Here’s how to set up your fabric on your print table so you can print repeating patterns over and over again!
Now that you have exposed your screens and are relatively sure that each image has been properly registered you can set up your table registration. You are going to make certain two things: that the images will print straight and that the repeat distance is properly measured out. Since you first print only repeat 1, 3, 5 and so on (as shown in the picture above) you will have to make sure that you leave the right amount of space in between for repeat 2, 4, 6 and so on.
Once you have pinned or adhered your fabric to your print table you will want to use a T-bar to mark the registration points along the tables edge.
A T-bar is a tool which you can make yourself that you will slide along your table to each registration point. Your screen will lay flush with it’s edges so the screen stays consistently straight along the entire table.
To make a T-bar, all you need is two pieces of very straight 2×4 pine. Attach them as you see in this image so that one piece fits flush with the side edge of the table and the other spans to width of the table. Put a handle on it so it’s easy to lift and move to the next registration position.
Measure the repeat of the print which is the distance between the first and second repeats. Note: This is not the same as the width of the image. It is the width of the image plus the space until the new repeat starts.
I’ll first mark it on the table then I’ll place my T-bar at that line, draw a line along the edge of the T-bar and name the mark. I generally write RR1 or RR2 etc. which stands for right registration position 1 so I know that this is the first registration point and it should be on the right side of the T-bar.
Once you have marked the table registration, you will mark the the vertical position of the screen for each print repeat. As I butt up the screen to the T-bar I note where I want the print to be placed on the fabric and I’ll place tape where the bottom edge of the screen meets the t-bar. I’ll use the mark so that I place the screen in the same place each time I move it to the new repeat registration point.
Now it’s time to print. this part goes really quickly now that you have all your marks set up. You’ll print your first skip repeats, scrape the ink off your screen , wash and let your screen dry. When the firstset of repeats and your screen is dry you can print the second set of repeats. they should fit seamlessly together if you’ve measured everything properly. Once your second set is dry you can heat set your fabric! Then you’re done!