How to Screen Print Four Color Process Part 1

How to Screen Print Four Color Process Part 1

Hey everybody this is Matt with Mikey Designs & Silk Screen and I’m just gonna give a quick tutorial I get a lot of
questions about this and I did a tutorial before and what this tutorial
is going to be about is for color process screen printing and how to do
that from start to finish so let’s go ahead and get started and I’m assuming
everybody out there already has a you know software like Adobe Illustrator or
CorelDraw and you’re also going to need some sort of rip software like AK Europe
for instance that will basically take your CMYK picture and turn it into
half-tones and you’re going to need to set up your
rip software to print the half-tones at 55 LPI
like you see right here so that’s how we’re all set up I’ve already got
everything pulled into illustrator and set up into my registration template
which you can go to my key designs calm and download for free I forgot a couple
layers here I’ve got I’ve got my CMYK artwork that I’m going to the print out
put my registration marks and my Center marks and for this job just going on a
white t-shirt but what I’m going to do is also print a white underbase
underneath it because when you do CMYK printing process printing on to white
t-shirts the reason I’m doing the underbase is
just to kind of fill the knit in that way when you hold a shirt up you’re not
seeing through the shirt making it look kind of see-through essentially you know
shirts you can see through them so this will kind of give me a nice base to
print on top of and it will be nice and vibrant so I’m going to go get command P
and got a print it’s gonna go to my accurate software on
my Epson 1430 click output here and you always want it set up as separations
emulsion up and positive so we’re gonna print the let me turn the under base
layer off we’re gonna print the four-color process first so I’m gonna go
ahead and hit print and that’s the the first step and this will be a multiple
part tutorial so I’m going to cut away here and go to the the printer printing
out some film alright be right back so the Epson 1430 is doing
its thing and got some of the film I’m sorry I came out you can see here we’ve
got our little halftone dots at 55 LP I got a couple more pieces of film to
finish printing out and and then I’ll take you guys inside the shop and we’ll
go to the exposure unit okay see you in a minute okay everybody and we are back
in the Mikey designs darkroom and what I have here are four 305 mesh screens and
one 200 mesh screen for the white underbase just to help fill in the myth
I want to put down too much ink I’m just going to hit that once and then here’s
the film over on the light table and you’ve got the
the film for the white underbase and and for cyan magenta and yellow in black and
if you take a close-up look at this film you’ll see that the dots are very fine
which is why we’re gonna use a 305 mesh if I get this folks in there we go
which is why you need a 305 mesh and the inks used in process printing are
transparent inks and so once they lay on top of one another they you know they’ll
you’ll get just about any color imaginable using those it’s the cyan
which is the yellow in black and now I have a vacuum tabletop unit
I just got not that long ago from cat’s bed and it’s the xpo 23:31 and makes
life a lot easier but you know you don’t have to have a vacuum table top to do
this I’ve done this plenty of times with just a tabletop unit that doesn’t have
the vacuum top to it and also I’ve used the halogen light as well which was
mounted right up here where those lovely holes are at and so don’t feel like
you’re limited with let’s say you have a 500 watt exposure unit you can get it
done which I could show you how to make that work but today that’s not what
that’s about or what this tutorial is about it’s just about how to go about
printing CMYK process okay so we’re gonna take these film and I’m going to
expose them and then we’re gonna go to the wash out booth and I’ll show you how
to wash out the the CMYK process screens it’s not a whole whole lot different
than washing out other screens but you know there’s a little technique too so
we’ll be right back with that okay I was just gonna skip this but
anyways what I’m doing here is just exposing the screen I got my film tape
onto the back of my screen and I’m just gonna go ahead and and was always gonna
skip this because it’s just me here and trying to do this I don’t have a tripod
so I’m trying to do all this handheld for now and one thing I forgot to
mention is the type of emulsion that I have here is the hybrid photo polymer /
dilk here and you’ll need that I wouldn’t recommend using a photo polymer
to do this because they’re not real good at holding detail you can probably get
away with it but you’ll have better luck using a either don’t cure or a hybrid
photo polymer / dope here emulsion so it’s got it taped on there we’re gonna
go ahead and lock this bad boy down and it only takes 45 seconds to expose this
particular emulsion it’s the see here it’s the qx1 emulsion
is what I’m using it’s the qx1 emulsion Baiul and oh it’s
a good emulsion but thing I don’t like about it is you can’t really reuse the
screens that you most antenna T to it or it’s not very chemical resistant to
cleanups and Tim’s would like to fall apart so I would only recommend using
this type of motion once this qx1 and anyways we’re going to
go ahead and expose the go read the washout booth the washout
booth getting ready to wash out our freshly exposed 3:05 mess screen with
our hybrid dope here photo polymer emulsion coated screen and now you’re
gonna watch this out kind of like any other screen but you got to take some
special precautions so what we’re gonna do is we’re going to go ahead and wet
both sides down real good raise the print side again and now what we’re
gonna do is we’re gonna let that set up for about 30 seconds to a minute with
these 305 mesh screens they really don’t hold a lot of emulsion which is one of
the key things to them holding the the great detail that they do and so once
the emulsion starts to soak up the water generally starts to fall out and you
have to be real careful though with washing out a 3:05 mess screen with a
lot of detail you want to like as we just did spray water on both sides and
then once the emulsion starts to softened you only want to spec a spray
on the print side or the garment side only because if you start washing out
from the back side or or temp to wash out from the back side you’re going to
lose your detail your your fine little half-tones they will just rinse out so
just remember to to rinse only on the the garment side or print side excuse me
the garment side and so here we go we’re gonna wash it
out I’m just going to give it a light spray with the your regular garden hose
pressure and so here we go and it doesn’t make too long for to wash
out you can see a washing out already we’ve got my registration marks there
and everything and I’m just gonna go over it real quick
take a look make sure I got every little single detail possible and I’m gonna
give it another little spray just in case okay that looks pretty good now
with this particularly motion there there’s a film that builds up on the
back that you kind of have to to rinse out sorry about that my focus is getting
a little crazy there and so I’m just gonna give it a light spray you might be
able to see this as it washes down the screen but I’m gonna get a light spray
like it washes this film that builds up or that’s there on the back that could
cause issues when you go to the dryer screen the emulsion can kind of plug up
some of your holes but so anyways we’ve got that rinsed out and what I like to
use is in good old newsprint from Houston’s very finest the green sheet
and it’s just like it’s just a local newspaper that it’s free then go and
grab from any corner store or grocery store and so now we we bribed that and
you’re only going to dry the inside because if you try doing the the garment
side like that you could pull up some of your dots so we’re gonna go ahead and
set this aside and I’m gonna do the other two screens and we shall be right

7 thoughts on “How to Screen Print Four Color Process Part 1

  • July 17, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    What was the file type you placed in Illustrator?

  • March 15, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    Is there an email I can get to ask some questions?

  • May 10, 2016 at 5:55 am

    man how do you seperate the design and print them for 4 colors of ink im talking actually printing not with a printer say printer in video title

  • November 20, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Is there any way that I can export digitally? for example C.png M.png Y.png K.png. And what are the halftone options?

  • January 21, 2018 at 4:28 am

    How long did you expose the screens for?

  • May 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Mike what is the difference from white mesh and yellow mesh??? Thanks

  • January 12, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    hi mikey, how to print the separation output without accurip?


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