Curing is a crucial step in the screen printing process that ensures the longevity and durability of your prints. While professional print shops have specialised equipment for this task, curing screen prints at home is entirely possible with the right techniques and materials. In this blog post, we will guide you through different ways of effectively curing your screen printed t-shirts in the comfort of your own home.
How to cure a screen printed t-shirt with a heat press: A heat press is a common method used to cure screen-printed garments. It applies heat and pressure to the printed area, helping to bond the ink to the fabric.
To use a heat press, set the temperature according to the ink manufacturer’s instructions, place a protective sheet over the printed area, and press it for the recommended duration. This method is effective and relatively easy to do at home if you have access to a heat press machine.
How to cure a screen printed t-shirt in your oven: If you don’t have a heat press, you can cure a screen-printed t-shirt in a regular household oven.
Preheat the oven to the temperature specified by the ink manufacturer (most likely 160 degrees), and place the t-shirt on a clean baking sheet or directly on the oven rack. Make sure to put a piece of parchment paper or a clean cloth between the printed area and the baking sheet or rack to prevent any sticking. Keep a close eye on the t-shirt as it bakes, and remove it once the recommended curing time has elapsed. Let it cool down before wearing or washing.
How to cure a screen printed t-shirt with a heat gun: Another option is to use a heat gun, which blows hot air directly onto the printed area. This method requires some caution and precision to avoid scorching or damaging the fabric.
Set the heat gun to the recommended temperature and hold it several inches away from the printed area. Move the heat gun in a consistent motion, evenly distributing the heat across the print. Be careful not to concentrate the heat in one spot for too long, as this can cause the ink to burn or the fabric to scorch.
How to cure a screen printed t-shirt with an iron: Ironing is a less reliable method but can work for simple designs or smaller prints.
Turn your iron to the highest setting without steam, and place a clean cloth or parchment paper over the printed are
a. Gently press the iron over the cloth, applying firm pressure for the recommended time. Avoid sliding the iron back and forth as this may smudge the ink. Repeat the process on the reverse side of the t-shirt for added durability.
You can cure a screen printed t-shirt by letting it air dry: With certain types of inks you can air dry the print.
Find a suitable location to hang the t-shirt for drying. You can use a clothesline, hanger, or any other convenient place where it can hang freely without touching other surfaces. Selecting a well-ventilated area ensures good airflow, which helps expedite the drying process. Air drying may take longer compared to using heat-based curing methods, but it is a suitable option for those who want to avoid heat or do not have access to specialised equipment.
Remember to always follow the instructions provided by the ink manufacturer for curing temperatures and times. Different inks may require specific curing conditions, so it’s essential to read and adhere to their recommendations.
Additionally, allow the cured t-shirt to cool completely before testing, washing or wearing it to ensure the ink has fully set. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and fine-tune your curing technique to achieve the best results with each print.
Happy curing and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your screen prints come to life!