well as on metal and plastic. So, your screen printing possibilities and creations are endless.