Being able to screen print on garments requires initial purchasing of equipment, but  this cost is recovered with various designs that can be produced and sold.  Designs on the garments can reinforce cultural concepts, such as aboriginal personal names or Dorset and Thule artifacts. 
Being able to screen print on garments requires initial purchasing of equipment, but  this cost is recovered with various designs that can be produced and sold.  Designs on the garments can reinforce cultural concepts, such as aboriginal personal names or Dorset and Thule artifacts. 

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.

Cutting frame on table saw

A table saw can quickly produce the sides of the frame. You must use an antikickback pushdown. A 2x 6 board can be ripped into 3 pieces. (The safety guard lifted for this picture.) Use safety glasses.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Make a 45 degree angle cut at end of frame

There are various ways to mitre cut the ends, including a mitre box, mitre saw or a chopsaw. This project uses a double bladed chopsaw to quickly cut two 45 angles at the same time.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Gluing and nailing the frame.

Glue is applied at the corners and the unit is bound with a clamp. Use screws or a brad nailer to reinforce the corners.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Nailing the frame

To reinforce the corners, it is best to use a brad nailer, or simply nail or screw the corners together. This will give longer life to the screen, since in our process the frame will become wet and the glue may weaken.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Cutting staple tape

Commercial staple tape can be obtained, but we use a thick cloth cut into 1 inch wide strips. Tyvek housewrap also works well. This is necessary to staple the screen onto the frame.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Staple 4 corners first

Lay the screen material on the frame, but make sure that 2 sides of the screen material extend about 1 inch beyond the frame. This will be necessary to tighten the screen. The other 2 sides will be even with the edge of the frame. Put a staple in each corner. Try to keep some tension on the screen material as the 4 staples are put in.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Staple 2 edges

Staple through the tape on the 2 sides of the frame that have the screen material even with the edges. If you happen to forget and staple the edges with the 1 inch excess screen material over the edge of the frame, you will not be able to tighten the material. (not that it has ever happened to us!)

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko,

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Tighten and staple last 2 sides

Use a screen clamp, which is basically a vise grip with a wide mouth. You can fashion two pieces of wood and a C clamp if necessary. Apply tension and staple one side, then repeat on the last side. Trim off the excess screen material when finished.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Photoemulsion

A design can be hand cut into a film material or a photoexposure system can be used in a special machine, a photoexposure unit, that uses ultraviolet radiation to expose the screen. We will describe using Capillex 35 to create an image.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Cut emulsion film

Capillex 35 is sensitive to UV radiation. You can not leave it out for extended periods-since it will gradually be exposed to uv light. Lay it on the frame and cut out the size you require and then put the remaining film back into the container.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Weights help to make film contact the screen

Water is going to be applied to the top of the screen. The film will become soft and some pressure is needed to 'push' the film into the screen. The frame is elevated above the table and weights help to keep close contact.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Wet the surface with warm water.

Quickly apply warm water with a paper towel. Use several pieces of paper towel to soak up the excess water. After about 1 minute, use some pressure on another piece of toweling to 'push' the film into the screen. A hair dryer can be used to speed up the drying ( by pushing the drying it should be ready in about 1/2 hour). Or, after several minutes put the screen into a warm, dark location and let it dry. If you leave the unexposed screen out in the light it will become destroyed.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Placing image on attached film

The film was wet, attached to the screen and placed in a dark area to dry. It is removed. Remove the plastic backing on the emulsion. The image to be printed is placed on the bottom of the screen. Use 1 piece of masking tape to hold the image in place. It is ready to be placed into photoexposure unit. The image to be duplicated should be very black and the paper it is on should be white.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Placing frame in photoexposure unit.

The frame with the image to be duplicated attached to the bottom, with a piece of masking tape, is placed in the photoexposure unit. The light tubes emit ultraviolet rays. Light will pass through white paper, causing the emulsion to harden in the screen fabric. But any dark area, such as the print will stop the light and this area will wash out with water after the frame is removed from the unit.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Washing exposed screen

After the screen is removed from the photoexposure unit it is taken to the sink and both sides are washed with warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes and continue the washing. The black areas of the image will wash out since the uv light was unable to penetrate it. A spray bottle will assist in removing the emusion. Holding the screen horizontal and pouring the water vertically works very well. Place the completely finished frame in a warm location and let it dry before attempting to use it to print.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008 Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Making the cultural connection

There has been lots of hands-on activity and technology up to this point. But the real benefit is to highlight a cultural connection. One example is making Inuit personal names more known to the students. After researching the names in their family, the names were put into the computer and printed off. A screen was prepared and the names were printed on t-shirts and sweatshirts. Each family member received a copy of all the personal names in their family. Students were able to see other families.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Promotions are a source of sustainable income.

Screen printing supports and advertises community cultural concepts. In addition there are many community organizations and visiting groups that have funds for generating t-shirts and sweatshirts. Approach them and set up contracts for production.

John Jamieson, Caroline Meeko, Mary Kavik

© 2008, Najuqsivik Community Museum. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

In-house production of designs on t-shirts is a great way to encourage the development of cultural concepts and to produce pride in the community. Although some equipment is necessary, if the process is properly managed, an income can be produced which will pay for the equipment and produce a profit for the community. All stages in the process will be described, from making the frame through to processing the t-shirt on a conveyor heater.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans