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Screen Printing a Repeat Pattern

Friday, July 24, 2015

Printing a length of your own designed fabric is so exciting but most of us do not have the luxury of a fabric registration table. So using a bit of logic we have come up with step by step guide to printing a repeat pattern on a length of fabric using an A4 screen.

You will need:

1) Draw the design motifs onto paper.

2) Trace your motifs onto tracing paper using a black pen.

3) Cut out the motifs.

4) Cut a piece of paper 17cm x 25cm and divide it into quarters. Label these pieces

1 2

3 4

5) Using double sided sticky tape (or rolled up tape) position the motifs onto the paper.

6) Draw round any motifs that go over a cut edge – this will show where the motifs should go when you rearrange the quarters.

7) Rearrange the pieces into

4 3

2 1

and fill in with more motifs.

8) Check the design will fit on an A4 sheet (we will be using A4 film and an A4 screen.)

9) Trace your design onto film, using an opaque marker. Keep the edges of the film straight along the top edge of the paper. This is fairly crucial as the design needs to be parallel to the screen for registration.

10) Expose your screen with the edges of the positive exactly straight within the screen (this is crucial when you come to print).

11) Pin your fabric to the print board and iron flat.

12) Put a piece of masking tape horizontally along the length of the fabric. Mark with verticals every 17cm and number.

13) Mix your colour or use a ready mix ink such as Speedball Fabric or Permaset Aqua.

14) Print all the odd numbered images, this will give time for the image to dry – a quick blast with a hairdryer will help.

15) Print the even numbered images.

16) Place the film in the correct position for the second row of printing. Place the screen on top and use a marker pen to trace elements that will help you with positioning on your screen.

17) Remove the film and print the odd numbered images and then the even images as before. Continue until you have printed your entire fabric.

We also used these instructions for two sessions with the students on our Fab Fridays classes and here are their fantastic results:

To download the PDF instructions please click here!

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