Essential Equipment for Silk Screen Printing: A Guide

Publicado por Paul Irizarry en

Silk screen printing, also known as screen printing or serigraphy, is a popular and versatile printing technique used to transfer images onto various surfaces, including fabric, paper, and plastic. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced printer, having the essential equipment for silk screen printing helps you achieve high-quality and professional results. 

In this guide, we will explore the essential equipment for silk screen printing needed to kickstart your silk screen printing journey.

Screen and Frame

Typically made of fine mesh stretched tightly over a frame, this is where your design will come to life. Opt for screens with mesh counts suitable for your desired level of detail in your prints. A higher mesh count translates to finer detail but may require more delicate handling.


The squeegee is your primary tool for pushing ink through the mesh and onto your printing surface. It's a rubber blade attached to a handle, available in various sizes to accommodate different screen sizes and printing needs. 

When choosing a squeegee, consider factors such as blade durometer (hardness) and handle ergonomics for optimal ink application.

Screen Ink

Your choice of ink plays a significant role in the outcome of your prints. For silk screen printing, you'll typically use specialty inks formulated for the process, such as plastisol or water-based inks

Plastisol inks are PVC-based and require heat curing, making them ideal for printing on textiles, while water-based inks offer a more eco-friendly option with softer prints and easier cleanup.

Exposure Unit

You'll need an exposure unit equipped with UV lights to transfer your designs onto the screen. This device exposes your screen to UV light through a film-positive, curing the light-sensitive emulsion in areas not covered by your design. 

Investing in a quality exposure unit ensures consistent exposure times and accurate reproduction of your designs.

Emulsion and Scoop Coater

The emulsion is a light-sensitive substance applied to the screen mesh before exposure. It creates the stencil that defines your print. A scoop coater simplifies the emulsion application process, ensuring smooth and even coats for optimal stencil quality. 

Choose emulsions suited to your printing environment and the types of ink you'll be using.

Screen Exposure Calculator

Achieving the perfect exposure time creates crisp, clean prints. A screen exposure calculator helps you determine the optimal exposure time based on factors like emulsion type, mesh count, and UV light intensity. 

By fine-tuning your exposure settings, you can minimize under or overexposure and achieve consistent results.

Drying Racks and Curing Equipment

Once you've printed your designs, proper drying and curing ensure durability and longevity. 

Drying racks provide a convenient space to air dry your prints, while curing equipment such as conveyor dryers or heat presses facilitate the curing process for plastisol inks, ensuring vibrant colors and wash-fast prints.

Cleaning Supplies

Keeping your equipment clean maintains print quality and prolongs the life of your screens and tools. Stock up on cleaning supplies such as screen wash, emulsion removers, and degreasers to remove ink residues and emulsion from screens, squeegees, and other equipment.

Shop Equipment for Silk Screen Printing Today

Starting your silk screen printing journey requires the right equipment to ensure optimal results. Investing in high-quality equipment will not only improve your printing outcomes but also enhance your overall printing experience. 

Holden's Screen Supply offers quality, affordable, and efficient silk screen printing products for beginner enthusiasts, hobbyists, and professionals. Shop equipment for silk screen printing today!

For inquiries, you may contact us here.