The Ultimate Guide: How to Screen Print on T-Shirts

Screen printing is a popular method of transferring designs onto t-shirts. Whether you're an aspiring artist, a small business owner, or simply looking for a creative project, learning how to screen print on t-shirts can open up a world of possibilities. In this guide, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of screen printing and provide valuable tips to help you achieve professional-looking results.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Materials

Before you begin, gather the following materials:

  • T-shirts
  • Screen printing frame
  • Emulsion
  • Screen printing ink
  • Squeegee
  • Design stencil
  • Exposure unit or sunlight
  • Washout station

Step 2: Prepare the Screen and Design

Start by stretching the screen printing frame with a mesh screen. Apply the emulsion evenly on the screen and let it dry. Once dry, place your design stencil on the screen and secure it tightly. Ensure that there are no gaps or misalignments in the design.

Step 3: Expose the Screen

Expose the screen to light using an exposure unit or sunlight, depending on the type of emulsion you're using. The light will harden the emulsion, except in the areas covered by the stencil. This process creates the design template for printing.

Step 4: Washout and Set up Printing Station

Wash out the screen with water, removing the uncured emulsion. Allow the screen to dry. Set up a printing station by placing the t-shirt on a flat surface and positioning the screen on top of it.

Step 5: Print the Design

Apply a generous amount of screen printing ink onto the top edge of the screen. Hold the screen firmly and use a squeegee to pull the ink across the design, applying even pressure. Repeat this step for each t-shirt, ensuring the ink is evenly distributed.

Step 6: Dry and Cure the Print

Once you've completed printing, carefully remove the t-shirt from the screen. Allow the ink to air dry, or if using water-based ink, follow the instructions for heat curing.


Q1: Is screen printing suitable for all types of fabrics?A1: Screen printing works well on various fabrics such as cotton, polyester, and blends. However, it may not be suitable for very stretchy or textured materials.

Q2: Can I reuse the screen for different designs?A2: Yes, you can reuse the screen by washing off the previous design and applying a new one. Ensure that the screen is thoroughly clean before starting a new project.


Screen printing on t-shirts is an exciting and rewarding process that allows you to showcase your creativity and produce personalized garments. By following the step-by-step instructions outlined in this guide, you can master the art of screen printing and bring your designs to life. Remember to practice and experiment with different techniques to refine your skills. Get started on your screen printing journey today and unlock endless possibilities for expressing your unique style!