A Screen Printing Class: On the Press

In our latest video series, Erin Moore, co-owner and screen-print expert, from Barrel Maker Printing (and one of Allmade's founders) is breaking down step by step how to screen print on the canvas of your choice. 

For the final class, Erin shows you all the things you need to know on how to screen print! She shares all of her trade secrets with you, so make sure you check it out!



On the Press

Part 1: Taping the Screen (00:24)

First thing you're going to do is tape up your screens. When you put ink on your screens, any open part that doesn't have emulsion on it, you'll want to put tape there so the ink doesn't get pushed through. Erin's preferred tape is split tape. 


On the Press

Part 2: Preparing your Work station (01:57)

You're going to want to have all the tools handy prior to starting to print. You should have some sort of blade, scissors, clean spatulas, clean t-square, tape, a pen, some adhesive, platen tape, paper towels and some sort of material for test prints. It's super important to keep your hands clean when you're screen printing. You also want to make sure you're keeping your squeegee clean as well. Eventually you'll be touching the garment and you do not want ink in unwanted spots! 


On the Press

Part 3: Platen Masking (03:16)

Platen tape is an easy way to keep your platen clean. You want a smooth surface free of fuzz and threads. You don't want the impression of debris to come through on your print. 


On the Press

Part 4: Aligning your Screen (06:12)

Now you're going to make a grid on your platen so your registration marks align. You do this so each screen comes down in the exact same spot. 


On the Press

Part 5: The Importance of Details (09:10)

Pull down each screen and align the registration mark up exactly with the grid on the platen. You'll want to do this before you ever put any ink on the screen, because once you do, you will not be able to see the grid any longer. If any of your screens are off, then the whole design will be off. 

Once it's aligned perfectly, clamp your screen down!


On the Press

Part 6: Adjusting Your Off Contact (11:11)

Off contact refers to how far above the platen your screen is hovering. You want it about 16th of an inch above your garment.


On the Press

Part 7: Setting Up Our Print (14:34)

Erin decided to print on Allmade's 100% organic cotton tee as it has a smooth surface and the color pallet is going to look great on it! First thing Erin does is put some adhesive down on the platen. You do not want the garment to move as you are printing. Then you're going to do a test print on an old t-shirt to make sure your screens all align. 


On the Press

Part 8: Let's Ink Our Screens (16:25)

As you're putting ink on the screens, be cautious of where you put the ink. Don't put it directly on the design, rather put it below it. Before you lift your screen up, place a squeegee at the bottom of the screen so it prevents ink from running down. 

On the Press

Part 9: The Squeegee

The first thing you're going to do is do a flood stroke on your screen. This is prepping it for your print stroke. Some people pull the squeegee some people push, it's a personal preference! Erin prefers to push. So she starts at the top of the design and pushes down. Never start in the middle! Now do this for all the screens.


On the Press

Part 10: The Final Product (18:29)

 Once you print all the screens, put the shirt through the dryer for its final cure! You'll need a way to measure the heat, a temp gun will work just fine. Point the temp gun right at the ink to make sure it's hitting the final cure temperature. If you don't get a good cure, your design will wash out. 


On the Press

Final: Screen Printing (20:17)

Erin wraps up the series with her thoughts on screen printing. 



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