Screen Printing Class - a test to print on finished apparel

This post is a bit of a blast from the past - from days when I was feeling better.  (These days I would not have the energy for a full-day class.)  I never got around to posting it, though.  My friend, boyfriend and I took a screen printing workshop at Shoestring Press back when it was weather where you could wear a flannel.

I was curious to see how it worked but also curious to see how it might be applied to DIY clothing.  First we made stencil-prints (the dog below) and then moved on to actual screens.  I brought a repetitive pattern to screen onto my army surplus laundry bag so I could see how screen printing interacted with ready-made items that have seams.  I was trying to compare the laborious work of block-printing a pattern on a solid piece of apparel and screen printing a more uniform design onto the same.

^ learning how to use pressure to apply the ink ^

Screen printing 
^ our finished result - dogs! ^

 Screen printing 
^ the design I brought to have burned onto a screen ^

Bag screen print

^ how it actually came out on my bag ^

Bag screen print
^ the final bag - and some lessons learned ^

It was challenging to line up the repetitive pattern so one screen print lined up right next to the other.  I didn't realize that I'd have to keep rotating the bag under the screen to get all areas covered so I had to be strategic with that so all areas could be printed on.  (Clearly I wasn't entirely successful.)  While block-printing would be challenging to manually line up (or strategically place) as well, screen printing didn't have a lot of clear advantages either except for the crispness of the print.  

There was no perfect way to re-do the areas that came out lighter as I didn't tape the bag into place every single time.  If I'd been more careful, I could have fixed those lighter areas.

A lot of people brought tote bags or t-shirts (or underwear) to print on using one design for the middle and those came out pretty well. I think I just picked something that screen printing is not really made for but it was an interesting experiment.  I'll be trying block printing in the future, I think!  Once I get some energy back anyway.  (The good news is that I seem to have gained two pounds back between 5/21 and 6/4.  The bad news is that my "elimination diet" meal plan, which is very limited to see what foods I'm having a reaction to, was upped to 1800.  Healthy-Me would have had no trouble with that by noon but Compromised-Me is having a really really hard time with it.)


  1. I've always wanted to try screen printing. I like the pattern you created on your laundry bag. And the dog pattern is great too, of course!

  2. I think yours came out really cool and it looks intentional! I hope you figure out what's plaguing you soon.


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