Reposted from my post on the RPF:
Over the weekend I finally made it to Makerplace to try out the screenprinting machine on my Catwoman Fabric. I promised to share the results, good or bad, so here they are!
I used plastisol inks, black and a puff additive. I mixed them at approximately 1 part puff to 6 parts black. This was done very scientifically by me using a plastic plant marker I found at Walgreens on the way down there to measure and mix. There is no doubt that my complete inexperience with screenprinting contributed to the less than stellar results. But hey, I am trying something new, and maybe with some practice this could work!
All pictures pop to Flickr. I can’t figure out how you guys embed pictures and have them pop in a lightbox to a larger size in the browser?
Thinking that if painting the “pills” gave me the opposite effect, then maybe I could reverse it, I then tried to screenprint the area around the pills. The paint puffed up too much, which made the holes get too small, which basically ruined the pattern. Plus, the fabric is so stiff it would not have any stretch left and be very uncomfortable (and probably hot!) to wear. I also tried a “reverse” print with just black ink, no puff, but that didn’t work any better.
1) After curing the ink, it had the OPPOSITE effect than what I wanted! Boooooo! Wherever the ink touched the fabric, it stayed sunk, and then where the heat hit the raw fabric it became more raised. This created an interesting effect on its own, but not what is needed for the Catwoman outfit.
2) It was very hard to “cook” the fabric just right with the heat source I have access to. Makerplace has a basic flash dryer unit meant for a single t-shirt that hovers over the platten. This means that the heat is somewhat uneven, so certain areas ended up shinier than others when I flipped it over. I think to do this on a large scale, I would either have to be a crazy with a heatgun, or have access to one of those roller dryers so that the entire thing cooks evenly for a set length of time.
3) I’m not giving up just yet! Next time I go down there I am going to try one more time with the “reverse” technique, except I am going to modify my pattern to draw little lines connecting all the pills instead of just printing the reverse of the existing pattern. Hopefully this will make the pattern pop out “just right” without adding too much stiffness to the fabric.