Screen printing is one activity that can easily transform from a hobby to a profession if you know what you are doing and if you have the right tools at your disposal.
You will be able to create anything from t-shirts, posters, or any other fabric or canvas with the right screen printing techniques as well as the right screen printing kit.
The right screen printing kit will not only streamline your screen printing processes but also greatly improve the quality of anything you are trying to create with your screen printing kit.
You’ll want to take some time to explore what screen printing kits have to offer if you are even remotely interested in transforming screen printing from a hobby to a profession.
Top Picks : 5 Best Screen Printing Kit
Top 9 Best Screen Printing Kits
1. Advanced all-in-one screen printing kit by Speedball
One of the biggest frustrations of any given screen printing project is exposing the screen. A lot of screen printing kits contain light sources that either expose the screen too much or do not provide enough exposure. Finding a screen printing kit that has a perfect light source is nearly impossible, yet said light source is so critical to quality screen printing.
One of the best things about Speedball’s screen printing kit is that it contains a light source that does a very good job of exposing the screen without doing its job too well. This is because of the lamp and photobulb that it comes with. This streamlines the screen printing process a lot, and the instruction book it comes with will perfect this process.
Another good thing about Speedball’s screen printing kit is that it literally contains everything you need to begin screen printing almost immediately. Whether you need a squeegee, ink, or a frame, you’ll get all of it with Speedball’s screen printing kit.
The only thing you might not enjoy about Speedball’s screen printing kit is that the squeegee is of questionable quality. While this is to be expected in that it is an all-in-one kit, it is still something you’ll need to be aware of.
2. Intermediate screen printing kit by Speedball
The majority of screen printing kits can be intimidating and overwhelming. If they aren’t intimidating and overwhelming to use, they only contain basic materials which do not mean much to anybody who is at an intermediate level when it comes to using screen printing kits. Finding a proper screen printing kit for those at an intermediate level is not easy.
As the description suggests, Speedball’s intermediate screen printing kit is perfect for anybody whose skill level with screen printing is at the intermediate level. It contains materials that can accomplish drawing fluid/screen filler functions as well as photo emulsion functions of screen printing, which is vital for someone who is of intermediate experience with screen printing.
Anybody who is familiar with screen printing knows how necessary all the materials of any given screen printing kit are to finish a project. You will get all the fluids, inks, removers, and cleaning materials you will ever need with Speedball’s intermediate screen printing kit. It leaves nothing to chance.
The abundance of materials you get with Speedball’s intermediate screen printing kit can get very overwhelming. You get so many bottles of fluids that it might be very difficult to keep track of everything and this is one thing that you’ll need to watch for.
3. Beginner screen printing vinyl kit for e-commerce packaging by Speedball
Being able to screen print things is almost necessary if you perform any kind of e-commerce sales that entails you selling physical products. This is especially true if you intend to do everything yourself and keep all your sales for yourself. It is very difficult to find screen printing kits that are designed for beginners that also revolve around simplicity.
You will want to consider what Speedball has to offer with their beginner vinyl kit if you need to screen print products at home without needing to use screen filters or emulsion, which are more advanced screen printing techniques that use chemicals. Speedball’s beginner vinyl kit uses no such chemicals and instead combines vinyl printing and screen printing.
The best part about Speedball’s vinyl screen printing kit is that you’ll be able to create multiple images with it. This is because vinyl is easy to remove from these screens. You also get a very clear instruction card with it that can walk you through most basic screen printing tasks.
You will need to look somewhere else if you are looking for a screen printing kit that does use chemicals to create screen printed products. Speedball’s beginner screen printing kit contains none of these kinds of materials since it is designed for beginners.
4. Four color 1 station screen printing press by BQTZ
Most screen printing kits are limited in the colors of designs that it can print. While this is negligible for anybody who only needs to make simple black and white designs, it is problematic if you need to screen print multiple colors onto other surfaces. The majority of screen printers and screen printing kits are not capable of doing this.
BQTZ’s printing press will allow you to perform other screen printing tasks that expand beyond making simple designs for shirts or other fabric. Not only does it contain red, blue, green, and yellow screen frames, you’ll also be able to use it to create designs onto not just fabrics, but also wood, glass, tiles, and even circuit boards.
The pallet and screens of BQTZ’s printing press are also very easy to manage and manipulate. Both of them can rotate 360 degrees by themselves. This allows you to streamline your screen printing processes to the point where you can work very quickly.
BQTZ’s screen printing press is completely manual in its operation. None of it operates automatically. While this might not be noticeable when creating designs on fabrics, you’ll need to take your time when using it to print on different surfaces.
5. 22 piece screen printing starter kit with film, mask tape, and gloves by MQ
Things can be not only overwhelming when you are completely clueless about screen printing but want to familiarize yourself with screen printing at the same time. Most screen printing kits will assume that you are at least somewhat familiar with the act of screen printing in terms of what kinds of materials you need to use, among other things.
MQ’s screen printing kit is specifically designed for anybody who is an absolute beginner with screen printing to the point where they just want to make screen printing just another fun hobby. It contains nearly everything you’ll need to get started with screen printing.
You also get a couple of things with MQ’s screen printing kit that you don’t usually get with other screen printing kits. The first of these are waterproof transparency sheets. Because they can resist ink very easily, they will make transfers very easy. The masking tape it comes with also makes things very easy as it leaves no traces.
One thing you’ll need to know about MQ’s screen printing starter kit is that it contains no ink. You’ll need your own ink, paint, emulsion, and cleaner in order to truly get started using it.
6. “Diazo” photo emulsion kit by Speedball
There are very few screen printing kits that contain emulsion or anything like it. Most of them are not even compatible with photo emulsion, which can limit what you create with most of them. Dealing with this is especially frustrating for those who perform screen printing with photo emulsion and photo emulsion only.
You will get a lot out of Speedball’s Diazo emulsion kit if you use photo emulsion for most of your screen printing projects. Containing emulsion, sensitizer, as well as remover, the Diazo contains everything you need to add emulsion to your screen printing repertoire.
Most photo emulsion formulas require you to work in a darkroom or any other place that is light safe. This is not the case with the Diazo and this is perhaps its best quality. You’ll be able to work with the kit practically anywhere with it.
There are a couple of things that you need to watch for with the Diazo. First, you’ll need to mix the emulsion and sensitizer in order to activate the emulsion. You’ll struggle if you are not experienced in doing this. Also, the Diazo doesn’t come with screens or frames. You’ll need to have those ready.
7. 37 piece screen printing kit with stencil carving knife by Twoworld
Nearly all screen printing kits are incomplete in some way. They either contain frames and plenty of printing film, but they won’t contain any stencil equipment. The opposite is also true; they’ll contain stencil equipment but won’t contain frames or transfer paper. Dealing with this is frustrating.
Twoworld has finally created a screen printing kit that contains both of these. It contains a frame as well as a stencil engraving knife. This knife also contains 5 interchangeable blades which come in extremely valuable if you are engaged in long term screen printing projects. You’ll want Twoworld’s screen printing kit even if you just need a stencil engraving knife on its own since you get so many other things with it.
You’ll also get several accessories that will improve any screen printing kit with Twoworld’s screen printing kit. You get wooden sticks that help you mix the materials you use, gloves that will protect your hands from stains, and tape that makes it much easier to tear off the printing film.
Twoworld’s screen printing kit is missing one thing, and that thing is emulsion materials. This is the one thing that prevents it from being an all-inclusive screen printing kit. You’ll need your own emulsion materials in order to get started using it.
8. Semi-Transparent screen printing kit by Jacquard
Something that is unfortunately common in most screen printing kits is that they don’t contain emulsion, sensitizer, or inks. You often need to acquire these yourself and dealing with this is very frustrating, especially if you have everything you need for screen printing except these materials, since they are far and away the most elusive.
You’ll get everything you need to begin applying your screen printed designs with Jacquard’s printing kit. It comes with not only emulsion and sensitizer, it also comes with yellow, black, red, blue, and green inks which will allow you to be even more creative when screen printing. You’ll enjoy Jacquard’s printing kit if you are looking for something that allows you to go beyond black and white screen printing
Most screen printing kits that contain ink, sensitizer, and emulsion don’t come with a screen or a frame. Jacquard’s printing kit comes with these things, which means that you will not need to have them ready or go out and get them yourself.
Jacquard’s printing kit is very limited when it comes to other kinds of materials that you might need in case you make mistakes or if you want to create more complicated designs. It comes with no stencil equipment and nothing that allows you to peel off what you just created. You’ll need to have those materials on hand.
9. Introductory screen printing kit by Speedball
There are very, very few screen printing kits that are truly comprehensive. If they contain ink, they won’t contain frames or sheets. If they contain ink, frames, and sheets, they won’t contain sensitizer. While this doesn’t concern experienced screen printers enough, it will turn off those who are not as experienced.
You will literally have everything you need to begin screen printing with Speedball’s introductory screen printing kit in your possession. It contains plenty of ink in different colors, a frame, screen fluid, sensitizer, sticks that you will need to mix the paint, and a small paintbrush. This gives you everything you need to begin creating nearly anything you want for screen painting immediately.
Surprisingly enough, you’ll be able to use Speedball’s introductory kit for more than one surface. Not only can you use it to screen print on fabrics, but you can also use it for screen printing on cardboard as well as wood. Most introductory screen printing kits are limited to just fabric and it is nice that Speedball’s expands beyond this.
Being an introductory screen printing kit, there are a few things that are not included in Speedball’s kit that most advanced screen printers would find useful. You won’t come across stencil knives or any emulsion materials in it.
Screen Printing Kits – A Buying Guide
Finding the right screen printing kit for you can be complicated since none of them are totally complete.
You’ll be sure that you have the right one in your possession if you consider the following things.
How experienced are you with screen printing?
This is the first thing to consider and it is perhaps the most important.
Some screen printing kits are designed for those who are just starting to learn the art of screen printing and some are designed for those who know exactly what they are doing.
You’ll be able to tell which ones are designed for which experience level when it comes to a craft such as this.
Will you need a screen printing kit for yourself or for an establishment?
While most screen printing kits are designed for personal use, some of them are efficient enough that they can be used in establishments.
You’ll want to seek out a screen printing kit that contains everything you need for the most complicated screen printing projects if you do need one for your profession.
The kinds of materials you’ll need for more complicated screen printing projects are stencil knives and photo emulsion related materials.
These seem to contribute the most to detailed screen printing projects.
Which method do you prefer when performing screen printing?
There are two general ways to screen print a design.
The first is to simply paint it onto the transfer sheet.
Although this does not take a lot of time, it is a preferred method for simple designs rather than detailed ones.
For more detailed designs, you’ll need to use photo emulsion materials.
This gets painted on but it is more permanent than using regular ink.
It is up to you to decide which method is more necessary and which you prefer.
Do you have access to a darkroom?
Most screen printing is photosensitive.
This means that there is no way that it can be accomplished if it is attempted in the presence of light.
While this is true for most screen printers, it isn’t true for all of them, and if you do not have access to a darkroom, you’ll still be able to perform screen printing if you possess a screen printing kit that you can use in any environment.
Screen printing is complicated, and it can be even more complicated to attempt to find a screen printing kit that will allow you to do what you need to do.
Something you should know about screen printing kits is that they are not perfectly comprehensive.
You’ll need to know what you already have or what you can afford to acquire separately alongside your main screen printing kit.
If you take the time to determine this, you’ll have a much easier time looking for a screen printing kit that you’ll get the most out of.