Step by Step Guide 2. Framing your Stencil

 Sunlight Stencils Framing your stencil.

What can our sunlight stencil sheet print or paint on to? Where shall we begin!  Not only flat surfaces but round, curved, around corners, the list is endless.  The secret is in the frame. Or not to frame.

To Frame or not to Frame
Our Custom made stencil is ready but first we have to decide if we are going to Tension frame it, Fix frame it or print with it as it is.
Lets look closer to what we are going to screen print onto, which will make this choice really simple.

Choice 1. I only want to print for example 1 T.shirt, 1 Tote bag, 1 Tea Towel, 1 Hoodie, 1 pair of oven gloves using Standard Waterbased ink or a mixo Plastisol ink. All these textile products are porous surfaces,  and off-contact is not required.
Glass, ceramics, bowls , plastic   etc , the stencil can be  wrapped around or flat. They are printed on contact with higher mesh counts 55t-77t as they are non porous.
Which means the Sunlight Stencil sheet can be taped on to the product using simple masking tape.  You don’t get a build up of ink under the Sunlight Stencil sheet.
Remember – if printing a non flat surface, we can do so without a frame also to print around angled corners, we don’t use a frame.

Choice 2. I want to silk screen a short print run – 20 of each item, that’s 140 pieces all together. I want to sell these first, before i even consider buying any sort of machines. Ok! To save time and energy, our custom stencil can be mounted on a Fix frame .
A cheap photo frame  will do with some masking taping involved! around the edges.
As a result we achieve a huge labour saving advantage on a print run of 140 pieces. Printing as fast as you can say place print place print place print.

We lay the cheap photo frame flat on a table. Using the 2 way double sided stencil tape,  stick one side of the tape around the parameters of the frame and peel the backing of the tape, so the frame is now sticky.

Tape around the parameters

We take our custom stencil sheet PRINT SIDE UP place it over the sticky side of the frame. Press one side down on to the frame. Keeping it taught, press the opposite side down.  Repeat this with the 2 side ends. Now press firmly down so the Sunlight frame and the Sunlight Stencil is flat.

Sunlight frame meets Sunlight Stencil. Print side up.

We now have a silk screen printing screen that is rigid.

The thickness of the  the 2 way tape is 2mm, we have a perfect off contact. Now we can use all opaque inks as well as standard in any range.
Finally we mask the area where our custom stencil sheet meets  our cheap photo frame.

Choice 3. I want to silk screen print larger quantities and more than 1 colour.  The Tension Embroidery hoop Frame is needed.
So Easy tension embroidery hoop.
By far the easiest way to tension custom made sunlight stencil.
place the inner hoop flat on a table ,place our stencil image print side down over our inner hoop. now place the outer frame over our image stencil and press down, it should have a tight fit .if it is loose remove the outer hoop and turn the adjustable  screw to make the outer hoop smaller. then push back over sunlight stencil.
Now mask off around the edges so the ink does not leak through  when we start to print.