The technique of screen printing has been going around since the 60s. It involves stencil blocking and ink injection on another medium like fabric.
Generally, the methods used for screen printing are highly versatile and require mastery skills, above the average.
But using an appropriate Speedball screen printing kit makes it easy for beginners to dive into this beautiful technique.
To screen print t-shirts on Speedball, you need to:
- Create a film positive
- Prepare the photo emulsion
- Draw an even layer on a screen with the squeegee and let it rest in a dark place
- Put the film positive on the screen and expose it to the light
- wash out the remaining fluid under running tap
- Place the screen over a stretched t-shirt and push the ink through the squeegee evenly.
- Repeat the procedure multiple times until the ink won’t adhere to the surface
- Lift the screen and let the fabric dry for the night
You may have noticed how these Speedball screen printing kits are straightforward to use and efficient.
This article has detailed how to use them properly and what kind of results you will obtain.
Let’s dive in!
How to Screen Print T-Shirts with the Speedball Kit (Tutorial)
The Speedball screen printing kit implies printing on multiple substrates using three different techniques.
However, for screen printing on a fabric shirt, we commonly use the Diazo Photo Emulsion technique.
The following is a step-by-step guide about this method.
- Create a film positive by using precise film drawing or laser-printed artwork. It is preferred to use a double layer to provide adequate opacity.
- You can find photo emulsion and sensitizer in the kit, which is a dry material in a small bottle. The sensitizer activates after being mixed with cold water. Adding this mixture to the photo emulsion gives the fluid light-sensitive property necessary for the Diazo Emulsion process.
- After that, take a suitable-sized screen that is clean and dry.
- Draw an even layer of the emulsion fluid across the back of the screen using the squeegee. Allow the screen to dry in a dark area.
- In the next step, place the transparent film positive on the dry screen top.
- Then expose the film positive and the photo emulsion covered screen under a photoflood bulb of 250 watts or a clear bulb of 150 watts.
- Refer to the guide available in the kit to follow the exposure time specific for each screen, which depends on screen size.
- The required time for the Diazo photo emulsion is around 45 minutes, after which you can put the emulsion fluid under a running tap.
- The light exposed side of the screen is water-resistant, and the unexposed side washes away.
- Cover the edges of the screen with masking tape to avoid ink running away from the borders.
- The suitable ink for the fabric is in the Speedball kit, with a round squeegee that eliminates buckles.
- Place the screen on top of a stretched t-shirt placed on cardboard. Push the ink through the squeegee over the screen evenly.
- Set the ink-covered screen on the shirt and draw it down through the squeegee again multiple times.
- Lift the screen and allow the fabric ink to dry on the shirt.
Your brand new screen-printed t-shirt is now ready to wear!
Best Speedball Screen Printing Kits
The following are the best Speedball screen-printing kits for beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels.
The following is a beginner’s kit for paper stencil screen printing provided by Speedball. It is a perfect introductory kit with all the necessary tools for people who are just getting started.
Speedball has created this beginner kit to make it fast and easy for people to learn and practice.
It comes with a wooden screen, squeegee, Bienfang graphic sheets, fabric ink, knife, 360 papers, and instruction guide that are all the essential tools for beginners to dive into screen printing.
This Speedball kit is suitable for people willing to take self-screen printing a step ahead. The following kit involves new methods of photo emulsion and drawing fluid.
It allows you to hand-draw your art and print it on the fabric with impressive fine detail.
The kit comes with drawing fluid, photo emulsion fluid and remover, brush, sticks, screen filler, and all other essential tools of the beginner’s kit. The Speedball intermediate kit is the perfect medium to bring your imagination to life in an effortless and fast way.
The Speedball Advanced is the ultimate kit for professional artists.
The all-in-one screen-printing kit is ideal for fabric printing since it involves all the essentials for the photo emulsion technique.
It also incorporates the light source for exposure, making it among the most completed packages on the market. Like the others, it provides a detailed instruction guide in three languages.
With the ultimate Speedball kit, you screen-print your logo with ease as a real professional.
Best Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink
A spot of high-performing fabric ink is essential for practicing screen printing, and that is what the product is all about.
Speedball's fabric ink is a rich, low-price ink suitable with multiple fabric textures.
The ink is inconsistent with any solvents and is easy to wash and set. It adheres perfectly to the fabric after being heated, making it appropriate for screen printing. It is silky and soft and covers the screen evenly.
Speedball’s ink is a must-have product if you want to get the best results on your fabric.
Does Speedball Ink Wash Out?
Even if you don’t provide particular care, the Speedball ink won’t wash out over the years. After heating, it becomes permanent, and so it remains for a long time. You can rely on the quality of this product!
Does Speedball Ink Crack?
When using the squeegee on the fabric, a thin, even layer of Speedball ink does not crack compared to a thick one. It depends on your screen-printing technique and fabric consistency.
How Long Does It Take For Speedball Fabric Ink To Dry?
The Speedball screen printing ink can completely dry off overnight. Speedball also provides ink that does not require particular treatments and can permanently dry on the fabric without being heated.
Alternatively, you can heat it at 250 degrees for a quicker result (max 4-5 minutes).
The Speedball kits make screen printing on fabrics easier and funny.
The package comes with all the necessary tools for screen printing, and it’s perfect for beginners who are indulging in this field for the first time.
It's a great way to express yourself through art and can also be an exciting hobby in your free time.
If you are looking for affordable and complete screen-printing equipment, then Speedball kits are the best option for you.