How To Print Multiple Colors and Images Using Your Yudu Screen Printer
I have owned and been actively using my Yudu personal screen printing system for about a year now. After making some adjustments and adapting my process and supplies to both fit my printing needs and save myself a pretty penny, I can gladly say that we maintain a great working relationship. If you have used the Yudu system, then you know it does great work when printing single color, solid images. One question that I get from a lot of people is “How can I print images with more than one color?” To print with multiple colors requires a bit more work on your part, but is ultimately just as easy as printing single color images.
What You Will Need:
- 220 Mesh Screens (**one screen for each layer of color you want to print with**) - I still use the Yudu screens, I will admit. The price of their screens seemed to have dropped drastically over the last six months and you can now find them for about $15 each on Amazon.com – I suggest the 220 mesh because the print quality is much better when printing designs with fine detail.
- Emulsion – You can use the capillary films or you can do as I do and use a liquid emulsion. As I mentioned in my article How to Save Money While Using Your Yudu Machine, a liquid emulsion is not only easier to work with, but you will get way more screens coated for a fraction of the cost of capillary film.
- Transparencies – This is where a little more work comes in. In order to print multiple colors, you need have a separate transparency made for each color. The layering tool in Photoshop will come in handy here. It is best to create each color in its own layer. You will then print one layer over the other, giving you the ability to use more than one color.
- Inks, squeegees and the rest of your basic printing materials.
Once you have everything gathered, it’s time to make your screens. As I mentioned before, since you are working with multiple colors, you will need to have a transparency and a screen for each layer of color. When making my screens, I like to start with the bottom layer and work my way up. After applying emulsion to the screen and it has had time to dry, you can burn your first layer image. Once the image is burned, rinse out your screen and put it in the Yudu drying area and run it through a drying cycle or two. As the first screen is drying, you can burn your next layer.
Because you are working with layers of colors that will be applied over each other, it is best to make small marks to note where each transparency is so that they can be accurately lined up. Carefully switch out your transparencies (and make sure they are correctly positioned). Go ahead and burn your next layer, rinse it off and then let it dry. Repeat the process for each layer/screen.
Once you have finished burning your screens, you can start printing. Start with the bottom most layer. Make sure you allow the ink to dry before moving on the next color. Don’t move the shirt (or whatever it is you are screening on) because you might shift the image and it won’t line up when you go to screen your remaining layers. Move on to your next screens, being sure to allow the ink to dry before each new ink application. Once all of your colors have been screened, allow the whole image to finish drying and then heat set it per your ink’s instructions.
Printing in multiple colors with the Yudu machine does take a bit more work, time and patience but it is do-able and gets the job done. Have fun experimenting with different images and colors and eventually it will become second nature to you.