Last Saturday was a surprise bachelorette party for our good friend Molly, who is getting married to Sam at the end of this month. Part of the festivities included fuchsia-colored t-shirts, which we printed last week, and fake beards for everyone. Since the party was a surprise, I didn’t post the pictures until today so as to keep the shirts under wraps.
The printing project was a nice simple one, only fifteen pieces, printed in one color (black), and once we had the screen burned, it took us all of ten minutes to print the shirts. The process was fairly basic, consisting of the following steps:
- Buy shirts
- Design your artwork, using a vector graphics program such as Illustrator or Inkscape.
- Print your artwork on to a transparent paper. I prefer using vellum made of acetate to the transparencies one used for those ancient overhead projectors.
- Burn the screen. We almost always go to the print shop at ABC No Rio for their weekly skill share nights, usually Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Once the screen is burned, prepare the textile ink using a bonding agent and/or a retarder, such as propylene glycol.
- Print using a squeegee, designed for screen printing and for your screen’s mesh count and your ink’s viscosity.
- Hang to dry, preferably overnight.
- Heat treat the ink on your shirts, using an iron or trouser press at about 300° F.
I didn’t go to the party, of course, but I heard that the shirts were a hit… and that the beards were itchy.