Frequently Asked Questions: Screen Printing with Vinyl

Why do you need to heat set the ink?

Once you have finished screen printing, your Speedball fabric ink needs to dry completely. I like to wait at least 24 hours, but you can speed up the process using a heat gun.  Once it is dry, the final step is to heat the ink so it will become permanent on the shirt and won’t fade in the wash. Here’s an article with 6 Ways to Heat Set Your Fabric Ink.  If you have an Easy Press 2, here are some additional details about heat setting.

Why doesn't my vinyl stick to the screen?

I have tested several types of transfer tape and found one that works the best.  This is my favorite transfer tape to use with screen printing.  If you are frustrated that your vinyl won’t stick to the screen, try this tape!  I have the 6.5 inch roll but the other sizes will work too!

Help! How do I get ink out of a shirt?

It happens, we all mess up – using a little too much ink or forgetting to tape off a spot on the screen can get ink outside of your design!  You can try getting it wet and scrubbing Dawn dish soap on the spot.  Just keep in mind that if the “good” part of the design gets wet, it will start to bleed!  I have the most success getting out these mistakes when I immediately scrub the shirt before it has time to dry. 

Where do you buy your shirts?

I shop at Shirts in Bulk.  They have fast delivery and ship for free when you spend $50! Here are my favorite brands and styles: My Favorite Blanks for Screen Printing

Can I reuse my screen?

Yes, you can use the same screen to make as many prints of one design as you need.  Once you are done, immediately remove the adhesive vinyl and wash your screen with water.  After your screen is dry, it is ready to use again for your next project!  Here more information about How to Clean Your Speedball Screen.

Why is ink bleeding around the edges of my design?

Ink bleeding is usually a sign of too much ink going through the screen.  The process is a balance of getting enough ink to cover your design but not too much ink. This takes some practice to get the feel for what works for you.  I suggest trying on a scrap piece of fabric or old t-shirts until you get the hang of it.