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Why Choose Garston for Your Screen Printing Stencil Film?
Just like all of our inventory, we aim to always provide our customers with high-quality projects at affordable prices.
Creating quality stencils couldn’t be possible with a supplier at your side. Garston believes in offering excellent customer service to all. Have a question? We can answer it!
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Can’t narrow down the right stencil film for your project? We can offer some advice and name-brand products to ensure that you receive a quality product.
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Different Types of Stencil Films
Hand- Cut Stencils
Hand-cut stencils are mostly created by screen printers who are better at drawing on the fly. If you have freehand skills or at particularly good at tracing, you can easily make your stencil by hand.
If you can get your hand on water proof films, you can use a paintbrush and flat black acrylic paint and print your image right onto the film. It’s best to do this on the side of the film that can easily be smudged (indicating that your properly making the stencil).
Hand- Cut Rubylith
Once you have the design you want to print, you can lay the piece of rubylith on top of the graphic and tape it down. Then you can use an exacto knife and begin stenciling out the image. You’ll be able to create a reusable stencil that can be burned as an image.
How to Screen Print Using Stencil Film
There are plenty of ways to create a stencil for your screen printing project, but we’ll cover the basics of how to get your design from stencil to garment.
Depending on what type of stencil film you’ve chosen, the steps may vary. For most stencil films, you can start out by either free-drawing or printing your desired image onto printer paper. Take this image and place it on either a cutting table, board or surface and cover with your transparency film. Once you have the film and the design lined up, secure the print down by adding tape to the top and bottom.
Begin the next step by grabbing an exacto knife and cutting out the design on the stencil film. Once you’ve completed this, you can grab your screen and put it face down on a table. Then take your stencil film and place it on the back of the screen, making sure to add masking tape around each edge. This will help to keep your stencil film firmly on the screen with minimal movement and less room for errors. You need to make sure that your stencil film and design are mounted in reverse. Once you flip the screen over, the decal should be seen as right reading.
You also want to make sure that you’ve taped all the opening areas of mesh on the back of the screen as well. Eventually, you’ll have created a “dam” around the inside edge of the frame, helping to keep the ink away from the fame and decrease your time spent cleaning up.
Now we’re ready to print. You can ink the screen, get your shirt or garment ready, and begin printing as you normally would. For paper stencils, the stencil will usually stick to the mesh which will allow you to produce multiple prints before it wears down.
Once you’ve placed the screen on top of the garment, you’ll want to drag a squeegee across your stencil. Make sure you are putting enough pressure on the screen, you’ll want the ink to be pushed through not only the screen but the stencil as well.
Using Hand-Cut Rubylith?
If you’re looking to print block or heavy line imagery for your designs, rubylith masking tape is a good direction to head in. Rubylith consists of two layers. The first is made from acetate and this will usually be the backing sheet, while the other layer is a red colored laminate emulsion with a satin finish. This is a red film because it’s made to block out ultra violet (UV) lights.
Similar to other stencil films, you will place the rubylith over your artwork. The top layer of the stencil film can be cut with a knife and peeled away from the bottom layer, meaning that your cutting your design directly into the gel. The areas that will be peeled off will act as the drop-outs, masks or overlays. Seeing that rubylith is light safe; meaning that presensitized screen films and emulsions under the red gel won’t react or be exposed to the light.
Screen Printing Stencil Film FAQ
What Should I Keep in Mind When Adhering a Stencil Film?
Here are a few tips you should consider when using stencil film:
- You must keep the surface of the emulsion free from oil. Oil will interfere with the adhering of the mesh, and most likely will come from the contact of human skin. In this case, make sure you aren’t placing your hands on the wrong side of the film.
- New screen mesh should be slightly abraded to help the film securely grip. You can do this by scrubbing the mesh.
- The best position for a stencil film is the emulsion side up on a raised surface. Then you can lower the screen onto the film.
- When the screen is dry, you can peel away the polyester backing sheet. Don’t pull the film at a sharp right angle, instead, pull gently and keep the free edge close to the bottom.
How Do I Use Masking Film as a Stencil Film?
For the area of masking tape, rubylith is used to create positives. If you want to make a stencil out of masking tape, you first need to cut it, weed it and tape it to a screen coated photoreactive emulsion or photoreactive film. You then need to expose the screen with a high UV.
One of the most popular choices for masking film happens to be Rubylith by the well-known brand Ulano (which we carry here at Garston!).
Honest, Fair Prices On All Stencil Film
Having the right stencil film is just one of the puzzle pieces to completing a successful screen printing job. For our selection of stencil films, we offer the name-brand Ulano rubylith, one of the best masking films on the market. If you have any questions about our stencil films, feel free to reach out to us today at 860-289-3040.