How Better Than Jam Yardage is Printed
Weirdly I've never posted my full screenprinting yardage process. I post a ton of my step by step on Instagram in my stories when I have a fresh 10yards on the table. But I've never saved the pictures and compiled them in a post, adding more info....So here you go!
Fresh and so clean clean. I often dye the fabric before I print it. The color pops so nicely on white. I try and get unbleached or natural white if available, because optic whitening and just making fabric white in general is a horribly not environmentally friendly process.
I buy bulk size Versatex ink (or sometimes others) from Jacquard but you can grab smaller jars from the online shop. I like it because is a soft handed ink and semi transparent so layering works nicely.
When printing yardage, you have to print every other, wait for it to dry, then come back and print the fill in.
You do that by measuring how wide your design is, and marking that distance on your table. I use these "duct clamps" (whatever they're used for) as stoppers. I add an L bracket to the edge of the screen and hook them to the stoppers as I print along. Measuring the repeat takes Way longer than the actual printing, and waiting for the ink to dry even longer. So I make sure I have work to do in between.
Each color requires an additional wait time. And if you're repeat design measures differently (which mine all do), you have to remeasure and replace your stoppers each new color/design that is printed.
The wood grain pattern seems pretty obvious a such. This magenta pattern is firework remnants. Each little circle is where firework charges would shoot out. I took an old firework from the street July 15th one year while living in Chicago, scanned in into my computer and edited to make a pattern I could print and layer.
This scarlet red pattern here, is a drawing of an almond shell. My dad lives in Rincon Puerto Rico and the beaches are lined with almond trees. Almond pods fall into the ocean and wash up onto the beaches. While sitting there one day I quickly sketched the "beach trash" and when I got back to Brooklyn I took the sketch and made a pattern from it. I also have a coconut pattern from the same sketching series.
Some people don't see "almond shell" and that's why there's a tag for the pattern a friend of mine made up #notacoochi you can find ;-)
Once one side is printed, I have to flip the fabric, line up the pattern properly, and print the other side. Larger companies of handprinted fabric will have Huge screens that fit the entire width of the fabric, so they don't have to do this. With Huge screens you need to print with another person on a wider table. I print alone. So I built my table so it's wide enough to print half the width, and narrow enough so I can reach the top of it with my arms stretched out.
Last one! Of TWELVE.
The final touch is printing my label all the way down the edges. I have a tiny silk screen for that. Manufactured fabrics it's designed into the fabric pattern. But because I layer all my patterns differently on every 10 yards I print, I have to add separately. Otherwise I'd have a few layers of logos piled up.
This yardage is available for sale by yard. You can also get a custom piece with it.
Thanks for stopping by the studio!
Can I see a picture of how your screen attaches to the clamp? Thanks!
Thanks so much for sharing your process! I do a little screen printing and a fair bit of sewing. I seldom find a fabric I really love that I can also afford (champagne taste and a beer budget) or it doesn’t come in the color scheme I want/need. I’ve been trying to figure out how to do the yardage I’d need for garments or small home dec items.
I think I’m gonna need a bigger table but at least now I have an idea of how to make it happen. 😊