How to Fix Screen Printing Mistakes

colourful neck ties1 image by Warren Millar from

Screen printing is a means of imprinting visual images onto a piece of clothing or other fabric. The process entails the use of various inks and screen, stencils and a squeegee. Every color a visual image represents requires its own stencil and squeegee application. Once the image is applied to the fabric the material is dried and the process continued with an alternate fabric. Fixing screen printing mistakes is a tall task. While limited help is available once the ink is on the fabric, mistakes can be corrected in later applications by following a few simple tips.

Mix inks carefully. Thoroughly mixing inks reduces the thickness of the ink and prevents blotting. Mixing PVC ink with its plasticizer counterpart thins out the ink. Thin ink is easier to handle and manipulate with a squeegee.

Angle the squeegee properly. Maintain a consistent 45 degree angle when applying ink to the screen. Ink coats smoothly at this angle and is easy to control. At an angle of 60-degrees or more, ink settles onto the squeegee blade, thus reducing flow. An angle of 30-degrees or less results in ink spillage and excessive deposits onto the fabric.

Blot ink fast. Excessive ink stains on fabric are unfixable if they are allowed to dry. Dab a clean, absorbent cotton cloth straight down onto the spot where ink is overly heavy until the spot is even with other layers or ink or removed. Blot repeatedly until the ink is gone. You must blot while the ink is wet to maintain a chance to correct the mistake.