Making a screen on a shoestring

Developing a new business is hard! And, if you don’t have the start up capital it is even harder.  For a business to begin generating an income you need the necessary tools that enables you to make your product to sell but you can’t sell… until you have those tools.  A bit of a catch 22 situation! For Elsie Jayne to continue developing I needed specifically sized screens for printing onto large pieces of fabric on my fabulous handmade screen printing table [I’m slightly in love with my mega printing table!].  But, I had no money left to buy these screens, they cost a pretty penny. So… I made my own!

I went to Harlow Timber Merchant in Derby – who I must add were extremely helpful and kind. I selected my wood which was 35 mm by 45 mm, and asked Harlow to cut my wood to specific sizes – 2 X 61 cm and 2 X 106 cm. The cost of the material was under £12.00 and I had plenty of timber left over.  I lightly sanded the pieces before connecting them using Gorilla Glue and screws. The next step was to ‘mesh’ my screen – mesh is a tightly woven fabric with millions of little holes through which ink passes when you are printing your fabric.


I met with Pandora Johnson in her wonderful hive of all things print related called Green Door Print Making Studio at Banks Mill Studios.  I would like to say that we were the epitome of screen making and meshing – the truth deviates  a little towards – how does this ratchet work, glued fingers, locked fingers, and wonky lines a la galore! But the end result is we have a perfectly working screen! So I say, regardless, that we are PROS!  We rocked it! We’re ‘Chickens’ – A little inside joke [this will be another blog post!].


I should perhaps write a tutorial!

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