Screen Printing, with TIGHTS!

I was really looking forward to getting into the printing workshop this week, but what with the workshop being cancelled and my Constellation today being cancelled, I seemed to have a lot of free time on my hands. What do you do when you have free time? Make a screen out of tights of course!


I have a little ideas and drawings sketchbook that I’ve been working in, and I’ve come up with a few designs that I think I might want to explore, the one I chose to do today was a drawing taken from a cross-section of a mineral. I had already explored different colour ways in my book so now all I had to do was mix up those colours, and get printing. Oh and make a screen.

I remembered that a while ago I saw this pin on Pinterest about making a silk screen at home. I’m not going to be using silk, cause well you know, so instead I searched my house for the next best thing, and found them lying at the back of the second drawer in my chest of drawers unit. Skin coloured tights, because I still wear the black ones. To make my screen I grabbed said tight, and one of my smaller embroidery hoops, and pushed the hoop through one of the leg of the tight, pulled it as tight as I could (no pun intended) then slipped the out ring over to secure it. I cut off the part of the tight that wasn’t secured between the hoops, and any excess.


Instead of creating a stencil, which would be uber-fiddly considering the design I chose, I drew my design onto the screen, using sharpie before I stopped to think whether this would get printed too (it didn’t), and then when on anther search, this time for runny glue. With glue to hand and a paintbrush at the ready, I painted all the negative space on my screen with glue, getting the holes of the tights nice a clogged so that nothing could get through them. It then occurred to me that maybe I should have tried to find a water-resistant glue? Oh well, I’m only experimenting. With a little help from my friend Mr. Hairdryer, my screen was ready to use in no time.


My fabrics were ready and waiting on a bed of newspaper which I prepared earlier, as was my blobs of paint. I used acrylic paint because I only have white printing ink and I don’t even know where that’s disappeared too. I mixed to green and purple paint, although the purple was more blue/black when actually printed and dried. I also used some white paint because I had a piece of orange velvet crying out to be included. I used a piece of thick mount board to spread my paint over the screen, but be warned, when working with tights, it’s not a good ideas to try and scrape you paint through, just wipe it over the surface of the screen lightly, so as not to pull the fabric and make a mess.


I’m really pleased with my results. I can now stop fretting about what my design might look like printed, could you image if I waited until next week before printing, I would have been a wreck! But its ok, I’m really happy. I’m thinking that I might do a bit of free machines on top of some, to get the gold shimmery effect that printing with foils gives. I haven’t yet figure out how I would be bale to do that at home yet. Give me time, I’m sure it’ll come to me.



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