Long scarves in a striking sheer fabric are always useful and versatile, and the advantage of screen printing is that it enables you to cover vast lengths of fabric with the same design in no time at all. This project uses light-sensitive screen coating painted around a template, and employs a spiral motif that is highly stylish. But it would be just as easy to create a different pattern that could be printed to an equally fabulous effect.
You Will Need:
(To make a scarf measuring 24 x 198cm) * Pencil and Pen * Screen measuring 50 x 70cm * Paintbrush * 150ml light-sensitive screen coating * Cerise silk organza measuring 50cm x 2m (washed in a mild detergent to remove any finish) * Iron * Masking Tape * Large printing surface * Tailor’s Chalk * Overalls, apron or an old shirt * Plastic gloves and protective goggles * 300ml ready-mixed acid textile dye (for this project, dark pink) * Specialist screen-printing squeegee * Piece of calico or other light fabric * Tin foil * Wok or pressure cooker * Mild fabric detergent * Pins * Sewing Machine * Thread to match the fabric
1. Draw a simple spiral to the size you desire onto the centre of your screen mesh. Paint around this with light-sensitive screen coating, leaving the design area unpainted. Allow to dry, then develop and fix it by leaving out in bright sunlight for 30-60 mines until all the coating has changed color. Ensure all of the non-design area mesh is covered in the emulsion, including a large enough reservoir space on the screen for the printing ink Silk Screen Frames.
2. Press the fabric carefully and tape it, right side up, to your printing surface.
3. Place the screen sideways at the top of the fabric and place masking tape to indicate the position of the corners of the screen (stick the tape onto the printing base). Label this number 1 on both edges to indicate the top and bottom for the design area within the screen. Then move the screen along, judge by eye where the next printed design area should be. Indicate the corners of the screen again with masking tape and label as number 2. Repeat along the entire fabric, numbering 3, 4, 5 and so on.
4. Place the screen back onto position number 1. Wearing overalls, gloves and goggles, pour about 250ml of the dye onto one end of the screen (the reservoir area). Then holding the frame with one hand and the squeegee with the other pull the paste firmly, smoothly and evenly across the screen at least twice. Vary the angle of the squeegee and the pressure to apply more or less paste (the lower down the squeegee, the more ink you will squeeze through). If you find this hard, place a brick on one end of the screen to hold it in place and use both hands to push and pull.
5. Carefully lift the screen away from the fabric and place within the registration marks numbered 3. Squeegee the ink across again. Continue printing alternate areas until you have covered the whole length of the fabric with the pattern. You will need to print quite quickly to prevent the paste from drying on the screen. When you have finished, scrape any excess paste back into the pot, wash the screen and the squeegee under cold running water and leave the fabric and screen to dry. Then repeat step 4 to print the remaining alternate areas, starting with the tapes labeled 2, and so on. Clean he screen and squeegee again. (You can use the screen again if you wish to reprint this pattern.) Leave the fabric to dry.
6. Detach the fabric and roll in the calico to make a sausage shape. Wrap the sausage in tn foil, sealing the edges. Place on a raised tray in the wok or pressure cooker with a small amount of water and steam for 30 minutes in order to fix the dye. Rinse in cold running water then in hand hot water with a small amount of mild detergent. Then rinse in cold running water again. Leave to dry completely.
7. Press the fabric with a warm iron, then fold over lengthways, right sides together, and pin. Leaving a seam allowance of 1cm stitch around the long side and one of the short sides Turn out, fold in the edges of the remaining side, iron and stitch neatly across. Press once more to finish.
Re-using the screen
To reclaim the screen for re-use, you will need to buy some reclamation paste. Wearing rubber gloves, overalls and goggles, spread it over the side of the screen you do not squeeze through and leave for the manufacturer’s recommended amount of time Screen Printing Squeegee. Then, simply use a high pressure washer to blast the old coat away from the mesh. As long as you are able to see through the mesh, you can re-use the screen.