Why Choose WaterBased Ink for Fabric Printing?

Why Choose Water-Based Ink for Fabric Printing?

 

In the world of printing ink, water-based ink has emerged as a sweeping choice for screen printing, particularly in fabric printing.

 

Plastisol ink firstly dominated the scene due to its convenience and versatility, But guess what? Waterbased ink is super friendly to the Earth and makes awesome prints!

 

In this blog, we’ll explore lots of cool reasons why this ink, especially when printing on fabric, is the best ink choice.

 

So why should you use Water-Based inks for your printing?

 

It is environmentally friendly

Water-based ink is at the forefront of environmentally conscious printing.

 

Unlike traditional plastisol ink, which contains PVC and phthalates, this ink is devoid of harmful chemicals.

 

Choosing them is environmentally friendly as it reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and minimises the carbon footprint linked to fabric printing.

 

Great for soft and breathable t-shirt printing

Water-based ink stands out for its ability to penetrate fabric fibers effectively, resulting in prints that are not only visually appealing but also soft and breathable.

 

This characteristic is especially advantageous for T-shirt printing, as it ensures a comfortable finish on the garment, enhancing the overall quality of the product.

 

Water-based ink is versatile across t-shirt printing equipment

Water-based inks exhibit remarkable versatility on various fabrics, seamlessly integrating with different T-shirt printing equipment.

 

Whatever screen printing equipment you use, water-based ink provides consistent and reliable results, providing you take the care and attention required when printing.

 

This adaptability allows screen printers to diversify their offerings, catering to a broad spectrum of customer preferences.

 

 

Reduced impact on screen printing equipment

Water-based inks are known for their minimal impact on screens and printing equipment.

 

Compared to plastisol inks, they are less likely to clog or build up on screens, reducing the need for frequent maintenance.

 

This characteristic contributes to a smoother and more efficient fabric printing process, ensuring longevity and reliability in your T-shirt printing equipment.

 

These characteristics make water-based ink the perfect screen printing ink choice!

 

Ease of clean-up with fabric printing

Cleaning screens and tools after a fabric printing run is hassle-free with water-based inks.

 

Being water-soluble, these inks can be easily cleaned with water, eliminating the need for harsh solvents.

 

This not only simplifies the clean-up process but also aligns with environmentally conscious practices, making water-based ink an eco-friendly choice for fabric printing.

 

In the dynamic world of fabric printing, water-based ink emerges as a versatile and sustainable solution. From its eco-friendly composition and soft hand feel to vibrant prints and compatibility with various T-shirt printing equipment, the advantages of water-based inks position them as a transformative force in the evolution of fabric printing.

 

As you navigate the landscape of ink printing, consider the unparalleled benefits that water-based ink brings to the forefront of fabric printing innovation.

How To Screen Print Your Own Christmas Tree Cards

As the holiday season approaches, many people look for unique ways to express their festive spirit. One thoughtful and creative option is to craft your own Christmas cards using the fun and versatile technique of screen printing.

With a bit of preparation and some simple supplies, you can create personalised cards!

In this tutorial we shall be showing you how to screen print your own Christmas cards with a basic yet effective design.

But before we get started we just wanted to share some essential tips on screen printing.

  • Practice on scrap paper before printing onto cardstock.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Clean up any spills immediately.
  • Experiment with different designs and colour combinations.

Screen Printing onto Fabric vs Paper

While screen printing can be applied to various materials, including paper and fabric, there are subtle differences in the techniques used for each surface.

Fabric, being a porous material, absorbs the ink during the printing process, allowing for a bit more flexibility in ink application. Beginners might find it easier to experiment with screen printing on fabric first, as it offers a more forgiving approach in case of excess ink application.

The Speedball Screen Printing Vinyl Kit provides a comprehensive set of tools and materials to kickstart your screen printing journey.

Unlike fabric, which absorbs ink, screen printing on paper involves the ink sitting on top of  the surface. So, screen printing on paper requires careful ink application to avoid bleeding under the stencil.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid your ink from bleeding:

Squeegee Selection and Design Alignment

For fabric printing, a squeegee with a rounded edge is ideal for pushing ink through the screen. However, for paper printing, a squeegee like our 15cm aluminum squeegee ensures a thinner ink layer.

 

 

Securing your paper

To prevent paper from shifting during printing, secure it to the board with masking tape. Lift the screen only, leaving the paper in place.

 

Ink Application

Apply a generous amount of ink along the design’s top, using excess ink for subsequent prints. Sufficient ink coverage is crucial to avoid bleeding. Aim for a single squeegee stroke to print on paper.

 

 

 

 

Equipment needed:

  • Screen printing kit: This typically includes a screen frame, squeegee, and emulsion remover.
  • Screen printing ink: Choose ink colours that complement the Christmas theme, such as red, green, gold, or silver.
  • Cardstock: Select high-quality cardstock that can withstand the printing process.
  • Design template: Create your own design or download a template from the internet (we have a wide variety of templates you can use).
  • Masking tape: Use masking tape to secure the design template onto the screen.

First things first, prepare the screen

Clean the screen thoroughly to remove any debris or residue.

 

Once dry, place the design template onto the screen and secure it with masking tape.

 

Printing the Cards

Pour a small amount of ink onto the screen. Using a squeegee, firmly drag the ink across the screen, ensuring even coverage. Carefully lift the screen to reveal the printed design.

 

Add your Personal Touch

Once the ink has dried, you can add embellishments like glitter, ribbons, or stickers to personalise your cards.

 

https://www.tiktok.com/@craftyscreenuk/video/7300894315570597152

 

There you have it, how to make your own screen printed Christmas cards. It is that easy!

 

If you enjoyed this project but want to advance further, our Intermediate Screen Printing kits are great for progressing your screen printing knowledge and expertise.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

 

Mastering the Art: Top Tips for Cutting Paper Stencils in Screen Printing

Mastering the Art: Top Tips for Cutting Paper Stencils in Screen Printing

 

Screen printing is a versatile and creative craft, and cutting a paper stencil is a fundamental skill every enthusiast should master. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your technique, these expert tips will guide you through the process.

  1. Choose the Right Paper: Select a sturdy, high-quality paper for your stencil. We use either copy paper, Yupo Paper or Freezer paper as they are less likely to tear during cutting.
  2. Design with Simplicity in Mind: Keep your design relatively simple, especially if it’s your first time creating a stencil. Intricate details can be challenging to cut and may not transfer well onto the substrate.
  3. Use a Pencil or Fine Marker: Sketch your design lightly on the paper with a pencil or fine marker. This allows for easy adjustments before committing to the final cut. Or Download one of our free designs
  4. Focus on Negative Space: Remember that you’re creating a stencil, so you’ll be cutting out the areas where you want the ink to pass through. Pay attention to the areas you’re leaving intact.
  5. Secure Your Paper: Use a Low Tack tape to secure your paper stencil to a clean, stable surface. This prevents it from moving while you’re cutting.
  6. Sharp Cutting Tools: A precision cutting tool like a craft knife is crucial for clean, accurate cuts. Ensure the blade is sharp for the best results.
  7. Start with External Edges: Begin by cutting the outer edges of your design first. This provides a clear outline and helps establish the boundaries for your stencil.
  8. Work from Large to Small: Move from larger areas to smaller, finer details. This approach helps maintain stability in your stencil as you progress.
  9. Use Short, Controlled Strokes: Instead of trying to make long, continuous cuts, use short, controlled strokes. This gives you better control over the cutting process.
  10. Rotate the Paper as Needed: If the design has curves or intricate parts, it may be helpful to rotate the paper rather than trying to manoeuvre the cutting tool.
  11. Check and Adjust Frequently: Regularly hold your stencil up to the light to check for any missed cuts or areas that need refining. This helps catch any mistakes before you move on.
  12. Test the Stencil: Before using it on your final project, do a test print to ensure the stencil covers the area correctly and that there are no leaks.

By mastering the art of cutting paper stencils, you’re unlocking a world of creative possibilities in screen printing. Remember, practice and patience are key. With time, you’ll develop a steady hand and an eye for detail. Happy crafting! 🎨🖌️

5 EASY Ways to cure a screen printed t-shirts at home

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.

HEAT PRESS BANNER FOR BLOG

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.

A MAN CURING A TSHIRT WITH A HEAT PRESS

 

BANNER FOR OVEN FOR BLOG POST

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.

HEAT GUN BLOG BANNER

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.

CURRING WITH A HEAT GUN

HOUSEHOLD IRON BLOG BANNER

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.

IRONING TO CURE A SCREEN PRINTED TSHIRT

AIR DRY BLOG BANNER

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.

AIR CURING TSHIRT

 

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!

 

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Screen Printing with our Super star Craft Kit.

banner for screen printing with our craft kit blog

Creating your Paper Stencil

Draw or trace your design on to your Stencil Paper, You can get creative and   create your own  unique design, but bare in mind they have to be ‘stencil style’ designs when you are making a design out of paper. Alternatively you can use the templates provided in the kit, we also have lots of other free designs available to download for free form our website

Cut out your stencil using a craft knife or scissors depending on how detailed your design is, remember to take care during this stage and if you are using this kit with kids make sure you do this stage for them.

Taping your Stencil to your Screen

Place your stencil over your Screen, taping it to the underside of the screen to secure. You can also tape up the areas of the screen around your stencil to stop your ink escaping through onto your garment, this is called blocking out your screen and makes the process a lot less messy. 

Then you can flip your screen so the stencil is facing down.

Prepare your garment… we are printing a tote bag.

Next grab the item that you are printing onto, this could be paper, cardboard or fabric as our Waterbased inks will print on to any of these. We have chosen to print this design onto a Canvas Tote bag, we flatten this down, and even iron it to create a smooth print surface, we also ad a piece of scrap paper inside the bag to give it a more rigid surface and prevent ink transferring to the back of the garment.

You can then place your screen, stencil side down on top of your garment, we have place our screen in the centre of our Tote bag but you can experiment with print layouts.

Add ink to the screen.

Place your ink at the top of the screen just above your image, for this print i thought I would use a combination of  Baboon Bum Red Waterbased Ink and Sealife Blue Waterbased ink  to create a Ombre, blend effect.

Time to print!

Place squeegee onto the ink and pull towards you, and repeat if necessary. Make sure your squeegee is at a 45 degree angle. Anything less and it wont push the ink through correctly.

 

Lift your screen to reveal your print! We are going to repeat the design all over the frontside of the bag. To do this we use a heat gun/hair drier to touch dry the print , to prevent any ink transfer or smudging your print.

Leave your print to air dry, once dry you can seal with a hot iron or a heat press. if using an iron protect your print with heat resistant paper, make sure your print reaches 160 degrees.

Clean up!

Make sure you wash your screen out once you have finished to prevent ink blocking the screen, we use a kitchen sink to clean ours, simply run water over your screen and scrub both sides of the screen to remove all excess ink. you can use washing up liquid to help it along and for added cleaning power you can use our eco Cleaning solution.

 

For more information on this kit and all of our other Screen printing kits visit our website.

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printing with craft vinyl

How to Screen Print with Craft Vinyl

All THE EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED

We love using our Vinyl printing kit, it contains all you will need to create a vinyl stencil.

  1. Squeegee
  2. Screen
  3. Black Waterbased Ink
  4. Yellow Scraper
  5. wooden sticks
  6. Craft Vinyl
  7. Transfer Tape

OPTIONAL

  1. Hinges or a hinge board kit
  2. Squand Squeegee Stand
  3. Goop scoop
  4. Eco Cleaning products
  5. Heat Gun
  6. A Vinyl cutter

STEP 1

CUT THE VINYL DESIGN

Design and cut your vinyl with your vinyl cutter, you can also cut this by hand with a craft knife if you don’t have a vinyl cutter.

We use a stencil that we drew in Procreate and cut around using a craft knife for this demo.

STEP 2

WEED THE DESIGN AND APPLY THE TRANSFER TAPE

Carefully weed your design then put transfer tape on top of the vinyl and remove the paper backing.

STEP 3

PUT THE DESIGN ON YOUR SCREEN

Place the frame face down on a firm surface and apply your vinyl design in the centre of the mesh screen on the back side of the frame (the side that touches the shirt). Putting the design on the back of the screen  keeps the vinyl from peeling up while pulling the squeegee over the design.

STEP 4

PEEL THE TRANSFER TAPE AWAY

After you get the design smoothly applied to the screen, carefully peel the transfer tape away.

Once you get the transfer tape off the vinyl, Clear low Tack  tape to cover the open areas of the screen, if you have any to prevent the ink transferring on to your garment.

This is where screen printing becomes more economical (and time saving) than iron-on vinyl (HTV). HTV can get expensive when doing a bunch of shirts. With screen printing, you can reuse the same stencil over and over.

Place the screen on to your garment.

STEP 5

SPREAD AND SQUEEGEE THE INK.

Spread a spoonful of ink across the top of the screen above the design and squeegee the ink over the design by pressing down firmly and pulling toward you.

water based inks are the key to making screen printing at home possible. You don’t have to worry about getting them on your skin and  can be washed down the sink when your finished. You also don’t require any fancy equipment to cure the ink, they can be cured simply with a hot iron.

REVEAL YOUR FINISHED PRINT

SHOP OUR VINYL KIT
flat lay of transfer foil printing equipment

HOW TO SCREEN PRINT WITH TRANSFER FOIL

All THE EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED

  1. 1x Screen
  2. 1x Stencil
  3. 1x Transfer foil glue
  4. 1x Transfer Foil 
  5. 1x Squeegee
  6. 1x Iron or Heat Press

Optional

  1. Hinges or a hinge board kit
  2. Squand Squeegee Stand
  3. Goop scoop
  4. Eco Cleaning products
  5. Heat Gun

STEP 1

Create your Stencil! You can do this a number a different ways. using the Emulsion method, vinyl cut method or using a paper stencil Method..

We have created a stencil out of YUPO paper for our demo and attached it to the back of our screen using our low tack screen tape

Step 2

After you have secured your stencil to your screen place the item you are printing onto under your screen and  add transfer Foil glue to the top of your design, we do this using a goop scoop but you can use a spatula or wooden sticks to do this as well.

(We also use screen hinges and  a board to make the screen more secure for printing)

STEP 3

The Fun Part!

Flood your screen by swiping your squeegee down over the glue, dragging it to the bottom of the design. Then pull the squeegee down several times over the design pushing the glue through the mesh. This will transfer the glue through the screen and onto your fabric.

 

 

 

You then wait until the glue has dried, you can leave this to air dry or uses heat gun to do this. You will know the glue has dried when it starts to go transparent.

STEP 4

Next place your foil over the top of your print, we have a great colour options available meaning you can be creative as possible with this.

Place a protective piece of paper over the top of the foil and using a Iron, swipe across the top of the print, making sure that the print area gets nice and hot as it needs to be up to 150 degrees for the foil to stick to the glue.

STEP 5

Wait for your print too fully cool.

Starting from the bottom right hand corner peel away the foil to reveal your print.

VIEW FULL VIDEO HERE

Hinge Board flat lay image

How To Make a Hinged Board for Screen Printing

Using a hinged board to screen print onto paper is an easy way to create professional prints at home, essentially you are making your very own print press, that is portable, cheap and can be used to print paper, card, or fabric. It allows you to register layered prints and print in identical editions. Why wouldn’t you set one up!

 

Ideally You will need a board at least the same width and slightly longer than your screen. It needs to be a smooth, rigid, wipeable surface. Laminated melamine. We use our hinge board Print kit to create this as it includes all the bits you will need for the job.

However, you could use any sturdy board that you have, MDF would be perfect! We suggest the board being at least 20mm in depth.

You may want to use your board for different sized screens so make sure your hinge clamps are close enough to accommodate all the sizes you would like to print.

 

Here is how we made ours

 

STEP 1 . Use a marker pen and a ruler to create a guideline and to mark through the holes on the hinge clamps.

 

 

STEP 2. Drill holes where you have marked the board, using an electric drill.

 

 

STEP 3. Screw the hinge clamps down to the board.

 

 

STEP 4. Secure the screen into the hinge clamps by turning the wingnuts. You should now be able to lift your screen up and down.