Monday, 4 August 2014

Screen printing with an embroidery hoop

I have been messing with different print ideas and a new to me technique is screen printing with an embroidery hoop.

I really like the idea of this because of the small scale. This enables you to work in a smaller area than if you had a larger frame and you can better place your image around your fabric. Although saying that, the area you work on rather depends on the size of your fabric, but you could print in sections at a time if it makes life easier. For this experiment I chose to work on a smallish fabric piece that fitted on the a mat on my dining table.

I ordered some printing mesh from ebay for this. I bought a metre, which is loads, but it was only £4 all in, so a bargain really!  

I stretched a corner of my mesh over the hoop, pulling as taught as I could

I then cut off the excess close to the frame. I won't cut so close next time, as I wasn't able to stretch back on after cleaning, so I just threw it in the bin.

Do not worry about drawing ability, as this was my starting point!!!

I drew my desired shape onto a piece of freezer paper...

cut with a scalpel...

and stuck shiny side down to the mesh. I would probably recommend masking tape if you have  it, but i didn't! I don't think these stencils are really re-usable after the printing, but if you used acetate or something like that then you could probably use as many times as you like!

This unregistered Nectar card has come in handy after all! It will be my squeedgee

I wrapped my cutting board with some old fleece...

and then some calico to make an improvised printing surface.

Fabric layed flat on top I went for a random print placement

Dollop some ink above the shape with a spoon

Grab your Nectar/credit card (old one please) and with the card angled towards you scrape the ink over the stenci, scrape it back the other way and ta dah...

I did not pull the ink too far past the stencil, as there is no need and it makes more mess and wastes ink.

you end up with something like this. This one was a bit fuzzy as my first go, but the rest worked well and I went back over this one at the end. Going back over is not advised, as it can be tricky to line them back up, but if you're feeling lucky then there's no harm ;-)

I chose to print on a pink background with a flourescent orange ink (it is more flouro in real life) and the speedball inks work well as they have a good opacity. Different background colours can be fun to play with when printing and is something to think about as the obvious thing to do is reach for the white, but it doesn't have to be a white or cream base. This scrap is a piece of linen from a previous make that was dyed using a Dylon machine dye. I like these as they often give an even coverage, but it might be easier, cheaper and more reliable to buy a plain colour to print on if you were going down this route.

So, there you have it...small scale screen printing! This was alot of fun and really easy to clean up after, which is always a bonus. I shall definitely be giving this another go and this piece has not gone to waste either, as i have cut it up into printed patches to mend my really, really moth eaten blanket. Who new I had such a love of pink???