From the category archives:

little tips BIG help!

Post image for Wash and Learn! **BIG Tip Alert!**

Print Colours Not Lining Up? Troubleshooting Bad Registration.

My greatest hope in writing this blog is that you may learn from my experience. I pass along as much info as I can about how to screen print like an expert . I like sharing my my “how-to’s” and  and I also like to share my “how-not-to’s”! After years of printing I’m still learning from my mistakes. Hopefully my “how-not-to’s” can give you some insight for trouble shooting pesky problems and avoiding some big time wasters. 

I am often printing larger scale screen prints with full coverage and tight registration. I often develop my film positives on the computer so I know that they register very well. But many times I have found my self completing the last colour of a project and the registration is TOTALLY OFF???!!!  F$%#!! SH!T. I was always stumped as to how it happens! But recently I had an AHA! moment. 

If you are screen printing onto fabric that HAS NOT been washed and pre-shrunk the ink can cause it to shrink as you work! Of course, the larger the print area and the larger the coverage area with ink  makes a huge difference. (I think if you were printing a few fine lines- it might not happen. It also may not happen if you print wet on wet- but rarely do printers do that in fabric printing. But larger coverage prints- it will for sure.)

Here is my first print on unwashed new cotton. By the time I got to the third colour the fabric had shrunk 3/8″ from both sides and my final colour way did not match up at all.


Badly registered.

Badly registered.

Off register by about 3/8"

Off register by about 3/8"

So I took another piece of fabric and washed and dried it. Then printed again. AHA! This time my print lined up nicely! 


Registration works well this time!

Registration works well this time!

So if you find yourself stuck and wondering why your print colours are not lining up- it may be because of fabric shrinkage as you work. 

Good luck and happy printing!


Preparing your fabric for Printing or Dyeing *BIG Tip Alert*

Thumbnail image for Preparing your fabric for Printing or Dyeing *BIG Tip Alert*

Don’t do this step and you risk RUINING your end product. You may have never thought about this step but its’ absolutely crucial to a good finished product if you are dyeing or printing fabric. I have in the past tried to get away without doing this and sadly when it comes time to wash […]

Read more → May 29, 2009

Reusable Paper Stencils! No Kidding!

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Using map making paper makes your paper stencils for silkscreening reusable.

Read more → March 23, 2009

Squeegee Pressure. What’s Important to Know!

Thumbnail image for Squeegee Pressure. What’s Important to Know!

Sometimes with squeegee pressure you can have too much of a good thing! I was recently screening printing on the Martha Stewart Show and we had an oops moment where I should have instructed her better. So I’ll let you in on a hint for great screen printing I didn’t have time to share with her.

Read more → February 12, 2009

The Darker Side of Screen Printing.

This tutorial will show you how to set up your dark room, or dark corner if that’s all you have. Setting up your dark room so that you can coat and dry screens without risking exposure to light is actually very straight forward and simple. And you don’t need a lot of space. When I had my […]

Read more → January 24, 2009

TLC for Your Silk Screen Frames.

With regular care and maintenance you should be able to keep your screens in great shape for a long time to come. Here are some tips and myths dispelled about screen maintenance.

Read more → December 18, 2008

Rip Your Screen? Here’s How to Fix It fast!

Don’t panic! If you rip your screen you don’t necessarily have to have it re-meshed. If the rip or hole is small enough you may be able to work around it in the future and a small repair job can save you lots of money.  Here’s what to do if you rip your screen.  If […]

Read more → December 7, 2008

A Mesh Count for Everything! Well, almost.

Different screen print projects can require different screen meshes. Here’s a quick guide to what screen mesh goes with which project.

Read more → December 5, 2008