Folksy Ltd

Screen printing advice- how long can you leave a screen un exposed?

(Lowri of Twinkle and Gloom Art) #1

Hello, It’s me again.
I have made my first screen printing screen and exposed it in order to test it under day light. Success! However, I was impatient and I didn’t let the emulsion dry for quite long enough (less than a day). Anyway. I’m ready to make new frames but wondered if I could coat them in emulsion tonight/ tomorrow or not as I won’t be home again until Sunday afternoon. My question is, can you leave emulsion to dry for longer than a couple of days or does it effect the result?

I dry them in a box in a dark cupboard in my desk, so they would be in complete darkness and it’s quite a cold room unless the heater is on for hours. Do you think they’d be ok to leave for that many days or would you recommend leaving the emulsion until a week that I can attend to them once they’ve dried?

As it’s so expensive I don’t want to waste any.

(Helen Smith) #2

I don’t really know the answer to your question - although I’m really pleased/interested to know that you had success exposing the screen in daylight :slight_smile:

What I will say is that at uni we used to dry the emulsion quickly with a hairdryer, I think personally I’d do that unless the particular emulsion you’re using says not to. I would imagine the longer you leave it hanging around in even quite low levels of light the less clear your end result will be.

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(Lowri of Twinkle and Gloom Art) #3

I haven’t found the answer yet, however I found a tutorial by the people who make the photo emulsion that was helpful. If applied like in the video it should only take over night to dry and be ready for use the next day. They had great tips about coverage and not to worry about reaching the edges of the screen as we tape it up anyway, and if there is any light green patches after rinsing the emulsion out of the stencil- put it back in daylight to harden up.

It was actually a lot easier than I thought and I think all together the stuff probably only cost me about £30. I’ve made around 5 small frames out of the fabric. The ink is going to last ages. The Emulsion looks like it’s going to go a lot further than first thought too as I’ve barely touched the jar and made 5 frames. It seems Screen printing is much more accessible than we are led to believe. :slight_smile:

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(Helen Smith) #4

That’s very reasonable! Am going to have to think seriously about this…

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(Lowri of Twinkle and Gloom Art) #5

If you’d like me to, I can message you some links to what I got and sone advice I was sent.

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(Helen Smith) #6

Ooh thank you… the cost of decent screens has put me off too, are you happy with the ones you’ve made? How did you go about with stretching the mesh? The company I’ve bought screens from in the past has been taken over and is now much more expensive :frowning: - I got a cheap screen from ebay and the quality is rubbish, the frame is just not square/flat.

Bearing in mind I print onto glass rather than fabric or paper, everything has to be taut and flat and I have to use a fine mesh.

I did invest in some big daylight photographic lamps the other week after getting fed up waiting for the light to be right, I’m thinking they might help with the screen exposure :slight_smile:

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