Thread Theory

Welcome to the new era of menswear sewing. Go ahead and create something exceptional!

Have you tried screenprinting?


As those of you who follow my Instagram feed (thread_theory) might have seen, I recently bought a screen printing kit!  I have high hopes for the development of my screen printing skills and I’d love to share the journey here on the blog with you!

Have you tried screen printing before?  Do you hanker after specific screen printed items?  The biggest allure for me, when it comes to screen printing, is the ability to print designs on my home sewn menswear garments!  I find it very difficult to find interesting cotton t-shirt knits – they are often only available in solid colors and the prints that I do manage to find are usually on knits that are too drapey to create a manly t-shirt.  How neat would it be to sew Strathcona T-shirts in a variety of manly neutrals (charcoal, navy, white, and black for instance) and then decorate them with awesome prints!?!?

1. Maya Muse Textiles (Etsy Shop – specific tea towel no longer available)

2. Urban Outfitters (pillow no longer available…but it’s a great idea: Screen printing on Liberty fabric!)

3. Sin Clothing (Etsy shop with a variety of screen printed tanks)

4. The Curtis Casa (A blog post about printing cherished family recipes on textiles)

5. See Kate Sew (An excellent tutorial about screenprinting on fabric)

6. Modcloth (The tea towel is no longer available but it’s super inspiring!)

I’ve been creating a Pinterest board with inspiring screenprinting designs and concepts (some of which you see above).  After spending an hour or two doing this one evening, I suddenly want everything screen printed…Strathcona T-shirts, tea towels, sewing machine covers, ironing board covers, floral fabrics, Comox Trunks, napkins, linen tank tops, the hem of a dress, tote bags, dopp kits…the ideas abound!

Even though I tried screenprinting once in design school, it still seems quite daunting to start learning this process on my own.  In school we had the screen created professionally and then our teacher set up the press and placed the ink.  We then got our turn holding the squeegee while he showed us how much pressure to apply and helped us swipe down the screen.  Needless to say, I wouldn’t consider myself a master printer!


To help combat my nerves, I scoured the internet for the most all-inclusive, easy to use kit that I could find that would still lead to very professional results (I didn’t want to buy a kit that I would only grow out of after creating my first couple screens).  I found the DIY Table Top Screen Print Kits made by Ryonet (a major screen printing supplies supplier).  I’ve received it in the mail and have carefully examined all the contents.  The box it arrived in was huge and the press is EXTREMELY heavy duty (very impressive).  When we move to our new house I plan to set up a work table that I can permanently attach the press to since it is so heavy and a bit awkwardly shaped for storage.


So far, Matt and I have watched the in-depth DVD that was included with the kit and I’ve read the photographed instruction booklet.  The DVD made the process seem really approachable as long as you take the time to set up your equipment properly (for example, I need to make our bathroom into a dark room with the light bulb provided before I can start creating my first screen).

To make the learning curve more fun I’ve invited a bunch of creative business-owning women over this evening and we are going to tackle the creation of our first screen together!  They are all quite interested in screen printing for their own businesses (whether it be to print embroidery designs on fabric, print logos on sewing supplies kits, or to print designs on custom created garments) so it should make for a very informative and exciting evening!  I will let you know how it goes!  We’re using the text from our instruction booklets as our first screen: “Go ahead and create something excepetional.”  I think that should be fitting for all of us!

Go Ahead and Create


If you had a screen printing set up, what would you be itching to print?  If you already know how to screen print, do you have any tips for getting started?

11 thoughts on “Have you tried screenprinting?

  1. Pingback: The Tote Bag for Makers | Thread Theory

  2. Pingback: My first screenprinting attempt…not too shabby! | Thread Theory

  3. Screen printing really appeals to me too, but it does seem daunting! An old flatmate of mine did pretty well with making lino cut pints – do you use a similar approach to make your own screen for printing? Anyway, I’ll be keen to see how you go with it – good luck!

  4. Going on a local day course on Tuesday but thinking of continuing the adventure at home if it goes well.

  5. I’ve been wanting to try screenprinting for AGES! To make my own fabrics (repeating pattern) and also to make t-shirts for Guy – he prefers the one design on the chest rather than repeating patterns (which, as you said, are hard to find anyway).

    I’d love to hear how the kit goes – did you get the hinge kit? From their website I can’t quite get my head around the difference between that and the actual press.

  6. What fun! I’d love to do this someday, can’t wait to see your prints.

  7. I’ve tried screen printing ages ago in school. We got to design and actually screen print a tee shirt, which is really great because I had a custom tee shirt that no one else had. I wished I designed something cool. Ha! I love to hear about what you think of it because it sounds really awesome. I would love to get into it one of these days! 🙂

  8. I tried last year and loved it! For me, the trouble is finding time to work with the chemicals when the kids are busy. I love designing repeat patterns and really want to make more time for printing. Are you using the sun to expose the screen or do you have a light set up somewhere?

    • The kit comes with a 500 watt light that I’m going to use – it attaches to the same spot on the press where you would normally attach a screen. I think it will work well!

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