When Printing Screens…Don’t Forget These Things

When printing screens, most artists make sure to have everything they need. The process is a meticulous one and you don’t want to leave anything out. 

But so many people are guilty of forgetting the most important things—themselves! Planning for your own needs is just as important as the planning involved in screenprinting the actual design. 

Here are some things to consider when you’re printing a screen:

Don’t Forget Your Gloves: You’ll be handling a lot of chemicals and solvents when making your screen. This can seriously dry out your hands, so make sure you have gloves that fit well and will protect your hands. 

You could use nitrile gloves, but they are more expensive than latex gloves and can be hard to find in larger sizes. If you do use latex gloves, make sure they’re powdered, which helps give them a better grip on slippery surfaces and makes it easier to put them on or take them off.

Don’t Forget Your Mask: To avoid breathing in all the toxic fumes that come from printing, wear a mask when working with chemicals such as developing solutions and washing out screens. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot outside–you’ll get too hot underneath the mask anyway.

To clean your screens, turn them over and vigorously scrub them with a brush. Gently scrubbing at the edges of the screen with a toothbrush can also help clean out any buildup around the holes in the screen (you might find that some paper bits have built up around here). 

After your screen printer is completely dry, dust them off with clean lens tissue or cloth. This will make sure there isn’t any residue left behind on the screen before you lay down your printer ink.

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