Until now, I never...
Tried to Silkscreen a Multi-Colored Pattern onto Fabric


The first challenge was to silk-screen a single colored design onto fabric, which didn’t go all that great.  I needed to burn a new screen.  The second challenge was to try to silk-screen a two colored design.  I knew this would be super challenging, so I created a very simple leaf design, and then created two transparencies – one for the background color, and one for the foreground color.  I had no idea what colors I would use, I just wanted to see if I could do this according to the steps I had read in my book “Printing by Hand“.

I burned my screens at the Vera Project along with the other large screen, and these screens looked good.  I had a work table covered with felt and well lit.  My plan was to follow the steps in the book where she makes registration marks on the fabric with an ink pen that you can remove with water.  So I made the marks on my fabric exactly where I needed the design to line up, and then made more marks on my screen frames,  and then on the felt with masking tape so I knew just where to place the screens.  I had some old fabric that I didn’t care too much about and I quickly and easily printed the base pattern with white ink.  I printed about five pieces of fabric, and waited for it to dry, which takes about a half hour or so.  Then I got my other screen out, put the fabric down carefully aligning to the registration marks on the felt, aligned my screen on the felt, and then pulled through some black ink.  I lifted the screen, and wow, I was off by a lot.  So I checked everything and tried again.  Again, way off.  This was ridiculous.  I tried it on all of the fabric and only one came out anywhere close to right.  Funny thing is, they didn’t look all bad not lined up.

What went wrong?  I think it was a lot of things.  I think my set up was bad.  My table with a big piece of felt thrown over is not going to fly.  I needed a table top with fabric secured onto it.  And I think my alignment wasn’t careful enough.  It was too hard to see where to place my screen.  I think I may need hinge clamps to keep the screen perfectly in place, or do some math and make marks on the table and then align the screen with a T-Square.  And for sure I need some more practice.  So it’s back to the drawing board for me!

To be continued…