Across the years of Halloween, April Fools’ Day and other costume-oriented events I’ve attended, whether my costume plans were prepared well in advance or last minute adventures, the need for a custom shirt has often come up. I’ve found solutions but always found either quality or price to suffer. A few catalysts on thinking led me to get more serious about screen printing as a medium to add to my repertoire:

  1. Iron on t-shirt transfers have a slightly ick or heavy feeling when wearing them.
    How poorly they tend to hold up to going through the washer/dryer cycle.
  2. A recent group gifting where multiple shirts would have been useful to complete a team of Geek Squad Sneak Squad folks coming to install a surprise new TV for friends.
  3. Watching an ILTMS video that suggested the tooling is not as expensive as I had imagined.
  4. Measuring out that I have enough wall space in the workshop that the press and materials could be out of the way when not in use but accessible when ready to switch into a screenprinting project.

The first shirts I made to test things ape a D20 design with a dash of charisma to it. The 4 shirts I attempted were created without a multi-screen press or a flash press. Just 5 screens and me trying to manually register/align each colour onto those that were set before with a searzall to cure the current layer of ink. In the end, 2 of the 4 shirts I made, one monochrome and one full colour, felt like they turned out very well for a V1 test.

I’ve since acquired a 4-colour press, a flash press heater, designed a screen frame to hold the screens while the emulsion cures or screens are not in use. The other designs shown here are not originals, but ones friends joined me in re-creating from concepts they found online to ramp up the learning curve. Definitely can look forward to more screenprint goodness coming out of Idealien Studios soon.


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