The heart of the process involves a fine mesh or screen that is tightly stretched around a rigid frame. The areas that are not to be printed are masked out on the screen. To create the print, the framed screen is positioned over the item to be printed along with a dollop of thick ink. A squeegee is then used to press the ink through the screen. The masked areas prevent ink from passing through, but the unmasked areas allow the ink to be imprinted on the material. If more colors are desired in the final design, the process is repeated with different screens. Therefore, a design that requires four different colors would require four different screens.
There are a variety of ways that the screen can be masked. The most straightforward way is to apply masking fluid directly on the screen. This technique is suitable for simple one or two color graphics but is ineffective for more complex prints. For multicolor jobs, screen-printers often use photosensitive emulsions to create the masked areas.
First, the design is created on a clear piece of plastic film. Meanwhile, a photosensitive coating is applied to the entire surface of the screen and then dried. The film is placed on the prepared screen and they are exposed to bright light. After a period of time, the exposed areas can be washed off the screen with water which makes the screen ready to print.
Silk screen printing can be done on t-shirts, sweatshirts, mouse pads, stickers, binders, and much more. This opportunity is great a person looking for a second income. Everyone owns a shirt, so why not make money from it. Screen printing or silkscreening is a printing technique particularly suited for flat or relatively flat surfaces. The part that is to be printed is made up of silk, nylon or a stainless-steel mesh. Ink can pass through this area but not through the other part of the stencil which is contained inside a frame.
The photo above displays the most basic components of a single color screen printing setup. The screen is tightly stretched around the frame which in this case is made out of wood; the blue emulsion is dried on the screen and serves as the mask. The squeegee is nothing more than a strip of rigid rubber mounted in a wooden handle. To begin the screen printing process, the operator positions the screen directly on top the item to be printed.
Next, ink is be applied to the area directly above the unmasked logo, and the squeegee is used to press the ink through to the substrate. As the operator firmly presses down with the squeegee, it is slid along the surface to ensure that ink penetrates through all areas of the unmasked logo. If additional colors are required, the process is repeated with additional screens. When finished, the screen is removed and the printed item is ready for curing.
Basic materials can be purchased at any bookstores. Plain white cotton shirt can be purchased wholesale in Divisoria or any other malls. Estimated price for the materials to print 1 dozen t-shirts: P1,400
- Silkscreen (Note: A silkscreen costs P1,000+, but they can be used up to thousand times depending on your care of them. You can change images as often as you need).
- Emulsion (coating you put on a screen in order to place the image in the silkscreen)
- Plastic tape
- 1 dz plain T-shirt
Estimated cost price is P 116/shirt which you can sell for P150-175. Remember art work is a separate charge and is extra profit if you do the art work your self.
Silkscreen printing is not limited to just t-shirts. This process will work on many different items like Sweatshirts, Aprons, Tote Bags, Lunch Bags, Muscle Shirts, Mouse Pads, Jackets, Vinyl Binders, Tiles, Flags and Signs
For more info, check the following sites:
Silk Screen Supplies and Materials:
- Bevan Supplies – GS EDSA Central Bldg. Mandaluyong City, Tel. No/s.: 631-3680
- Screen Grafix Inc – Matrinco Bldg. Makati City, Tel. No/s.: 892-4298
- Atlas Screen Printing Supplies – 290-B Shaw Blvd Mandaluyong City, Tel. No/s.: 531-6092
- Screen Grafix Inc – 9032-C Angono Makati City, Tel. No/s.: 897-7007
- Simcas Philippines – 5048 P Burgos Makati City, Tel. No/s.: 897-9105
- Castle Multi Commercial Corp. – 798 Aurora Blvd Quezon City, Tel. No/s.: 724-2985
- Printwork Sales, Inc. – 1022 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Brgy. Mariana. Quezon City, Tel. No/s: 727-8430, 722-9798
sources: wisegeek.com, ehow.com