If you didn't already know... my husband and I have a small screen printing company called Phantom Chicken. Because our studio is in our basement, I'm a lucky girl when it comes to customized printing in my sewing projects! My latest project is a Crow Pillow.
Here is the screen with the crow film on it, ready to shoot. Screen printing is a process that uses light to create a stencil. Here's how it works:
First we create a design. It has to be black and white to create a clean stencil. This design was from a photo that a friend had taken.
We send this design file to a camera shop and have film positive's made.
A coated screen is made by taking a clean screen and evenly spreading a photo-sensitive emulsion over it in a dark room.
Once we have the film and a coated screen, we put the film on the screen and shine a high-pressure sodium light on it for about 10 minutes. This "sets" the emulsion hard on the screen while leaving whatever is opaqued under the film very soft.
Then the screen is rinsed with water and voíla: a hole or stencil is made in the screen.
At this point, the screen is ready to set up on press.
When the screen is on press, we pick an ink color and put it on the screen and then pull the ink through using a squeegee. The squeegee pushes the ink through the hole in the screen and onto your fabric (or t-shirt).
One pillow set I want to sew is using some patterned fabrics that were part of a set, so I mixed some special greyish-blue ink to match the darkest blue stripe in the fabric.
I'm pretty happy with the color match...
Since I had a screen all set up, I decided to print more than just one set of birds, so I changed the ink color to Navy and printed this guy on a light blue starry fabric to be used in the pillow I'm making for the friend who took the photo.
Then I changed the ink one more time to Black and printed a few on some other scraps of fabric I have laying around... not sure how these will be used yet, but I really like the image so I'm sure I'll be using them soon. I'm even thinking of making a quilted bag instead of always making pillows.
So now I have some images on fabric to work with... YAY!