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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To: The T-shirt Gurus,

I am new to this site and even new to the idea of screen printing. I am not overly computer savvy, I can't weld, power tools scare me and I have no idea what the heck plastisol is!
I've been following links all over the forum in trying to figure out what I'm doing and I came across some links for online descriptions of DIY screen printing. One of the links showed a technique for using stencils (somebody called it podunk) and that seems to make the most sense to my brain. Keep in mind I'm more of a fine artist than a graphic artist and I generally like to have a pen, pencil or paintbrush (not a mouse) in my hand! Also, I have 5 kids and zero start-up money (just to make things interesting).
What I want to know is, has anyone on this site been able to make a go with their own small business by using one of these more "primitive" methods?
Help! My brain is full!!

Thanks,
Cinbad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So does anyone around here actually use stenciling? Also I saw a link on DIY screen printing where this girl used an embroidery hoop and sheer curtain fabric as the screen, Mod Podge glue to mask off parts of her design and Speedball Ink to print it. Then she set the design (or "cured" it?) with her home iron. Does anyone here actually use a process like that? How possible would it be to slowly start a small business like this?
 

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Solmu said:
Hmm, that sounds like something I'd say. Was it?
Maybe?

Solmu said:
The "correct" way to screenprint is with emulsion exposed to UV... which creates a stencil.
I'm terribly sorry: emulsion is like a plastic transparency type sheet?


Solmu said:
You can draw directly onto film and expose that to screen. You can draw on paper and photocopy it directly to film (I've done plenty of t-shirts that way). You can paint directly onto film (I created a pattern repeat for a fabric length this way I'm still quite proud of).
Drawing with pen and pencil? Painting with acrylics? This sounds lovely! Then, the exposing process is something like in photography? I'm so sorry! I know I'm annoying the t-shirt gurus with obnoxiously amateurish questions!

What would be the cheapest but most effective way (with most consistent results) for me to set up a small operation to screenprint. Low-tech, please!


Bless you!
Cinbad


PS. I'm really not aspiring to be some dorky scrapbooking mom, this just is NOT at all my area of expertise. Thank you for all your help!!!
 

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Solmu said:
A screen is the basic unit of screenprinting. They're really not that expensive. A squeegee isn't that expensive either, and will give you much more even ink coverage than a brush or roller - it will look a lot better.

Stencils are unreliable. They're often not very repeatable, and they don't store well. They're great it you want to do just a few shirts, but if you want to do even a dozen they're not adequate.

You don't need to be printing dozens or hundreds of shirts to look at better methods.

You can do it cheaply, at home, without buying a lot of equipment, taking a DIY approach, small space, etc. - but not with embroidery hoops and glue.

This all makes sense to me, but how do I execute?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you see those people drawing portraits in the park or sidewalks or beach resorts?
You can probably offer stenciling as another street service.

Why don't you take up airbrushing t-shirts?
That can generate legitimate income in seasonal tourist locations.

Thank you for the suggestion, but if anyone is vacationing in Kansas, they need to sue their travel agent for pain and suffering!!! Somehow, I don't think there's a huge tourist market here... :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To All Who Have Replied:

Could you send links for websites you might have or examples of your work? I'd just like to see what everybody is up to! BobbieLee, I checked yours out and I may want to talk to you about onesie and kids' t-shirt vendors at a later date...

Thanks to everyone for being so friendly and helpful!
Cinbad
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OH!! One more thing, I really want to do some designs that will incorporate traditional screen printing AND hand painting directly on the t-shirts. I've seen here and there that it is possible to hand paint with water-based inks and then set the ink? Is this true? Any personal experience?

Thanks again!
Cinbad
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lewis,

You are a genius. Thank you so much for the generosity you have shown in explaining everything to me in such a way that my feeble mind might grasp it! You are wonderful!
I am so excited to be able to start experimenting with techniques. First, I'm going to start designing some things. Thank you so much...I'm truly grateful!

Mil gracias...je vous remercie...grazie...dank...eeuwig dankbaar...que Dios le bendiga...
Cinbad
 
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