Saturday, June 27, 2009

Screenprinting questions

I fancy trying some screen printing but have stalled at the purchase of the screen stage. Some of my fellow Twelve by Twelve artists use thermofax screens but I gather this involves a fairly expensive machine and as I have no confidence I shall do this again past the initial experiments I am thinking more of the wooden frames and the Daler-Rowney System 3 products which Linda Kemshall demonstrates so well in issue three of the Threefold Journal CD. That is using acrylic paints with textile medium to pimprove the hand

But where to get the frame?
There does not seem to be much choice. Speedball brands are available in a few places and have 43T mesh described as 'especially suitable for textile printing with water based inks'. But I shall be using paint. Of course if I get on with my screen I might use inks later. Or I can find a much cheaper one on Ebay which has 53T mesh decribed as 'suitable for arts and crafts.' (Always a bit suspcious of cheap things on Ebay!)

I have no idea what the T stands for or what number I need in front of it. Can anyone help?


sophie said...

You seem to be well on your path, but I thought I would mention that there are people with those expensive machines that will make thermofax screens for you for a nominal fee, should you decide you want to try them . . .

katinspace said...

Try I haven't tried them but have heard very good reports of them. You can choose an existing pattern or send them a pattern to 'print' onto the screen for you.

Terry said...

I have made my own silkscreens for years. The mesh numbers you are using aren't familiar to me. I generally use 10XX mesh, so I don't know how that would translate. Look at the screens at the DickBlick site here:
It probably doesn't make sense for you to order from Dick Blick, but perhaps there is something comparable in the UK.

They don't offer 10XX, but I would buy the 8XX. These are nifty frames. You attach the screen fabric using a cord that is forced into a groove in the frame. Reusable with new fabric. Don't worry much about the differences between textile inks and fabric paint. The screens are pretty forgiving. You just don't want a real high number screen, that is intended for multiple color, registered fine art prints.

magsramsay said...

I went on a course with Ruth Brown where we made our own screens with canvas stretcher bars, plain net curtain and duck tape ( cost about £5.00 in total)
Perfectly acceptable results as a taster.

Marjorie said...

Similar to Magsramsay, I've just made some small silk screens using needlework stretcher bars, chiffon from the bridal counter, thumbtacks and shipping tape to hold the two together and a product called Modge-Podge for painting the design (traced from a photocopy). More on my blog at