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silkscreening on camping gear
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peter kvamme
(karacolor) - F

Locale: midwest
silkscreening on camping gear on 06/23/2007 09:35:08 MDT Print View

Does anyone have any experience with silkscreening on any outdoor gear? I am working on making a tarp, and a tent, and think it would be pretty cool to silkscreen something personalized on the side of it.
I have a little silkscreening experience, and understand the process but am worried about how the ink will stand up to the elements. And I am afraid to try the ink made for fabric because you need to heat treat it, which could possibly melt my silnylon?
Also, I dont know what kind of weight I would be adding by doing this, but since the image wont be too large I think the novelty factor will outweigh the added weight.
Has anyone done silkscreening on any of their home made gear, or have any advice?

Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Re: silkscreening on camping gear on 06/23/2007 10:33:31 MDT Print View


I don't have any experience with silkscreening, but in my experience, the only thing that sticks to sil-nylon is silicone bases sealants. You could try silk-screening a label out of 1.1 oz uncoated nylon and stitching or gluing it with silicone to silnylon. If you stitch it on and make several labels, it can be replaced when your printed image gets too worn. I imagine the weight of a 1/2 square foot label abd ink couldn't be more than a quarter ounce.

Good luck

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: silkscreening on camping gear on 06/23/2007 15:47:34 MDT Print View

Ive been away from the industy for sometime. I have done alot of printing on nylon but not silnylon. Take a sample of the sil to your local screen printing shop and ask them if they know of an ink that will adhere. They print on expensive nylon sport jackets and send them through an oven to cure the ink. It does'nt harm the material. You don't have the equipment to do this at home. To have a screen made would be expensive to decorate your tarp/tent. The weight of the ink would be negligble.

Check the local screen printer, start there.

In the near future I'll be doing some printing on the lid of a alcohol stove made for backpacking. The name of the stove is Ring of Fire/a>. One of the stoves is at auction on ebay. /a>
I'll be using a heat resistant epoxy ink and will have a screen made locally. I'll post some photos when available.

Link to ebay: ebay

Edited by zelph on 06/23/2007 16:05:36 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: silkscreening on camping gear on 06/24/2007 18:48:57 MDT Print View

Try some acrylic fabric dye. You can buy small bottles at most craft shops. Paint a little on a sample of your tarp material, not too thickly applied. Let it dry overnight and heat set it with a damp towel above and below the nylon. Use a hot iron and press hard while keeping the iron moving at all times. After the piece cools use laundry detergent and run it through your washing machine on cold/cold.

I've never tried this with silnylon but have done linoleum block printing on coated nylon tent flys and ripstop tent bodies. It workes great. I've used up to four colors and put our CARRYING A GOOD THING TOO FAR club logo on all my tents but the Evolution 2P. If it works you can get lino blocks and carve your design. This is something you can do on the kitchen table.

Edited by redleader on 06/24/2007 18:50:50 MDT.

peter kvamme
(karacolor) - F

Locale: midwest
silkscreen vs relief on 06/24/2007 19:21:33 MDT Print View

Do you think that doing a relief print (with the linoleum blocks) would work better than silkscreening? (I have never done any printing on any fabric other than tee shirts, which is not slippery at all)
I think the main thing I am worried about is melting the silnylon with the heat treating, but as long as I am careful it should be fine. Maybe I will just try it out on a scrap piece of fabric, or a stuff sack, to see how things go.
Thanks for the advice so far!

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: silkscreen vs relief on 06/25/2007 19:44:36 MDT Print View

You cn do linoleum block printing with just a few tools. Lino carving knives (from exacto i believe) and a brayer (roller to spread ink) and a piece of quarter inch plate glass or plexiglass (for spreading ink). I do all this in my kitchen. It's no sweat, and the blocks last for years. My blocks are 15 years old and need to be redone. I've probably printed 150 tee shirts, tents and other stuff.

Aaron Cantrell
(entplex) - F
my 2 cents.... on 01/11/2008 12:23:26 MST Print View

i have just sewn a few stuff sacks out of a light weight ripstop nylon. The fabric appears to be coated with something, but not a silnylon (don't know what it is as i bought the fabric at a thrift store). I used speedball fabric ink and heat treated with an iron (on a low setting and covering with a paper towel). This appears to be working fairly well and is fairly scratch resistant. I also did another test using the same stencil that I screen printed with using painters touch spray paint, this method seems to adhere to that fabric better. If you go the spray paint route, I would suggest using Montana brand as I have found it to work best on other fabrics. Once these stuff sacks have had a bit of wear on the trail, I'll post back.