Do you have a design that you would like to repeat as a pattern on a pillowcase, t-shirt or towel? One of the ways that you can really save time and money with screen printing is by using one piece of vinyl to cut a design then use it over-and-over to create a repeating pattern. The process starts in your design program where you will setup the file to cut.
This process video shows you how I created a pattern that would repeat horizontally. I used Illustrator, but you can use Design Space or whatever program you use to cut your vinyl. The idea is to arrange your design so that the pattern matches up when it is repeated.
After you have setup your design and ensured that it will repeat nicely, you will cut the design on vinyl (don’t forget to mirror). I use this Transfer Tape to then transfer the design to the back of my Speedball Screen Printing Frame. I used the larger 16×20 frame but you can do this same process with the 10×14 screen.
Once your screen has been prepared, you are ready to apply the ink. Lift your screen to reveal your screen printed design. Grab a Heat Gun or hair dryer to quickly dry the area of your design that will be touched when you set down the screen for the next part of your pattern. You don’t want to set your screen on the wet ink because it will transfer to the back of your screen. I used a heat gun for just a few seconds until the ink was dry to touch. Now, I can repeat the pattern to the right by placing my screen down and squeegeeing the ink a 2nd time.
The result is a large design with a repeating pattern. Rather than using a ton of HTV for this project, I was able to use a 16×20 piece of adhesive vinyl.
Don’t forget to heat set your ink after it is completely dry. Here is a tutorial with 6 ways you can heat set the ink.