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Silkscreen T-Shirt

Christy Petterson crochets a string chain to incorporate into her silkscreen printed T-shirt.

Materials and Tools:

Jersey knit
string (household twine-twisted cotton)
15.00mm crochet hook (size Q)
permanent powder fabric dye
big metal stockpot and wooden spoon
hot water and 1/2 cup of salt (per batch)
iron and ironing board
screen filler
fabric ink for printing
2 bricks
sewing machine and thread
masking tape

Steps 1-3


1. Cut a 23" x 52" rectangle of fabric.

2. Rinse the fabric in water to get rid of any finish on it.

3. While the fabric is rinsing, crochet a 6-foot long chain using household string and a size Q crochet hook.

Steps 4-6

4. Fill a stockpot with water, salt and fabric dye. Put the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Stir all the contents with a wooden spoon to make sure everything dissolves.

5. Put the rinsed fabric and chain-stitched string into the pot for 15 minutes. Stir constantly making sure all the fabric is immersed. For the next 45 minutes stir occasionally.

6. Place the fabric under running water until the water runs clear. Place the fabric and chain stitches on a drying rack until dry.

7. While the fabric is drying, prepare the screen for printing. Draw a design onto a silkscreen with a pencil.

Steps 8-10

8. Prop the screen up on two bricks and using the screen filler, paint the area that should NOT print. This creates a negative of the image. Flip the screen over and smooth out any areas where the filler has clumped.

9. Let the screen dry and repaint it to make sure it is thoroughly covered. Let the screen dry.

10. Heat set the fabric by ironing the back side of it.

Step 11

11. Fold the fabric into the shape of the shirt by folding it in half vertically. The centerfold creates the shoulders. Fold the shoulder line in half and cut the V-shaped neck hole.

Step 12

12. Place masking tape around the inside edges of the silkscreen.

Step 13

13. Place the fabric on the table and place the dried screen on the fabric in the desired location for the image.

Step 14

14. Place a hefty amount of ink at the top of the screen, and with the squeegee, pull the ink down over the screen while holding it firmly in place.

Steps 17-18

15. Gently lift the screen off and repeat printing as desired. Prop the screen on bricks and set the fabric aside to dry.

16. Heat set the back side with an iron again.17. With the sewing machine, sew the chain stitch onto the fabric in a free form pattern in and around the printed design.

18. With right sides together, sew up the two sides using a zigzag stitch leaving a space for the armholes. Finish the neck by stitching around it with a zigzag stitch. Turn the shirt right side out.

A native to Atlanta, Christy Petterson really knows how to bring people together. She’s a public relations specialist for the Georgia World Congress Center, a large convention center in Atlanta. She spends the rest of her time in the world of crafts, making her own projects, organizing a large craft fair in Atlanta and even writing a monthly column for a crafty website!


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