T-shirts were originally designed to provide some warmth and, by design, allow for wicking moisture away from the skin. Today they have evolved into something a great deal more than that. These days, tee shirts are wearable art - a means of self-expression, and a way to advertise. Designing your own tee shirt means letting your imagination go wild and saying exactly what you want to say to the world. Tee shirts are so popular there are even tee shirts available for your pets. Learn how to design your own tee shirt with our helpful How to wiki.
You can do this while you're waiting for the water to boil. Make sure that the shirts are tied securely to avoid coming loose while soaking in the pot of boiling water and dye. Take a handful of the t-shirt, like a ponytail 2-4 inches in length, and secure the "ponytail" with an elastic. Do this however many times you want to over the entire shirt. Where you create the "ponytail" will be like the centre of a bulls eye - in your design.
When the water is boiling, add the dye of your desired color.
Do not mix all dye colours together. The mixture may end up producing the color black. You can try two colors to form a different color. You can refer to a color wheel for resultant color combinations. For instance, combining yellow and green will give you yellow green. Don't try to mix a primary color with secondary color for it may not produce satisfactory results. For instance, the combination of black and violet will also produce a black color. Take note that the ratio of the dye that you will mix in the pot is directly proportional to the number of shirts you are going to soak. Therefore, ten shirts are equivalent to ten dyes. You can equally divide the number of dyes, as long as you have the same number of shirts against dyes.
Use caution when stirring as you may scald yourself from the hot water
You can use a thong in putting the shirts in the pot to avoid getting burned or scalded. Make sure that the number of shirts put in the pot would be enough so as every shirt is submerged into the boiling water.
The printing screen will facilitate the transfer of the design to the shirt. With the stencil method, you have to prepare the design ahead of time. The actual design will be carved into the paper. REMEMBER - if you are adding letters to your stencil, they need to be applied backward to the t-shirt.
With this method, a frame of wood with an attached silk is prepared. The silk requires to be washed with soap and rinsed using a pressured spray. This assures that all the spaces between the fibres of the silk are clean. You will then have to apply a photo emulsifier on both sides of the silk screen using a squeegee. After applying the photo emulsion, let it dry overnight.
Prepare a cardboard, a black cloth with the same size as the silk screen and glass that have the same size as your silk screen. Stack the materials in this order starting at the bottom: cardboard, black cloth, silkscreen, transparency and glass. Leave them in the direct heat of the sun. After 2 to 3 minutes, take the materials inside. Get the silk screen and wash it using a sprayer. As you spray directly on the screen, you will see that the design is starting to show on the silk screen.
The textile paints will take care of the design. Depending on your chosen design, the colors will vary. For beginners, it is advisable to use one color. The paints you want to use may vary from what you want. If you will be printing on dark colors then probably the best paint to use are light colored paints, or metallic paints, and Vice Versa.
Get the shirt and put it on top of the table covered with newspaper
The part of the shirt to be printed should be the one which is seen. Get the printing or silkscreen, textile paint and squeegee. Place the printing or silkscreen on top of the shirt. Put enough amount of paint on the squeegee. Apply the squeegee with the paint on the silk screen swiping downwards. Repeat if necessary.
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