How to print on T-shirts

The minute you try screen printing for the first time, or with a heat press, at home, you can no longer stop as it’s both fun and relaxing at the same time.

You need some screen printing fabric ink and it’s better to get some ready-mixed ink at first. You can buy ready-made screens or buy the mesh and some low-priced canvas stretcher frame. You can make your own stretching the mesh over the frame and use some staplers at the edges. Use the 43T mesh is a great option for general printing.

Buy a squeegee from a craft supply store that sells screen print supplies. Use a D-cut blade when printing on fabric or a square-edged one.

You also need a craft knife, roll of masking tape, some basic cotton jersey t-shirt or fabric and plain paper. All of these shouldn’t be that pricey and you need to see the big picture as you are going to use the squeegee and the after screen a long time.

In the beginning, it’s wiser to stick with the basic designs that can be easily cut out of paper with a craft knife. Cut your design out, take the screen and mask off around the edges on the underside so there is no mesh showing around the edges.

Lay the t-shirt flat and place the paper stencil on it where you want your design to be. Place the screen on top and use a tablespoon of ink in line at the top edge of your screen. Hold the screen firmly with one hand and apply the squeegee above the ink with some pressure. Pull it down the screen, take the ink with it and repeat.

Hold the fabric down, lift the screen up and…you’re all done.

Keep in mind to always do a test print before printing and make several stencils at once for more printing sessions.