Saturday, July 17, 2010

How to burn an image into a silk- screen

Most people want to know how to burn the image into the screen. It is probably the most difficult part of silk-screening but it is very simple to do. This tutorial is a simple outline of how to get your artwork from you transparency to the screen.

Step 1:

First, you need to prepare the screen. The screen needs to be degreased so the emulsion will form a better bond with the screen. This can be done by spraying degreaser onto the screen and wiping it off.
Step 2:

The emulsion will now be applied to the screen. In a low-light room, pour the emulsion into the screen coater. Apply the emulsion to both sides of the screen. It is important that you do not apply the emulsion too thick. It is also important that a uniform coat is applied to the screen.
Let the emulsion dry for about an hour (or longer) in a dimly lit room. A fan should be placed about five feet away from the screen to assist in the drying process.
Step 3:

Prepare the artwork. A tutorial on how to prepare the artwork can be found by clicking here.
Step 4:

Place the artwork on the screen.
A piece of glass should be placed on the artwork. This will act as a vacuum so your artwork will not move while it's being burnt into the screen.
Step 5:

An exposure light is in included with Package #1, #2, and #3. Place the exposure light about one foot above the screen. Please take a look at the diagram below to see how everything is situated.
A black felt or cloth is placed beneath the screen to absorb light so that no light is reflected back up to the screen.

Step 6:

Burning times will vary, but ten minutes is a safe time. It is better to over-burn than under-burn the screen and emulsion.
After your screen is burnt. Take a spray bottle and mist the screen with water. Take your screen outside or to a sink or tub and rinse out your screen. If you are having trouble getting the emulsion out, you may have to increase the water pressure of your hose or sink.
You should be left with your image burnt into your screen. Once this step is complete, you are well on your way to printing t-shirts.


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