The BEST screen printing KIT
Do you live creating art? Do you also love designing t-shirts? If you answered yes to any of these two questions, then you need to consider getting a screen printing kit. Screen printing can be a great hobby or a good business venture; whichever you choose.
- Speedball Intermediate – Best DIY Screen Printing Kit
- Jacquard – Best Beginner Screen Printing Kit
- Speedball Advanced – Best Home Screen Printing Kit
- Trailblaze – Best Screen Printing Kit for Professionals
- Pllieay – Best Screen Printing Starter Kit
With the best screen printing kit, you can produce as many designs as you need. You can use screen for several designs or you can use it for the same design repeatedly. You only need to have the best quality ink so that your prints last long. The advantage of buying a complete kit (instead of single components) is that you can start immediately and save on buying cost.
Below, we created a list of the top screen printing kits to make it easier for you to pick the right kit. Read on.
Silk Screen Printing Kits – Reviews
- Speedball Intermediate Kit; Screen Frame Size: 10×14 inches; Frame Material: Wooden; Item Weight: 3.84 pounds
- Jacquard Screen Printing Kit; Screen Frame Size: 10×14 inches; Frame Material: Aluminum; Item Weight: 3.61 pounds
- Speedball Advanced Screen Printing Kit; Screen Frame Size: 10×14 inches; Frame Material: Wooden; Item Weight: 6.16 pounds
- Trailblaze Professional Silk Screen Printing Kit; Screen Frame Size: 10×14 inches; Frame Material: Aluminum; Item Weight: 3.25 pounds
- Pllieay 42-Piece Screen Printing Starter Kit; Screen Frame Size: 10×14 and 8×10 inches; Frame Material: Wooden; Item Weight: 2.4 pounds
Best DIY Screen Printing Kit
If you already have the basic skills in screen printing, this kit offers you all you need to create amazing prints on t-shirts using methods such as photo emulsion and drawing fluid and screen filler.
Speedball includes clear instructions to enable you get started with ease. You can use drawing fluid and screen filler to add your hand-drawn art and painterly imagery on your t-shirts. With the kit, you are able to turn simple designed into custom pieces.
With the Speedball Intermediate Kit, you can draw your imagery on the screen, or you can sketch it out on paper. The design you draw on your screen turns to be your printed image, so make it as good as you want.
The second step is to coat the screen using the screen filler. This filler covers all the parts of your screen that you do not want to print. Wash out the blue drawing fluid with cold water to expose your drawing. From, here, you are good to transfer the print to your t-shirt.
The kit includes:
• Wooden screen frame
• Red Baron Squeegee
• Two four-ounce jars of drawing fluid
• Four ounces fabric screen printing ink
• Four ounces of screen filler
• Speedball Sensitizer
• Four ounces of Speedball Photo Emulsion Remover
• 3.3 ounces of Speedball Diazo Photo Emulsion
• Four ounces of Speedball Speed Cleaner
• Round Brush
• Two Craft Sticks
• Speedball Screen Printing Guide
The manufacturer notes that the sensitizer bottle might feel like it is empty because it contains a very small amount of thick sensitizer. We recommend this kit for intermediates and professionals looking for a simple way to add art to their t-shirts.
If you need a simple beginner kit to start printing art on your t-shirts at home, this kit is ideal for you. It has all the items you need to create perfect pieces.
• Offers everything you need to gets started
• All inks are water-based and easy to use
• It works for intermediates and professionals alike
• It is cost-effective
• It takes long to combine the sensitizer into a liquid
Best Beginner Screen Printing Kit
The Jacquard Screen Printing Kit is a great kit for beginners. You can use the kit to create art on fabric, paper, vinyl, leather, and plastic among others.
Jacquard produces high quality inks that are easy to work with, and they offer so much flexibility. These durable inks can adhere to almost any surface and withstand frequent washing and dry cleaning.
Whether you use it in synthetic or natural fabrics, it will stain forever. Better still, the ink is water-soluble and easy to clean. If you have a small production screen printing, you can benefit from this kit.
The kit contains everything you need to start screen printing. It has a pre-stretched silk screen that measures 10 by 14 inches. This screen has a strong aluminum frame, and you also get a nine-inch aluminum handled squeegee.
To get you started, the kit comes with four jars of screen printing inks, four ounces of photo emulsion, 1/3 gram of the three Acetate sheets, and four ounces of Diazo Sensitizer. A stir stick and an instructional booklet in three languages also accompany the kit.
You can choose the kit with semi-transparent colors or the kit with opaque colors. The semi-transparent kit is ideal when you need to print on a light background. Colors in this kit include black, blue, yellow, and red. You can also pick the opaque colors when you need to print on an opaque background. Colors in the opaque kit include supper opaque white, opaque red, opaque yellow, and opaque blue.
We recommend the Jacquard Screen Printing kit for anyone who wants to learn screen printing. The kit accommodates artists who are 12 years and above. It has everything one needs to start screen printing.
• Accommodates beginners
• Inks are permanent and withstand frequent washing
• The colors are water-soluble and easy to wash off from your hands
• Complete kit with all needed items
• The white ink feels a little thick
Best Home Screen Printing Kit
The Speedball Advanced kit has all the items you need to get started on photo emulsion screen printing. Speedball offers detailed instructions with every kit you buy so that you can start screen printing immediately.
You can use the kit to create detailed images on different materials. This method works on different images, including opaque images on transparencies and drawings done with black ink on acetate.
The kit has the tools and inks you need to start screen printing. Each kit comes with a simple-to-use instructional booklet in three languages, making it an ideal kit for beginners. In the kit, you will have a wooden screen frame and base measuring 10 by 14 inches. The manufacturer also offers a craft squeegee, four four-ounce jars of screen printing ink (blue, red, black, and white), a 3.3-ounce bottle of Diazo photo emulsion, a bottle of sensitizer, and a four-ounce bottle of photo emulsion remover. Other items in the kit include transparencies, photoflood bulb, sheet of black paper, craft sticks, lamp, and lamp clamp.
The ink is permanent application and can withstand washing. However, the ink is water-based and cleans up with ease with soap and water. The mesh may stain permanently, but that doesn’t affect the quality of your prints.
The Speedball advanced is for artists who want to hone their skills. Once you learn the basics of screen printing, you can get this kit and start making impressive prints on different materials.
• The ink washes off with ease
• Has everything you need to create prints
• Clear to follow guides
• Comes with a light source
• The packaging is not impressive and some inks may spill
Best Screen Printing Kit for Professionals
If you need an easy to use, yet advanced screen printing kit, this might be the one for you. It comes with an aluminum frame that will last for many years and a wood squeegee with a medium stiffness blade. The squeegee is precise and easy to use. Further, you get an aluminum emulsion scoop coater and stainless steel hinge clamps.
With 110 screen printing mesh count, you get a versatile emulsion screen printing kit that you can use for paper, fabric, and card printing. The manufacturer offers easy-to-follow online guides that beginners can use to start creating art on fabric. With the kit, one can create posters, t-shirts, pillowcases, flags, and aprons among others.
If you need a kit to use professionally, but is still as simple to use as beginner kits, you can go for this kit. It has almost all the items you need to create prints on different materials.
• Relatively inexpensive
• Made of high quality materials
• Squeegee has a comfortable handle
• Easy-to-follow online instructions
• You have to buy ink and emulsion separately
Best Screen Printing Starter Kit
There are 42 pieces in this kit, making it an almost complete kit for artists who love screen printing. Inside the kit are cups, mesh, inks, mask tape, and frames among other needed materials to get started. There are two frames of different sizes so that you can use the kit for different purposes.
The two frames are 14×10 inches and 8×10 inches in size. You also get one printing squeegee with a comfortable wooden handle. The manufacturer also includes a plastic scraper, a masking tape, five water resistant inkjet transparency film, 10 plastic cups, 10 wood mixing sticks, five gloves, 100ml silicone measuring cup, and a user guide. The two frames are wooden. You need to clean the frame you use and the mesh and allow them to dry. The frame may get a little messy, but that doesn’t affect how the kit works.
Both professionals and learners can use this kit to add prints to fabrics and paper. You can also buy it for someone as it comes in premium gift box packaging.
• Comes with two frames
• Ergonomically-designed squeegee
• Accommodates beginners
• High quality items for high quality prints
• Ink and emulsion kit not in the package
Screen Printing Kit – Buyer’s Guide
What is Screen Printing and Why Use It?
Screen printing involves pressing ink through a mesh screen to transfer a printed design. The process also goes by the name silk screen printing or serigraphy. It is a common process in most industries, so even if you have not heard about it, you have used an item with a screen printing on it.
You can use the method to create bold canvases, artwork, and posters. It is common on fabric and on paper, but there are special inks that you can use on wood, metal, plastic, and glass. You will need to create a stencil on a fine mesh and then push ink through it to create the imprint of the design.
There are other stenciling techniques used when transferring prints. For instance, you can use vinyl or masking tape to cover the desired part of the screen. You can also paint on the mesh with mesh blockers such as lacquer or glue. The most common method is to use a light-sensitive emulsion in stenciling. The thick emulsion is then developed as you would a photograph.
You can make screen printing designs in one shade of ink, or you can make them in several colors. If you want to create multicolored items, the process involves applying individual layers of colors using a separate stencil for each ink.
Screen Printing Equipment Needed
When you have the right tools, you will create clean and sharp prints. Below are some of the items you need to create the best print.
Screen Printing Press
You can print using a mesh screen and a squeegee, but it is advisable that you use a printing press. The press comes in handy when you need to print several items efficiently and to make the prints uniform. During printing, the printing press holds the screen in place, so you only need to swipe the fabric to print on.
Printing presses can be automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. Manual presses are labor-intensive as you operate them by hand. Semi-automatic machines are partially automated, but they still need your input in swapping the items to be pressed. If you need to operate a press hands-free, go for a fully automatic printing press. For home use or for screen printing as a hobby, a manual printing press comes in handy. Small and large businesses that print items in large quantities need a semi-automatic or fully automatic printing press.
Most screen printing kits come with ink, paint, or pigment in different colors. You will push the ink through the mesh to create a print. Inks come in different forms, and you have to consider more than color when choosing them. Some of the common forms include glittery ink, puff inks that expand to create a raised surface, and texturized inks. You also need to consider the type of fabric or surface you need to print on. Some inks are more permanent and clear on some materials than others.
If you want to screen print a t-shirt, for instance, the ink you use should be machine washable when you heat-treat and set it. The process makes the item colorfast and long-wearing.
This is the main item in most screen printing kits. It comes with a wooden or metal frame and a stretched mesh fabric. Traditionally, the mesh screen was made of silk, but today, manufacturers use polyester. When shopping, you need to choose the thread count and thickness that match the texture of the fabric that you need to use. If there are smaller spaces in between the mesh threads, you get finer details of the print.
You can use the screen over and over again. Once you cover it in emulsion and expose it, you can use it as a stencil. You can then wash it and re-use it severally.
This is a rubber blade attached to a metal, wooden, or plastic handle. The tool pushes ink through the mesh and onto the cloth or any other surface you need to print on. You need a squeegee whose size matches that of the frame of the screen for better coverage.
When you need to create intricate and detailed designs, a firm squeegee comes in handy. Such a tool ensures that all the parts of the fabric printed on receive even ink. If you have less detailed designs, you can use a softer rubber squeegee.
After use, you need to clean your screen to have them ready to be re-used with future prints. If you have large screens, you need large tubs with special cleaning fluids or acid. However, in small printworks, you only need tap water or a water hose to clean the screen.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Screen Printing Kit
The Contents of the Kit
Unless you have another kit that you need to upgrade, the kit you have should have as many as all the items you need to start screen printing. These items include mesh screens, inks, squeegee, and others. Some kits even come with a bulb, so you never have to buy one. Ensure that the kit has a screen filler and a sensitizer, an emulsion remover, a brush, and craft sticks. You also need an easy-to-follow guide to ensure you get the best from your screen printing.
The Size of the Screen and Quantities of the Inks
The standard screen size is 10×14 inches. This is the screen you will see in most kits, but there are kits with smaller and some larger screens. Some kits have more than one screen to offer more versatility when you need to print on different surfaces.
The quantities of the inks also matter, especially when you need value for money. Most of the kits will have less than four ounces of ink. Some may have up to four colors while others only have black. Checking the quantities and selection of inks and other needed agents will help you estimate the cost of your screen printing project.
If a kit only offers black ink, you may have to invest in other inks. If the quantity of the ink is not enough for your project, you need to invest in more ink.
Screen printing kits cost anything between a few dollars and $100. Your budget and the contents of the kit should dictate which kit you go for. Avoid cheap kits that miss most of the items you need to start printing.
- How do you screen print shirts
- How much is a screen printing kit
- How long does it take the emulsion to dry
- What can you do with a screen printing kit
- Screen printing kit items; what do I buy
How do you screen print shirts with screen printing kit?
You need a design first. Your design needs to be of good quality and one that you can price if you do screen printing for money. A one-color design is priced cheaper than a three-color design because you may have to do the three-color design on three screens. Print out the design on transparency acetate or plain bond paper. If you use bond paper, you need cooking when transferring the design to the fabric. If you use transparency film, ensure that it is compatible with your printer.
If you do not have a screen ready, you need to prepare one by attaching the screen mesh using an adhesive for aluminum or steel frame, or a gun tacker for wooden frames. Avoid stretching your screen mesh by hand as you may not achieve the right tension.
Use a screen degreaser to remove any dust that may be on the screen. From there, apply a coat of emulsion to the screen. Once the emulsion dries, you need to apply photo emulsion. When you mix photo emulsion with sensitizers, the product becomes sensitive to light, and you can transfer the design to your fabric. Because the design on transparency film is in black, it blocks the light from reaching your fabric, and this is how you transfer the design to your t-shirt or other surfaces. Next, you need to expose the screen to transfer the design to it. You should do this in a dark room. Ensure that the film and the screen are flat on each other. Expose the screen to a 250W bulb and then start a timer.
When setting the time, check the manufacturer’s recommended time and distance of the light to the screen. There are many factors affecting the time you should allow the unit to sit under the light. Wash out the screen and then apply an emulsion hardener to ensure the ink will not wear off once your transfer it to your surface. You need to add a lot of pain to the screen before you stroke it with your squeegee. You also need a silkscreen press machine that makes the whole process easier as manual stroking will be very challenging.
How much is a screen printing kit?
There are some screen printing kits that cost less than $10 and others that cost about $100. However, you need to check whether the kit has everything that you need, or you have to buy some items separately. Most advanced and professional screen printing kits such as the Speedball Advanced are relatively expensive, and you buy them for about $100.
How long does it take the emulsion to dry in the screen printing kit speed ball?
It takes between four and eight hours to dry the emulsion. The duration is dependent on the humidity, including the thickness of the coating, the orientation of the screen during drying, and whether the screen has a coating. When drying, the temperature should be around 110 degrees Fahrenheit, there should be enough airflow, and the drying room must be completely dark. The drying temperature should be uniform for the emulsion to dry uniformly.
What can you do with a screen printing kit?
Screen printing is an ideal method when you need to create vivid colors on different surfaces. The ink will appear on the fabric in layers, making it interesting on your clothes or any surface you print it. You can use it when you need to produce several copies of the same design on a garment or an accessory. This means you can use it to create work uniforms or clothing for teams.
You can use screen printing kits to add designs to your t-shirts, sweatshirts, wood, glass, ceramics, medical devices, signs and displays, binders, flags, aprons, backpacks, balloons, electronics, and thick film among others. The kit is flexible, but it works best when you need to print a design on a flat surface.
Screen printing kit items; what do I buy?
Some of the items needed for screen printing include a screen printing press, silkscreen, inks, a squeegee, and a washing station. You may also get a drying cabinet for your silk emulsion and a 250W bulb.
Screen printing requires skills. Many factors determine how perfect your design is after the whole process. As such, you need to ensure that you follow the process very keenly. If you are a beginner, get an inexpensive kit and learn the basics of screen printing with it before you get a more advanced unit. Some screen printing kits are also upgradable; so once you learn screen printing, you can go for better quality inks and start printing like a pro.
When shopping for a kit, ensure that it has all the items you need so that you do not have to shop for the items separately, which can cost you more. There are items that are not on the kits such as a screen printing press, a bulb, and a drying cabinet. Consider the cost of these items before you buy the kit. This helps you plan for your budget the right way.