A complete list of everything you need to get started Screen Printing

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Supply List | Screen Printing 101


This starter list is specific to manual screen printing and items can vary depending on your scope and budget. There are also a handful of DIY set ups you can use in place of some of these items!


Artwork Prep

• Photoshop or Corel draw - software to edit and set up artwork 

• Transparency films

• Film output printer (make sure it has the capabilities to print on transparencies)

Pre-Press and Prep

• Disposable Gloves

Scoop coater (when using 20x24 size screens, be sure to use a 16” wide coater)

• Emulsion - pre-sensitized or with a sensitizer to mix in

• Screens - 20x24 size for manual printing (wooden or aluminum, whichever fits your budget)

  • white mesh 155/160 most of the time

  • yellow mesh 230, 305 for high detail

• Clear tape to hold down the film onto the screen

• Screen Tape/Masking Tape (low adhesive for minimal to no residue) (do not use packing tape!)

• Spatula or wooden paint stirrer 

• Exposure unit with unfiltered UV black lights or a halide bulb

• Exposure calculator - to test the right exposure time (not necessary but helpful and efficient)

• Light sensitive environment so your emulsion and exposure isn’t affected 

• Drying rack or storage rack to store coated screens while drying (screens have to lay flat)

Printing and On-Press


• Screen printing press

• Squeegees - 70 durometer is a good middle of the road

• Screen printing inks - I used phthalate-free plastisol inks in the video

• Cleanup cards/Spatulas

• T-Square

• Black Sharpie

• Pallet tape for platens - extends the life of the pallet and eliminates the need for cleaning your platens

**This isn’t a necessary product in the beginning but helps with efficiency and cleanliness in your workspace

• Spray adhesive - mist or webbing OR liquid pallet adhesive - Keep those boards sticky!

• Screen Tape/Masking Tape (low adhesive for minimal to no residue) (do not use packing tape!)

• On-Press cleaner or press wash - for ink build up or to wipe down the screen while on the press

• Conveyor Dryer - to properly cure the ink for apparel printing

• Non-contact laser heat temperature thermometer gun (ensures correct temp for curing)


**Please note: You can use a flash dryer, not only to heat set the ink, but also to do a final cure of the printed apparel as well. This all depends on your budget and product output.

Reclaim

(you can find environmentally friendly reclaim products if preferred)


• Washout booth or somewhere the chemicals can be properly disposed of as you’re cleaning

• Pressure washer or high pressure sprayer (water hose can work but not ideal)

• Ink cleaner (if using plastisol, make sure the cleaner will work for this type of ink)

• Emulsion remover

• Dehazer/Degreaser - this removes any ink haze left over from inks and keeps your screen mesh nice and clean - **This is not a necessary product in the beginning but is helpful and good to become familiar with this dual cleaner when starting to run higher volume orders.

• Scrub pad or sponge (for each cleaner, use a separate scrub pad so chemicals don’t mix)

Spray bottles (used to pour cleaners into for easy use on screens)

*Dispose of any cleaners/chemicals in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. Check with your local sanitation district regarding limitations on inks that are to be rinsed into the drain.  

That should help you get started! Have questions about supplies and getting started? Hit me up in the contact form!


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