Screen Printed Flamingo Fabric

Screen printed Flamingo cushion covers! These delightful prints were created using Selectasine water-based screen printing ink and a Selectasine aluminium screen printing frame and squeegee. Find out how below.

Screen printed textiles

Creating the Stencil

Cara’s screen printed flamingo began life as clip-art. The simple image is ideal for creating a stencil, it is a clear representation of the flamingo without too much detail.

A sheet of acetate film was placed over the printed image and the outline traced onto the film. The shape was then carefully cut out from the acetate using a craft knife.

The “hole” made by the removed flamingo shape is where the ink passes through to the fabric to make the print. See more information about creating stencils for screen printing

Flamingo design

Preparing the Screen Printing Frame

The edges of the frame were masked off to ensure a tight screen and to prevent inks from leaking under the frame during printing. Masking Tape was applied along the sides of the frame so that half the width of the tape overlapped onto the screen mesh. This was repeated on the other side of the frame.

The frame was turned over with the mesh side (known as the substrate side) facing upward. The stencil was then taped in place, using the masking tape to fill any remaining exposed mesh. Overlapping the tape ensures that the ink will not pass through any of the gaps.

Preparing the screen printing frame


Mixing the Screen Printing Ink

The Selectasine Screen Printing System allows you to mix pigment colours together to create new shades – just 60g of colour to 1kg of SF20 binder will completely cover a 2.8m square print area. The 6 types of binder can be used to make water-based screen printing inks with different effects and finishes. They can be intermixed, have a soft finish and outstanding wash fastness when fixed. 

Cara chose the vibrant Rubine Pink Selectasine Eco Pigment to make her water-based ink. She combined this at a rate of 6g to 100g of Selectasine SF20 Solvent Free Binder. The concentrated pigment is quickly stirred into the binder.

Adding less pigment will make the colour lighter in shade, combining the colour with Opaque White will create a pastel pink.

Selectasine screen printing inks

Printing the Image

Cara placed the frame mesh side down onto the fabric, ensuring that the stencil was over the area to be printed.

The stencil should be sandwiched between the screen mesh and the fabric, with the ink well side of the frame facing upward. If printing a t‐shirt, cardboard or plastic sheeting should be placed between the front and back of the t‐shirt. 

Standing with the short side of the frame toward her, the frame was lifted slightly at the furthest end with the front edge still touching the work surface. A bead of ink was poured across the mesh at the raised end of the screen and the ink was swept across the mesh with a squeegee.

This “flood stroke” fills the holes in the mesh ready for applying pressure with the print stroke.

The screen was then lowered back onto the fabric so that Cara could push the squeegee back across the screen with her print stroke.

The squeegee should be held at a 30‐45° angle with enough pressure to pull the ink through the mesh. The areas of fabric exposed by the stencil will receive the ink.

Inking the screen

The screen was then removed to reveal the print!

The screen printed flamingos

Curing & Setting the Screen Print

The prints were left to dry thoroughly for 24 hours at room temperature before heat setting.

Prints must be fixed to make wash fast. Heat speeds up and completes the chemical “cross‐linking” reaction and this is achieved by ironing at 165°C (330°F) for 4‐5 minutes on the reverse of the print.

Screen printed cushion covers
The screen printed flamingo by lamplight!

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