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Screen printing with stencils: choosing the best screen and inks

Screen printing with stencils

Using film isn’t the only solution in screen printing. It’s also possible to achieve good results with stencils. Here are a few tricks and tips.

The first thing to bear in mind is that if you’re printing with stencils the design needs to be fairly “thick”, i.e. it shouldn’t have any thin lines or details.

For printing on cotton – or even on paper – a water-based ink, such as Texprint, can be used.

These inks Texprint Mono are ready-to-use, there’s no need for a catalyst (but, if you wish, you can add some to improve the wash resistance).
They dry at room temperature, as long as the ambient temperature is at least 20°C and the air is fairly dry.
We always advise heating Texprint inks after printing, at least with an iron, or better still with a heat press set at 160°C, for around 80-90 seconds.

For Texprint inks we recommend using a thread count of 55T, this is because water-based inks dry quickly on the screen, and when this happens the mesh becomes clogged and the screen becomes unusable.

If you notice that the mesh is starting to clog, just use a little water to clean off the ink, continuing until the ink has completely gone.

Another trick you can use to slow down the drying process between prints is to leave a layer of ink, just a few millimetres, covering the entire design.

This will ensure the screen is always covered with a layer of fresh ink, thus preventing the mesh from clogging and the ink from drying too quickly.

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