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Silk Screen Collection from Marcy
Clouds & Waves

You can use these designs on fabric, paper, furniture----even walls. Every screen is hand made and mounted one at a time on sturdy plastic frames. I love the speed and ease of silk screens and use them with textile paints, dye discharge and adhesive for metallic foils. With care, they should last indefinitely.

Our screens are made one at a time from an eclectic collection of designs that lend themselves to adding beauty and interest to your creations. Both Katherine and Marcy have crafted garments with great silk screen designs to inspire you.



Silk Screen Tips


I use and recommend Jacquard Products Lumiere and Neopaque paints for fabric printing because I love the colors and the results which are supple and soft and can be washed and are dry cleanable. Both have a similar silk screen friendly consistency and can be mixed together. Neopaque paints are opaque, come in a wide range of colors and are excellent basics to use for mixing and straight from the jar. They do a great job of covering dark fabrics with a light application. Lumiere and Halo paints are beautiful metallics in a range of gold, copper, silver and exquisite colors. I LOVE the effects of Lumiere paints, but because of the metallic particles, this paint dries very quickly. The metallic particles do not hold water (which slows drying time) and are larger than the pigment (color) particles so the metallics can clog the screen. This does not stop me from using them, but you must work fast, keep an eye on your screen and keep a tub of water large enough to immerse the screen nearby. I buy my favorite colors in the 8 oz size and transfer to plastic bottles with a squeeze tip---faster and easier to put out the paint.

Silk screening success depends on the screen being wet with paint. The amount of paint depends on the size of the image on your screen. The wet paint keeps the screen from clogging and a generous amount of paint allows the image to be transferred completly. Too little paint will result in a hazy incomplete image and too much paint will blur or smudge the details. Practice is essential.

Squeeze or pour a bead of paint directly on the silk screen above the top of the design and pull, using a sponge brush or old credit card or a plastic spreader used to apply tile grout. Hold the screen firmly with one hand while pulling the paint so it is forced evenly through the mesh. It takes practice to apply the right amount of paint with the exact pressure to create a clean impression. It may take more than one pass to apply enough paint to the fabric. Each impression is one of a kind and necessarily perfectly imperfect. Make some test pieces with each project.......often these test pieces become some of my favorite treasures.

Jacquard Products

Practice will get you accustomed to the motion of pulling the screen off the fabric in a smooth swoop so the paint does not stick to the screen. Once the screen is pulled away you have to DO something with it----either make another image, set it on edge for a moment or put it into a tub of water. You can keep using the screen to make additional prints (I can get 4-5 strikes on a screen before cleaning it), checking to be sure the open areas of the mesh on the screen are clear----sometimes paint will stain the screen and it will look awful, but is still perfectly usable.

You can mix colors directly on the screen, pouring or brushing on two or more colors next to each other and they will blend and mix as you pull. In order to prevent muddy colors, use analogous colors---colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, like blue, turquoise and green rather than opposite colors like red and green or orange and purple.

DO NOT ALLOW THE PAINT TO DRY OR IT WILL CLOG THE SCREEN. The secret is: USE PLENTY OF PAINT, the wet paint will not clog the screen. To clean the screen, immerse in a shallow tub of cool water, clean off the paint with a sponge or your fingers, blot flat to remove excess water and air dry. Kitty litter pans are just the right size for cleaning silk screens and a dish drainer makes a good holder while the screens dry.

Spreader method: use an old credit card or lightweight plastic spreader.
The credit card/plastic spreader works well with paper and flat textured fabric than the sponge brush; it delivers a light smooth layer of paint.
Standard silk screen spreaders are too heavy for the Thermofax screens.

Sponge brush method: inexpensive sponge brushes are a good vehicle for applying paint. Apply paint directly to the screen, or mix paint on a plastic plate, lid or palatte. The brush will absorb, hold and distribute a good amount of paint and the brush has a firm plastic interior that pushes the paint through the screen. Begin by evenly loading up the brush with paint and make a few tests first. I keep a stack of scraps close by for test runs.

When making yardage or working with a cut out garment, I begin with a selection of 3-9 screens in different sizes that are related in design, shape, theme....might be geometrics, florals and swirls or asian motifs. Text---writing, script, alphabets, lettering, calligraphy makes great backgrounds and the airy quality ties designs together. I also love to layer and crosshatch text on top of itself.

All textile paints should be allowed to dry thoroughly (24 hours in most climates) and fixed on the fabric by ironing with a dry iron.


Dye Discharge and Metallic Foils
Screening a design with discharge paste is a quick way to transfer designs and results in clear lines and motifs. The discharge paste will not dry out or clog the screen like paint, giving you several hours working time, but must be cleaned off gently with soap and water and allowed to dry at the end of the day.

Foil adhesive, a special thick glue formulated for foil, works beautifully with a silk screen. Do not let it dry on the screen --- you will ruin a screen if it dries or is not washed off thoroughly. Foil adhesive does not dry as quickly as acrylic paints, but keep examining the screen as you work and put it in water as soon as it looks dry. Clean up with your fingers, the sponge brush in cool/lukewarm water. The glue must be bone dry on the fabric before the foil can be applied.



SILK SCREENING A T-SHIRT

While I was sewing this t-shirt, I had the (20-20 hindsight) brilliant idea to add some surface design. The Olive Stone Grey color just seemed too dark for summer.

I usually add silk screening to the cut out pattern pieces, but here, I did dye discharge, then silk screened paint, then added a bit of metallic foil. It is done in stage. I used only one screen, the large version of Spot-E-O, one of my all time favorite screens.

The fabric is a cotton/lycra, and I tested the dye discharge on scraps first to see what color would emerge. The creamy white lead me to choose black and antique gold paint to overlay the discharged dots.

I used Vogue 8497 (changed the front edge), and sewed the shoulder seams and applied the neck binding by the time I decided to add the silk screening. So I had to work carefully to place the screen on the front and back of the t-shirt.






A padded board is one of the secrets to silk screening. This is just a piece of foam core wrapped in layer of craft felt. The surface adds a bit of give that makes a better image than a hard surface.
Yes, it is a BIT tricky to get the screen positioned on a garment that is partially sewn. I work on just a section at a time, making sure the area to be screened is flat. (I also made some test 'strikes' on scraps to get a feel for it).
This shows the silk screening: the pale dots are the dye discharge (which removes color from fabric), the black and antique gold are paint. The metallic foil would be added last....just a scattering of bling.



Artwork
Design Flags show examples of silk screens using paint, foil and discharge.

I use original art, clip art, computer generated words, and images from copyright free books and sources to make a carbon toned copy. I can make silk screens from your original artwork or copyright-free materials.

Silk Screens

This purchaset t-shirt uses many of the silk screens from the new set, called Japanese Gardens, with layers of painted screening. Finally, I added dashes of metallic, silk screening the foil adhesive and metallic foil---layers of copper and silver. I've found the metallic foils hold up very well on a t-shirt----just don't put it in the drier, air dry instead.


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