Silk screen printing is a stencil method of print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade or squeege and by wetting the substrate, transferred onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. As the screen rebounds away from the substrate the ink remains on the substrate. This technic allows fine details printing.
How to use a silk screen :
- Apply the silk screen on your surface (polymer clay, paper, cardborad etc.) Usually you have to put the shiny side face down on the surface. Somme brands add their name to the screen. If the name is readable, your screen is correctly placed. Somme others offer screens that can be used both sides (i.e. H. Breil)
- Put a line of paint along one edge. Pull the paint across the silk screen with a squeegee or an old credit card.
- Remove the silk screen by slowly lifting up from one side. Let the paint dry on your art work.
- Immediatly clean your silk screen. Do not let paint dry on it. It wil damage your screen and this one will become unusable. Keep a container of water nearby and place your silk screen in as soon as you are done. Gently rinse your silk screen with water using soap if necessary. Gently rub the paint off with a soft sponge if required. Do not use rough material as it may rub off the emulsion and ruin the design. Place on a towel or drying rack to dry.
If several silk screens get stuck together do not pull them apart. Soak them in water for a few minutes until they come apart.
Silk screens should be treated with great care and gentleness to preserve their patterns as long as possible.