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My intro, New to screen printing, some advice would be nice

926 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jetstarz99
Hi my names Dennis Iam 29yrs old and brand new to screen printing and vinyl cutting. Ever since I was a a teen I always thought it would be so cool to make my own T-shirts and Decals.. I always came up with different slogans and sayings and other ideas that I thought would be perfect for a shirt or a car decal...but unfortunately I never did anything about it and lost touch with the idea of it.. It was strange to be honest I felt so passionate about the idea of something that I had actually never went through with....fast forward to today and I have newly rediscovered a lost passion. A few months ago I purchased a vinyl cutter and the DIY screen printing kit and I am ready to achieve one of my dreams... I have used the vinyl cutter Alot to make decals for friends family myself and even sell them to people... But I have yet to use my screen printing set, I've watched countless videos on screen printing and I think I'm ready but have a few questions. I will mainly be printing on 50/50 cotton/poly due to the fact that I like the way cotton poly shirts fit your body and tend to hug the contours of the body .. Will be doing alot of gym shirts so that's perfect...i have about 100 plain shirts various colors and sizes and will also be printing on 50/50 cottton/poly hoodies I have about 50 of them various colors and sizes...

Iam making my own screens and frames instead of buying new ones I would like to be able to save all my screens between jobs

This is intended to be a hobby/ side hustle

Iam aware that some of these question may have already been asked in the forums or are in the stickies

: is plastol best for 50/50 ? I read that water based water soluble (which Iam guessing is the same?) ink doesn't absorb well into poly? Any ideas?

: is 156 mesh the best to print on? I purchased a few yards

: if I want to make a custom color what type of dye can I add to white ink that will work?

: should I prewash shirts before printing?

: should I rough up /brush a fresh screen before applying emulsion ?

Equipment I have

: Silhouette Cameo 3
: DIY printing kit

Future Equipment plans

: Light box
: Heat press
: Multi station printer

Are these brands any good?(picture)


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Union Ink is amazing but AVOID water based inks (and glitter inks are hard to print with. stick to shimmer inks if wanting a "shiny" look)
As for the mesh, it all depends on the logo/design you're printing. The more details in the logo/artwork, use a higher mesh. (110 is pretty standard and works for most designs)
No need to pre-wash shirts before printing but always make sure your boards are clean before printing.
As for mixing inks, get a PMS book (or find online) and it will tell you how much of what color(s) to mix to achieve the desired color(s)
Are you making your own frames and the getting someone to put the fabric on? If you are making frames and meshing yourself, you will end up with less than optimal results. Pre-stretched aluminum frames are cheap and will give much better results.

You could make up a few to experiment, but in the long run cost vs workability favours pro made screens.

If you are doing a few on going stock designs, keeping the screens is no problem, just store in cool dust free place. If you do multicolor, reclaim the screens each time. Trying to register inked up screens is more trouble than it is worth. If you have some type of pre-register system you may be able to manage.

Try different ways and find out what works for you.

Happy printing
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