Volume 6, Issue 1
Spring 2001

Creating a home studio and Silk screening yardage

by: Erin Hickey

Creating your own original designed fabrics is incredibly satisfying. For those of us who are dedicated (addicted) to collecting textiles, silk screening is a natural progression from buying to designing.

The set up

A home silk screening studio can be easily set up given ample space and token effort. A spare room or an empty basement can easily be converted into a textile studio. Plumbing would be a big plus as it would facilitate clean up. If it is not available, easy access to a bathtub or an outside hose would suffice. The appointed studio should be large enough to house the printing table including walking space around it. The table should be approximately 45" wide and long enough to create sufficient yardage for whatever purpose. Five yards is appropriate for most uses, though draperies and upholstering requires more fabric, but they could be printed in shorter runs. The table should be low enough that you can reach across the width, if not a step stool can be used. Cafeteria type tables are ideal, though two or three attached end to end may be required. Padding is then laid on the table. A thin dense foam or upholstery batting works well. Over the padding, canvas or muslin is stretched and stapled to the table around the perimeter. This is your finished table, it may seem like a lot of work, but the hard part is over! Now the fun begins.

The supplies

To print yardage, the supplies


This has been a great past year at G&S Dye. We participated in multiple shows, the most sucessful being the CQA (Canadian Quilting Association) show. It was nice to see all the interest in dyes and paints. We connected with many of our existing customers who we didn't even know were quilters. The interest in us coming out to speak at guilds is at an all time high. For 2001, we expect to be participating in more quilting, sewing, weaving and needlework shows here and abroad.

On a personal note, travelling again is in the plans. I have a few more trips to the States and across Canada to meet up with customers and get some R&R. When I can sit still, I intend to further pursue my interest in snowboarding and my video editing web site (Moviemac.com). I may even be teaching you or your kids snowboarding (most likely the latter) this Winter.

Finally, I'd like to thank Laura for her dedication and help over the past year. She's been a great employee and help to our company. Her friendly smile and great customer service will be missed. As one employee leaves, another one joins us. Erin is now immersed in G&S products and has proven already to be just as service oriented. Good luck to both!

Dixon Chan

required are a screen, artwork, ink and fabric. The screen frame is made of wood with a synthetic silk-screening fabric stretched over it, similar to an artist's canvas. The most versatile method of putting artwork on a screen is the photo emulsion process. Photo emulsion is a compound that is applied to the screen, and after it has dried in a light free area, is "shot" on a light table with the artwork. This method creates a long lasting screen without laboriously cutting out stencils or applying multiple coats of screen blocking compound. This process in itself requires some expertise, but the whole step is easily omitted by taking advantage of services offered by G & S. We provide pre-stretched screens, photo emulsion and artwork shooting.

The artwork

Artwork appropriate for shooting can be directly drawn or printed onto velum. Velum is a translucent paper that comes

in rolls from an artist supply store. For drawing or painting directly on the velum use India ink or black artist markers and pens. For computers, just scan the image and print out with a laser printer (minimum 600dpi) Using an inkjet printer does not work well. Grey areas do not execute well in this process so shading and texture must be accomplished with stippling and/or crosshatching. Mistakes are removed with a x-acto knife. Large patches can be replaced by cutting out the section and replacing it with a new piece of velum the exact size of the hole and taped without overlapping the velum.

Creating an interlocking repeating pattern can be easily done. A rectangular piece of paper 40" to 45" wide and 12" to 24" long is a good size. This measurement you must write down as it is your repeat length, and is important when printing.

- continued on page 3

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