Today’s tip of the day involves the proper way to hold a squeegee while screen printing. Now although there are many ways to hold the squeegee, I will try to explain the two easiest ways.
There are two ways to print using a squeegee, you can either push the ink through the screen, or pull it trough the screen. No one way is right or wrong – any way that works for you is the way you should stick with (remember it will take some practice).
When using plastisol ink you most often have to flood the screen right before print and using water base you MUST flood the screen before every print. When you flood you hold the squeegee in a 85 degree angle towards the back of the screen and pull it forward towards your stomach. Since you are not “forcing” ink through, rather just “priming” the screen You don’t have to use to much pressure. At this point you need to decide whether you are going to push the ink through, or pull the ink through the screen onto the shirt. My preference, pulling, works as such. Hold the squeegee firmly with both hands. Make sure that you have your four fingers wrap over the top of the squeegee leaving only your two thumbs on the back side. In addition you want to make sure, there is no gap between the top of the squeegee and your palm, otherwise your stroke will not have enough support. Firmly push down the squeegee with your wrists at a 85 degree angle and pull forward. You basically want to “clean” the screen and by this I mean you want to not leave any ink behind the squeegee when you pull it. (You will usually hear a noise from the tip of the squeegee rubbing against the screen, this is good!). If you want to push the ink, you will pretty much follow the same method of holding the squeegee. After the screen is flooded , you hold the squeegee at a more acute angle and push the squeegee from your stomach to the end of the screen. Again you want to sort of “clean the screen”.
Go ahead and try it! Go make your custom t-shirts!