Screen printing is a fast-growing innovation in the textile industry. While screen printing on fabric could be fun and lucrative, it could also go haywire if the proper production process is not followed. You need to be knowledgeable about the best fabric for screen printing, as your choice of fabric is a significant determinant of the result you will get.
Here you will learn about some of the best fabrics for screen printing available in the market.
Best Fabric for Screen Printing
1. EQUTY BAYMERS Silk Screen Printing Fabric
Over the years, polyester has replaced traditional silk as the choice of fabric among screen printers worldwide.
This is due to its elastic memory, tensile strength, and resistance to abrasion heat, chemicals, and moisture.
This is why the Equity Baymers screen printing fabric is one of the best fabrics for screen printing screen mesh in the market today. The fabric is made from a plain weave polyester mono-filament yarn.
By looking at it, you can tell that the fabric is of high strength, has good tension stability, has low elongation, and is of high quality.
Also, the material is non-toxic and odorless. It also has strong wrinkle resistance with excellent dimensional stability. That’s not all. The Best Fabric for Screen Printing is resistant to abrasion and sunlight.
One of the best things I love about the fabric is that it is suitable for different sizes of screen printing frames and machines, which is why it is widely used in screen printing.
- 100% Monofilament Polyester
- Odorless and non-toxic
- Strong wrinkle resistance
- Widely used for screen printing
- Not easily deformed even under tension
2. MS WGO 3 Yards 1.27 Meters Silk Screen Printing Fabric
This fabric mesh is made from high-quality polyester filaments, which is why it wins the spot as one of the best fabrics for silk-screen printing.
The high product accuracy, complete specifications, good stability, and affordable prices make it a no-brainer!
This product has it all when it comes to resistance to chemicals, heat, abrasion, sunlight, and moisture. It has good elasticity with a strong ability to withstand tension without getting deformed. The tension threshold is so high that even when it is stretched, it retains its dimensional stability.
Another unique thing about this product is its white color, which many people prefer to the common yellow fabric.
The fabric can be used as a supporter for an ink-blocking stencil. It can be cut with fabric scissors easily. Other application areas are for paper printing such as graphic magazines and calendars, printed circuit board, printing and dyeing of flags, towels, cloth, shirts, and vests, plastic printing of school bags or plastic bags, and wood products printing like wooden crafts and toys.
- White in color
- odorless and non-toxic
- Strong wrinkle resistance
- Broad application area
3. Soimoi Sewing Polyester Satin Fabric 105 GSM Newspaper Print
Soimoi is primarily into the production of screen printing on satin fabric. What I particularly love about them is that their production process is well strategic to positively contribute to the environment.
Soimoi production process results in a 65% reduction in electricity, saving water by 80%, with minimal fabric waste. They also contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. Isn’t that amazing? That alone is enough reason to be a huge fan of their products.
But, that’s not even all they have to offer. They have a wide range of fabrics of different and unique prints to help you unlock your creativity for your product.
They use the latest fashion technology and techniques from start to finish, giving a more precise and vibrant fabric than it looks in the pictures. So, you can rest assured this is not going to be another bad experience of “what I ordered vs what I got”.
- Comes in different material types such as poly crepe satin, velvet, cotton voile, silk, rayon fabric, and much more.
- Wide variety of printed fabrics in 1000’s unique and different prints
- Luxurious and beautiful
4. Speedball Craft Fabric Squeegee
The speedball fabric screen printing is your go-to squeegee for printing fabric. It is ideal for home or classroom printing studios.
The 9-inch speedball fabric squeegee has a 65-durometer blade with a round edge which makes fabric printing easy. It also has a plastic handle that gives you a comfortable grip, making it very easy to use.
It works beautifully well in making screen prints onto plywood and also for decorative items. You can use it with the speedball opaque fabric ink to get an even better result.
Furthermore, it is very easy to clean. I’m sure you don’t want something that would stress you each time you need to clean it up.
The good thing is that it is very affordable as it comes at a price of $9.99. And trust me, you are going to get value for your money. If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can check out reviews from other users. The product has received over 400 positive reviews on Amazon. I mean, 400+ people can’t be wrong. So, you should give it a try.
- Easy to use
- Easy to clean
5. TECHTONGDA Silk Screen Printing Fabric Mesh
Working with stretchy fabrics could be frustrating, especially if you don’t get the right ones. The TECHTONGDA Silk Screen Printing Fabric is specially designed to help annul this frustration.
If you want to achieve screen printing on stretchy fabric, the Techtongda screen printing fabric is your best bet. It is made of high-quality polyester, which is the fabric of choice among screen printers globally.
The tensile strength is top-notch with a high threshold and breaking point. As a result, it regains its dimensional stability after the stretching process. It also has a strong resistance to abrasion, heat, sunlight, chemicals, and moisture.
Furthermore, the material is odorless and non-toxic. It has a strong wrinkle resistance, so it does not get wrinkled quickly. The fabric will hold its shape irrespective of the external stress they undergo. Often, they won’t require ironing. They are more of a wash-and-wear fabric.
- supporter of an ink-blocking stencil
- Strong wrinkle resistance
- Odorless and non-toxic
- Resistance to abrasion, heat, sunlight, chemicals, and moisture.
- Affordable prices
Fabric screen printing at home
DIY screen printing is pretty easy and absolutely fun. All you need is a stencil, a squeegee, a screen, and a tub of ink. Here are the processes involved:
- Make a stencil. You can download a free stencil online or make one yourself.
- Cut on the stencil.
- Place the stencil over your fabric.
- Add the ink
- Allow the ink to pass through the screen by pulling the squeegee towards you. The pressure to apply and the number of times to repeat the stroke will require a few guesses, and that is where the fun lies.
- Lift the screen of the fabric, and there you have your DIY fabric screen printing.
- That was fun, right?
Best Fabric for Screen Printing Buying Guide
Screen Printing Non-Cotton Fabrics
No doubt, cotton is the best choice of fabric for screen printing. Animal fabrics such as silk and wool would also work well. For synthetic fabrics, polyester is the best choice. Other synthetic fabrics that could also be used are nylon and rayon. Vinyl fabric is also a good choice for screen printing.
Silk screen fabric printing
Silk provides a good surface for screen prints. But, keep in mind that the thinner the fabric, the less readily it can absorb ink. What this implies is that you should not expect to get the same result as you would get with cotton or wool. Also, extra care must be taken all through the printing process.
Screen printing on polyester fabric
Polyester is one of the most challenging fabrics to print on. However, it has many great qualities, making it the fabric choice for many screen printers globally.
Here are some tips that will make screen printing on polyester smoother for you:
- Select the right polyester blend. Avoid overheating the fabric during the curing process.
- Choose the suitable ink depending on the goal of your project.
- Inks act differently on dark or light fabric, so you should use an under base to prevent dye migration.
- Because of the synthetic nature of polyester, you should use a slip sheet to keep the artwork flat during the curing and application process.
Screen printing on nylon fabric
Screen printing on nylon is challenging to screen printers. But, its wide variety of applications presents a very lucrative opportunity. This is why you need to know how to scale through the challenges faced with screen printing on nylon.
Here are some tips that will make screen printing on nylon smoother for you:
- Preshrink your nylon substrate
- Straighten out any wrinkles. Nylon gets wrinkled quickly. Ensure your printing surface is free of any wrinkles that would affect your print.
- Use only one squeegee stroke. Because nylon tends to shift so quickly, using more than one stroke could result in shadows or blurred prints.
- Nylon will scorch if subjected to high temperatures. So, cure at a lower temperature, even if it means it will take longer.
- After curing, allow it to sit for 72 hours so the ink will be completely bonded and hardened.
Tips on screen printing 60/40 fabric
The 60/40 polyester blend provides a lot of benefits for screen printers. However, the substrates are at risk of dye migration which poses a challenge when printing on them. Here are some tips to help you navigate these hurdles:
- Monitor the temperature of your dryer. The temperature should be hot enough to cure the ink but shouldn’t be so hot that the fabric suffers sublimation.
- Test your substrate if you are printing on the 60/40 polyester blend for the first time. If you notice that the dye migrates, then you should consider using a different ink.
- Use bleed-resistant inks or an under-base layer to prevent dye migration and can remove mold from clothes easily.
What is the best mesh for screen printing fabric?
Ideally, mesh counts within the range of 25 and 305 are suitable for screen printing. The 305 mesh is finer than the 25 mesh. However, this does not mean one is better than the other. To determine the best mesh for screen printing, you need to consider print details such as the material you are printing on, the ink being used, and the level of detail on the image.
What resolution does screen printing fabric come in?
The standard resolution for screen printing is 300 dpi. It could be slightly lower or slightly higher. but, anything entirely out of this range could result in a poor-quality print.
What fabric is best for DIY screen printing?
Though screen printing is versatile, it allows for the customization of a wide range of fabrics, from natural fabrics to PVC fabric and swiss voile fabric. However, the best fabric for DIY screen printing is natural fabrics like cotton and cotton blends for optimal results. They are soft and permeable. Hence, they tend to absorb ink more readily.
What is the best screen fabric for printing on textiles?
There are several fabrics that can be used for screen printing. Among all, cotton is ideally the best because of its porous nature.
What fabric works best for a screen for printing?
Not all fabrics will give you the same result. Some fabrics are easier to work with than others. The best fabric to work with for screen printing is cotton.
How to do screen printing on fabric
- Layout your wooden frame onto the fabric of your choice
- Staple the fabric tightly to the frame. It should be very tight that you think it will rip off. Do this by stapling one of the corners first, then stretch it and staple the opposite corner. Continue the process until you’ve gone all the way around the screen.
- Spread the mixed emulsion very thinly onto your fabric in a completely dark room. You can use a red photo-darkroom light so you can see what you are doing.
- Leave it to dry overnight in a completely dark place.
- Now, spread black paper all over the floor, then put your screen on top, with the wooden side down and the stapled side on top.
- Tape the transparent part to the dry surface of the screen using clear tape.
- Set up your lamp directly over the screen at a distance specified in the directions. Let the light stay on for the length of time specified in the production directions.
- Rinse the screen with very cold water, and allow it to dry.
- Lay the stapled side of the screen onto your fabric. Using a squeegee, put a line of paint along one side of the screen. Using light pressure, apply a flood stroke. Then with a firm and smooth motion, press the ink onto the fabric through the screen.
- You can now lift the screen and see your print on your fabric. Allow it to dry.
- Iron the backside of the fabric for as long as it stays on the paint container
- Wash the fabric.
What is screen printing on fabric?
It is a technique that enables you to print designs into a fabric using ink, mesh screen, and squeegee. Screen printing allows you to reproduce the design on different surfaces without losing quality.
What is custom screen printing fabric?
Custom screen printing fabric is a fast-growing innovation in the textile printing industry. With custom screen printing, you can choose your design and print on any fabric of your preference: silk, polyester, cotton, felt fabric, and many more.
Can I use chiffon fabric for screen printing?
Yes, you can use thin fabric like chiffon for screen printing. You just have to use suitable inks. Plastisol ink might be a better option for screen printing on chiffon.
Caring for Screen Printed Clothing and Items
Wash the screen-printed clothes inside out. You can hand-wash if possible. If not, use the washing machine’s gentle cycle. You should also use mild detergent. If you need to iron the clothing, use a cool iron and iron it inside out. Also, it is crucial not to iron the clothing directly. When ironing, you should place it between two pieces of clothing to protect the design.
Your choice of fabric goes a long way to determining the end result of your screen printing process. Though some fabrics might not be naturally suitable for screen printing, they have other excellent qualities that make them the fabric of choice among screen printers worldwide.
While cotton is arguably the best fabric for screen printing, other fabric types could also turn out great if you follow a proper guidelines for working with them. You might have to use a different ink for some fabrics, while for others, you might have to use an underlay. The primary goal is to get a perfect beautiful screen-printed fabric.