Screen Printing Films

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Screen Printing Films


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which type of hand-cut film should I use?

    If you want to print with waterbased inks, use lacquer-based film which requires strong flammable solvent to make it adhere to the screen. Use caution and good ventilation. Once the screen is ready, you can print with any waterbased or solvent-based inks except lacquer, vinyl, or plastisol.

    If you want to print with lacquer, vinyl, plastisol, or solvent-based ink, use watersoluble film. It adheres to the screen with cool water and washes out with warm water when the job is done.

  • What is the process for cutting film?

    Cut a piece of film at least 1" larger than your artwork. Tape the film over your design on your work surface, with the film side up (not the glossy backing side). You can see through it to trace your artwork.

    Using a craft knife, carefully cut along the edges of the design. Make sure not to cut through the backing sheet. Your artwork should be as simple as possible when you are just starting out — heavy line drawings, bold block lettering, free-form shapes, or geometrics that can be cut with a ruler work best.

    Gently lift and peel away the shapes that you want to print. The film that is left will seal off the rest of the screen so that ink cannot pass through.

  • How do I adhere film to my screen?

    Place the film right side up on a built-up surface, such as several layers of newspaper or cardboard, that is slightly smaller than the frame. Place the frame on top of the film. Weight the frame with ink cans or similar items so that the film makes good contact with the screen.

    Using a lint-free cloth or sponge saturated with adhering solvent or water, blot the screen but do not rub. Get the film just wet enough to adhere. It will look darker where it has adhered properly.

    Stand the frame up and use a fan to dry it. After 20 or 30 minutes, try peeling the backing sheet off. It will come off easily if ready. Use block-out and screen tape to seal off the rest of the screen and you're ready to print.