Photograph of three screens with a design "burned" into them.
Screens are a wooden or metal frame with polyester fabric stretched onto them.
The polyester fabric is a lot like the screen on your screen door, It has anywhere from 25 threads per inch, to 355 threads per inch (mesh count). The mesh count we will use is determined by the type of design we will be printing. The finer the detail in the design, The higher the screen mesh count will be.
We begin the process of making our screens by stretching the polyester fabric (mesh) onto the wooden frame, and securing it with a very strong glue. Then trim any excess fabric of the edges of the frame.
Next, we take a light sensitive emulsion (in a dark room) and apply a even coat to the screen mesh. We'll let that dry for about 6 hours.
After the light sensitive emulsion has dried, We will take the film positive (as described in the ART section) and tape it to the back of the screen mesh.
Then, we will place the screen on a device that emits light, Called an exposure unit (shown below), and expose the screen with light for a short period of time.
The dark areas (the image) on the film positive will prevent light from passing through and exposing the screen, The light will pass through clear areas of the film positive (where there is no design) and harden the emulsion.
Next, we take the screen off the exposure unit and wash it with water. The water will not wash out the hardened emulsion. The water will wash out the soft areas that the light did not expose.
We are left with a screen that has an image in it (as shown at top of page). The ink will pass through the open areas of the mesh
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