The Hive Café and Silk Screening

As part of Concordia University’s “Bite Me” week, we attended a conference at The Hive Café where we were taught how to Silk screen. Silk screening is a printmaking method which is used to print designs onto materials such as t-shirts and posters. However, before learning how to silk screen, two of the Concordia students involved in running the café explained what a solidarity Co-op café is and what the goals of the Hive Café are. In a Solidarity Cooperative, there are three different membership categories: user-members, worker-members, and community-members. This model exists to allow all members to be involved in decisions regarding the café. These groups work together to make sure the goals of the Co-op are reached, including maintaining financial sustainability, and following the values of the Hive Café. The Hive Café aims to provide clients with affordable, ethically sourced food using sustainable practices. Also, the Hive is meant to be a creative and inclusive space that people are encouraged to use even if they do not purchase anything. After learning about the café, we were very excited to take part in the Silk screening workshop. Silk screening is a long process and many materials are used to perform it.

Materials:

  • emulsion kit
  • acetate with a design
  • a pair of scissors to cut the material
  • green or clear tape
  • textile
  • a screen
  • squeegee

Steps:

  1. Before beginning, you must wash the screen.
  2. Place the fabric you want to use on a table and even it out.
  3. In a dark room, use the squeegee to coat the screen with emulsion. Make sure to use enough emulsion and remove any excess.
  4. Place the acetate on the outside of the screen and tape it in place.
  5. Place the screen in direct light to expose the emulsion.
  6. Remove the acetate and wash the screen in a sink. When you hold the screen up, you should now see the design.
  7. Once the screen has dried, place ink on the screen and spread the ink using the squeegee.
  8. Carefully press the screen down onto your fabric and then remove. Your design should now be printed on the fabric.

If the emulsion does not dry, it can be used a couple of times. Let your fabric dry and enjoy!

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