How we make a screen for screen printing

This is the first video, in a series, showing you how we produce professionally screen printed t-shirts. In this video we show you how to make a screen that we use for t-shirt printing.


Hi, my name is Arron and this is a Shirtworks presentation and I’m going to show you how to make a screen. You need 3 things to burn a screen: you need an ultra-violet source; you need your artwork printed on either acetate or velum; and you need your screen which is coated in a light sensitive emulsion. Basically we’re going to position our artwork on the emulsion between the light source and the screen. The principal is very simple, it’s a photochemical reaction: where the ultra violet light is able to hit the screen, that area becomes hardened; and where the artwork blocks the light from hitting the screen, that area remains water soluble and we can just wash that out using a garden hose or a pressure hose. So, here we go…. artwork on the light box, screen on top of the artwork. You clamp it all down into position with a vacuum seal to make sure no light can creep around the artwork. Once we’re happy everything is securely into place we hit the exposure. The ultra violet light will now start to expose the emulsion. If I’m trying to create a screen with really fine detail then I’ll choose an exposure time of about a minute. If I’m going for a really hardened screen that doesn’t require a lot of detail then I would go for a longer exposure somewhere in the 3 minute range. That basically is exposing the screen and in a minute I’ll show you how I wash the screen out. OK, that screen has been washed out now and you can see the light area is where the artwork blocked the ultra violet light from hitting the emulsion and that area remained water soluble. What we have now is a screen ready to go for t-shirt printing. This has been a Shirtworks presentation, my name is Arron Harnden. Thanks for watching.

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