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I love when readers challenge me to screen print something I haven't tried before. Recently a few people reached out asking for tips on how to screen print stretchy material so the design isn't distorted when it's worn.
This is how I monogrammed a Scünci headband using my vinyl screen printing process. I used cardboard to stretch the headband out about an inch. This helps keep the monogram from looking distorted when wearing the headband. Full step-by-step process below.
- Oracal 651 Vinyl – any color (or HTV if you want to make a permanent screen)
- Speedball Fabric Ink
- Painter’s Tape
- Transfer Tape
- Blank Scünci Headbands
- Cricut Maker
- Heat Press, Easy Press 2 or household iron
- Create and apply your design to your screen printing frame. I used this process to create a permanent screen because I reuse my kids' monograms a lot! You can also use my adhesive vinyl method if you are doing a project that you don't want to make into a permanent screen.
- Apply painter’s tape to any open areas of the screen where you don't want ink to go through.
- Find a piece of cardboard about an inch larger than your headband. Stretch your headband over the cardboard. Screen printing your design while the headband is stretched slightly will keep your design from looking distorted when you wear the headband.
- Line up your frame on the headband.
- Squeegee your ink over the top of the screen.
- Lift the screen to reveal your printed design!
- Wash your screen and allow the headband to dry for 24-48 hours.
- Heat set the screen printing ink. Here is a tutorial that explains different ways you can heat set the ink. It's important that you heat set when using Speedball Fabric Ink. The heat cures the ink and makes the ink permanent allowing you to wash the item.