|Indy then runs the machine, and the rubber lid above the glass surface vacuum-seals the screen and transparency in place, which is Indy’s favorite part. “You can see the outline of the screen where the vacuum sucks it in,” they observe.
Inside, a mercury bulb emits a powerful UV light from beneath the acetate, hardening the emulsion into a tough, solid substance where the acetate is transparent.
Because the design printed onto the transparency is completely opaque, the emulsion above it is shaded from the exposure unit, remaining soft.
Step Three: Rinsing and Drying
With the emulsion hardened, or “burned,” Indy rinses the screen with water to wash away the softer emulsion, creating an empty space in the screen in the shape of the intended design.
From here, the screen is left in front of a fan to air dry before being secured to the printing press. The empty shape Indy creates in the screen allows ink to pass through, creating a single-color impression on the final product.
Each color in a given design will require its own screen, meaning Indy and Aaron may repeat this process up to six times before printing one shirt. Cause all great art takes time!