CMYK Silk Screen Printing



Our first four color printed tee! We've done one color, two color, even three color. we've done spot and halftone printing. I guess it was only time before we try CMYK four color process screen printing. We were both nervous and excited.

Just about a year ago Billy and I were discussing our vegetable garden and bell peppers came up. Hes not a fan of them but he liked the different colors that were available. And like most everything else, " Hey Dad, lets make a shirt ! "

I like working with watercolor so I painted 2 peppers for our shirt. We couldn't decide if there should be text or not. Several ideas came up but none stood out. Billy has been big into science lately, always a mess in the kitchen with his experiments. One day he asked the important question, whats the scientific name for peppers? We immediately looked it up! Capsicum Annuum!

Fast forward to just about a week ago, Billy asked me if we could do a full color screen printed tee of his cat, Jerry. Wow, we haven't done four color yet. Well, why keep putting it off. I started to do research, What inks do we need, how do we do color separations, can we use our current screens...etc. 

Frustrations started setting in when I couldn't find how to do color separations without Photo Shop. We just don't have the disposable income to fork out that kind of money on a hobby. Night after night I would read anything I could online. I found what I needed with GIMP! At last, I think we can! It wasn't easy though, I must admit, I'm not like most people, I have a HUGE learning curve! Failure after failure, I finally print some films we could try.

We burned the screens and washed them out without a hitch. When it came time to load up the CMYK screen printing inks on the press, the excitement was quite high. First was yellow, then magenta, cyan and finally black. It was also the first time we printed wet on wet. After I lifted up the black screen and I looked at our first four color shirt I could feel the smile on my face stretch from ear to ear. I looked over at Billy with excitement and he merely said, " Not bad, my turn." I loaded up another shirt for him and reached for my beer. Cheers!



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