Have you tried screen printing? With just a few pieces of basic screen printing equipment, this great technique lets you transfer an image onto fabric, canvas or card quickly, easily and accurately. The technique involves using a silk screen that allows ink to pass through a mesh along with a stencil design.To find out more about screen printing, check out our full screen printing for beginners guide. But the basic technique involves applying ink through the stencil onto the screen, and the ink passes through the silk so that you can screen print designs onto paper, card or fabric. The size of your screen frame determines the size of the image you can transfer in one pass, but you can move your fabric along to create a repeating design, as we show in our walkthrough .You can either make your own screen designs by cutting vinyl adhesive sheets, or use the pre-cut template screens that come in many of the screen printing kits.
You can make your screen printing kit entirely from scratch by stretching silk over a wooden frame, but it is tricky to get the tension right, and it often costs more to buy all the tools you need separately, so buying a home screen printing kit can often work our cheaper than making your own! But if you are interested in the DIY version, check out our DIY screen printing frames article, and read on to find out where to buy screen printing supplies uk.
Fancy trying linocut printmaking? Take a look at our lino cutting for beginners guide.
How to use screen printing kits
Here is a walkthrough showcasing the technique using the Screen Sensation screen printing kit, but the basic method is the same when applying ink or paint through any screen printing kit you use.
Place your screen design over the logo side of the Screen Sensation frame. The frame will be facing down when used. Add tape to the top and bottom of the screen, pulling the screen tight as you fix it in place. Repeat to secure the remaining sides of the screen
Apply tape to mask off the bottom of the image. Add your fabric to the base with a piece of paper behind it. Secure with tape. Mix the inks to create two shades of purple – dark for the head and light for the body. Gently drag the squeegee down across the design.
Lift the screen. Leave the fabric to dry. Cover the ink pot with cling film. Remove the screen from the frame then wash it thoroughly. Once the screen is dry, re-tape it onto the frame. Adjust the fabric, so the rabbits line up to make a repeated design, then ink again.
Best home screen printing kits
Here is the screen printing kit we showcase in our demo, and we love how simple and easy it is to use this hinged frame which makes sure fabric and screen stay exactly where they are supposed to be. The 12x12in frame is a great size for papers and fabrics, and the kit includes squeegee, paletts knife, wooden mixers and mixing bowl – inks can be purchased separately. You can buy 12 x 12 in screen templates to use with this kit separately, or invest in machine that will turn your printed designs into screens for you!
Art screen printing set
This handy screen printing kit starter set comes with everything you need to make your first print – silk screen, squeegee, acrylic colours, textile medium, printing medium, screen block, ink fluid, a palette knife and round brush. The screen accommodates designs up to 30 x 42cm so perfect for small home projects. It’s great that this kit comes with acrylics, too, though these are much faster drying than inks so you’ll need to work fast and wash your screen quickly to avoid the paint drying on your silk screen.
Silk Screen Designer
This screen printing kit is designed for kids, but we think this is a great budget choice for people wanting to explore the screen printing technique without a splashing the cash. Rather than a frame, you are using a small embroidery hoop as your screen, and you can make your template by painting with the purple ink – this dries to act as your template screen – then adding paint colours through the unpainted silk, with 6 colours in the set. To make multiple screens you’ll need to buy extra silk mesh, but when your kit costs less than £10 you don’t mind so much. You can also leave your piece of silk plain and make screen templates by cutting acetate if you prefer.
Marabu Textile screen printing set
This screen printing kit is aimed toward a younger, non core craft audience wanting to create their own customised clothing, and it works well for that. The screen printing kit contains screen, printing ink, squeegee and instructions on how to make your screen stencil and print your design. You only get one colour of ink in this kit, and you need to source the materials to make your screen stencil yourself, but this is not hard – cut your own from vinyl or thick card with a design of your choice, or adapt a papercraft stencil to use in this kit. The low price and hipster styling make this a great gift for young adults or those looking to personalise and produce design tees.
Personalised beginners screen printing set
Leave it to Not on The High Street to produce the most beautiful and clever beginners screen printing kit – but that comes at a price, of course! The pack comes with a wooden frame and 20cm wide wood and rubber squeeze – both of which can be personalised to add a name, occasion message or company branding to make this a really special gift. Brilliant to see a 20cm wide squeegee in a kit for a change too, which lets you colour up most designs from the 25cm wide frame in a single pass for a perfect finish. The kit has a selection of screen template of symbols, graphics, frames plus number and alphabets for your custom designs too.
Screen printing kit with 15 inks
How lovely to get a choice of 15 different printing inks in this screen printing kit! It almost seems a shame, then, to use the included blockout paste to mark up your screen so you can only ever use it to produce a single design – but you will be able to print that design over and over again in a choice of all these colours! Also, the frame is designed to unclamp, so you can purchase additional screens and insert fresh material into the frame to let you create new screen designs, too. Perfect for a beginner wanting to embrace this new craft, we love this versatile, all inclusive set.
Ladies T-shirt screen printing kit
Here is a home screen printing kit perfectly geared towards gifting to share the love of a screen printing kit with a newbie! This screen printing kit from Hunt the Moon comes with a high-tension A4 screen, squeeze, five coloured inks and a T-shirt to practice your designs on. The only thing a beginner won’r get in this kit is a screen, so you’ll either need to get them some block-out paint or advice them on making a separate screen for printing their deigns.
Value A3 screen printing kit
This is probably our favourite beginner home screen printing kit in this review as it lets you personalise the options that are right for you with quality, no-frills product that is perfect when getting to grips with screen printing. Hunt the Moon lets you choose the thread count in your metal mesh screen to suit the material you are going to be printing on – the more threads in the mesh, the finer the detail you can screen print, but the more expensive the value kit will be. This is professionally mounted in your frame for you, and you also get a 12 inch squeegee and a pot of ink – black by default, or you can request a different colour from their range. Personalisation and quality to let you choose the detail and price point you want. A great starter screen printing kit that you can add to as your skills grow.
Speedball fabric screen printing kit
Here is the home screen printing kit to choose if you want to they making a photo emulsion screen as opposed to crafting a screen by paining out detail or cutting acetate. The kit comes with the chemicals you’ll need to make your own photo emulsion screen – you’ll need a bright light to expose it – but it does not contain any screen printing supplies for adding the colour, such as ink, so you’ll need to buy those separately. You do get a mounted screen ready for exposing with your chemicals, and a squeegee for applying your screen printing inks, as well as a screen cleaner if you want to remove the photo emulsion screen you create.
Where to buy screen printing supplies: ink, fabric and tools
Screen Printing Frame Mesh Cleaning Emulsion Remover Bundle Pack
Okay, so this might not be the prettiest picture in this screen printing kit article, but in all likelihood it will be the most useful as your skills grow and you want to get the longest life possible from your expensive screens. This cleaning bundle lets you refresh your screen if they have got blocked up by being left to dry before washing – and also contains cleaner to remove an emulsion stencil that you no longer want to use. So you can reclaim your screens to start again with, which is very useful if you have an expensive fine mesh screen with embedded design you won’t print from again. A great addition to your screen printing supplies uk stash!
110T screen printing mesh by the meter
Say you have a reusable frame that can work with different screens, or you want to try making your own screen printing kit frame. You need screen printing mesh! You can use metal fabric for a finer, more durable finish, but most screen printers will prefer the more economical fabric option. Best Screen printing sell their polyester screen printing fabric by the meter in lots of different counts – this 110T version is best for fine detail on paper, board and light fabrics. Expand your screen printing kit by buying the fabric to make new emulsion stencils!
43T screen printing mesh by the meter
43T is the screen thread count you want for most T-shirt and textile printing and is the most commonly used mesh count for screen printing kits. Hunt the Moon has a very economical price for their mesh by the meter. Unless you are going for very fine detail designs, this is the count you want for your own screen printing mesh!
Screen Pal thick gel ink
We’re big fans of this handy craft screen printing ink. It has a lovely thick consistency making it super straightforward to apply, and the pearlescent finish gives a pretty sheen to your finished projects. But the big plus is that it is water soluble until it is heat set. So this makes cleaning your screen really straightforward, and after ironing your finished design, it is machine washable at 40 degrees which is big plus if you screen print onto clothing!
Permaset Aqua screen printing ink
Here’s a great ink if you are after primary colours that are washable until heat set. Permaset aqua comes in a choice of 17 different shades, with lots of go-to colours fo0r everyday screen printing supplies ink colours. The range is solvent free, so we love their added touch of environmentally friendly chic, too. Use them on all light coloured fabrics including silk for lovely washable and touch-friendly finish.
Jacquard photo emulsion kit
Here is what you need if you want to take making your own screens to use in your screen printing kit to the next level. Rather than cutting acetate or card, photo emulsion paste will react with light, so you can transfer high contrsct film images onto a screen by exposing to light. It’s not easy to find a good supplier, but Handprinteduk, who are the supplier here, are a good reputable business for screen printing supplies in the uk.
More screen printing to try
We hope you have found this guide to screen printing kits and supplies to buy in the UK useful. If you have any favourite suppliers or products you feel we should be listing here, please do let us know. Meanwhile, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and advice for how to use your screen printing kit right here on Gathered! Take a look at our screen printing for beginners guide for detailed walkthroughs on this brilliant technique. If you want to try our the technique without buying a screen printing kit, try our DIY screen printing frames to explore making your own screen using embroidery hoops. Find tips and tricks and try more makes makes with our Screen printing tutorial: DIY cushion.