Shannon's Steps to YUDUing:
NOTE:  If you are using a pre-burned screen, you can skip steps 1-5!  (Scroll to the bottom for my tips on using direct emulsion (liquid emulsion) and my favorite places to find supplies).

1.  Putting the emulsion on the screen:  Place the screen in the kitchen sink and completely wet the screen.  Lay the screen flat, BACK SIDE UP.  Lay the emulsion DULL SIDE DOWN on the wet screen by lightly bending the sheet of emulsion and placing the the center down first.  It darkens somewhat when it is on there correctly (like it is trying to 'cling' to the mesh) and areas that aren't adhering look white.  Look for white spots and spidering and use your wet fingers to gently smooth out those spots.  Place the screen in the machine to dry or leave in a DARK, dry place.

2.  Dry the screen:  Place the screen in the machine (space at the bottom part of the machine) and turn on the fan to dry or leave in a DARK, dry place.  After the emulsion has completely dried, remove plastic sheet from the unexposed, emulsified screen.  (Tip from the manual:  if the plastic sheet does not remove easily, the emulsion is not dry).

3.  Burn your image:  You can use a BLACK die cut or black artwork that has been copied or drawn onto a transparency for your image.  Place image/transparency on top of machine.  Place screen front side up (emulsion side down). Put your platen on top of it to block out light, close cover (blue frame), place a weight (like your Cuttlebug) on top to keep all light out!  Hit the button that looks like a sun to expose the image to the screen which has been placed in the drying space under the machine.  There is a built-in timer that will alert you when it is done.  Note:  emulsion is green before it is exposed to light and blue after exposure.

4.  Rinse the screen:  Put screen under faucet to remove the green emulsion and reveal the design that was just burned on.  The design will be white, as this is the plain mesh and all parts that are not part of the design are covered with dried on emulsion and act as a resist.

5.  Dry the screen:  Again, place the screen in the machine (space at the bottom part of the machine) and turn on the fan to dry.

6.  Place item to be printed on the sticky-covered platen:  Smooth out the fabric. 

7.  Put ink in the screen:  Use painters tape to tape off any white areas that are not part of your design, like around the outer edges.  Lift the screen up a bit and squirt ink over your design and use the squeegee to spread the ink and flood fill the design. 

8.  Pull ink through the screen:  Lower the screen, holding it down with your elbows or forarms and pull the ink through using the hardest pressure you can.  MAKE ONLY ONE PASS.

9.  Remove your newly screen-printed item

10.  Rinse out your screen:  Do not let the mesh screen set.  You must either put more ink on to flood fill the image, rinse out the screen, or temporarily place the screen in a jellyroll pan of water to prevent the ink from drying on the mesh.  Allow the rinsed screen to dry completely before using it again.
11.  Heat set the inked image.

These are Shannon's tips:

  • Have 2" Painters Tape on hand.  (This is the blue stuff that you use to tape off your woodwork when you paint your walls at home.)  Painters Tape is waterproof, unlike masking or packaging tape.
  • Buy the Squeegee Pro (ok this is just my note after using it!)
  • You can Yudu on pretty much any fiber (cotton, silk, poly).  Polyester takes longer to dry
  • There are two sides to the mesh screen frame.  The back is flush.  The front has a lip.  Use a marker to write "back" on the back of the screen.  You always want the back against the platen.  You always place your emulsion on the back.
  • You must have a sticky surface on which to hold your fabric.  The platen is this item.  For children's t-shirts, you can avoid buying a child platen by using an old Expression mat, restickied with spray adhesive and placed inside the child-size t-shirt and then the whole thing placed on the regular platen. 
  • To do shirts for a whole class (or other group), you can prepare the shirts by putting old re-stickied Expression mats in all of them and stacking them beside the YUDU.
  • The YUDU becomes a light box for your craft room by simply opening up the blue frame (cover) and lifting it up!  To use, turn on by pressing the light button.  This is a great way to justify keeping the YUDU out  in your craft room (...and not hidden under your bed).
  • There are three mesh sizes available on YUDU screens.  The bigger the number, the smaller the hole, therefore, the 110 (which comes with the machine and is unlabeled) is for fabric.  The 70 (that you would buy separately and is labeled) is for pulling glue through the screen for flocking, foil applying, and glitter (larger holes needed because the glue is thicker than the paint).  The 220 mesh (that you would buy separately and is labeled) is for use on screening paper (YUDU cardmaker uses this size mesh on its screen). 
  • Never let paint or glue just set on the YUDU while you do other things. Once it dries, your screen is ruined where the dried paint is.
  • The first time you use a new platen, the sticky is very sticky.  Don't worry that you will ruin your newly screened item when you take it off; the paint dries quickly!
  • You can save a screen that has been burned with a design (although you will have to (buy another screen for other projects) or you can use emulsion remover to clean off a screen.  Most people just save the transparencies they make and clean their screens.
  • An unseasoned screen (one that has never been used before) will be harder to put emulsion on.  It gets easier after it has been used.
  • Emulsion sheets are like fruit roll-ups; they have emulsion (the dull side) applied to a transparency (the shiny side).  Always apply the emulsion sheet dull side down!
  • You can use other brands of inks, glues, and glitters.  Inks and glues must be water soluable.  Glitter must be heat set.  Look for Art City brand for glitter and go to Hobby Lobby for paint (gold-colored top)
  • Emulsion is like the film we used to put in cameras.  Don't expose it to light, although you can prepare your screen in a lighted room.  Keep unused emulsion in the dark package it comes in.
  • When you want to do flocking or use the foil, use the 70 mesh screen and water soluable glue (Provocraft makes one for the YUDU).  Do all steps as with ink except that when you remove the fabric from the platen, immediately lay it flat on an ironing board, place flock side DOWN or foil with color UP (there is a misprint on the instructions on the foil packages), place a plain white sheet of paper on top, and heat set with an iron.  Then, let it set for the glue to dry completely.  Then pull up the flocking or foil sheets.  For glittering, after glue has been pulled through the screen, sprinkle on glitter (Provocraft and Art City make super fine heat set glitter), allow to dry completely, then shake off excess glitter and heat set.  It is helpful to have a jelly roll sheet with warm water nearby so you can place the screen in it while ironing so the glue doesn't dry on the mesh!
  • To YUDU a shoe, you flood fill the screen and pull ink through without it touching a surface.  Roll the shoe on the underside of the mesh.  Shannon suggested not putting the mesh in the YUDU, but rather one person hold the screen and the other roll the shoe.  This will take practice!
  • Always pull ink through on a bone dry mesh!
  • When using light/white ink on dark fabric, make one pass, leave fabric in place on the platen and use a blow dryer to dry ink, make a second pass.
  • The instructions on the packaging for the foil is incorrect.  It instructs you to place the foil with the color side down on the glue.  DO NOT DO THIS - the color side goes UP.  (The flocking direction are correct and you do place flocking side down in the glue).
  • Fun things to screen print: smooth flower sack type bar mops from Walmart (with kitchen towels), pillowcases, throw pillows, and of course, clothing!
  • Items must be completely flat so bags often cannot be YUDUed unless they are large enough to be absolutely flat.
  • This is not a 15 minute craft so make sure you allow for the time needed to dry screens, burn images, and allow glue or ink to dry!

My Tips on Using Direct Emulsion:

Direct emulsion is a liquid form of emulsion that is also UV sensitive, just like the capilary sheets mentioned and shown above.  I have moved completely to direct emulsion for all of my screen printing due to three factors:

  1. It is cheaper!  Direct emulsion is about 70 cents per screen to use as compared to $10 for for the Yudu-branded sheets!
  2. It is easier!  Every application is perfect every time.  No more 'wasted' sheets of film going down the drain.
  3. It is faster.  It naturally dries faster anyway, but with the use of a blow dryer, it is dry in 5 minutes!  (Don't use heat-- just cool air.  Most have a button for that.)

The liquid version of emulsion gets mixed with Diazo.  (I use a plastic spoon to mix it and then toss it!)  It will only last 3 months after being mixed, so I usually only buy it by the pint for this reason.  You will get 20-30 screens from a pint!  A pint of SWR-3 is less than $20.  (This is the same price for two Yudu-branded capilary emulsion sheets!) 

I use a screen stand and scoop coater to apply the emulsion.  You can see a video to learn how to apply it in this manner by going on line to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VnITgPCqHc&feature=player_embedded.  You will apply a very thin layer to the back of the screen, and then to the front.  You will hear a "zip" sound when you pull up the screen coater.  I love this method and it has changed YUDUing forever for me!  I bought my screen stand and screen coater, as well as the SWR-3 direct emulsion from Ryonet at http://www.silkscreeningsupplies.com/product/YEMULSION-P

Other YUDUers apply the emulsion by placing some in a plastic ketchup bottle and putting a bead of emulsion across the bottom and pulling up, using the plastic squeege that came with the Yudu, adding more emulsion as needed- not too much a little goes a long way- and flipping over the screen and scraping the back.  You CANNOT apply liquid emulsion to a FLAT screen it must be upright, at an angle. They dry it in the same way I have described above.

I highly recommend using direct emulsion. 


 My Screen Supply Preferences:

  • I love my YUDU!  You can get it as low as $99 on sale!  You can find it on cricut.com, Michael's Crafts, Joann's Fabrics, and from lots of different on-line retailers.  It is an awesome machine, allowing you to burn an image, dry screens, and pull ink all with the same piece of equipment!  It even serves as a light table for other crafting!
  • I love the YUDU-brand inks!  I buy them on cricut.com and use coupons for them at Joann Fabrics and Michael's Crafts.  They are rich and creamy.  I find thinner inks, like Speedball, are not as easy to use and do not give a nice, opaque coating.
  • I buy my screens from aftermarket supplier, Ryonet, at http://www.silkscreeningsupplies.com/yudu-printing-supply-inks.  They have sturdier screens with a tighter tension that typically cost less than regular-priced YUDU-branded screens.  They are easier to pull and to clean.
  • I have found success using YUDU-branded emulsion remover as well as Ryonet's EnviroStripper.  I do like the scrubbers from Ryonet for removing the emulsion.
  • I love using direct emulsion (liquid emulsion) and get that from Ryonet.  I also bought my screen coater and stand from that company. 
  • I use YUDU-brand transparencies.  I am in the process of testing other brands.
  • I buy my t-shirts and bandanas from Walmart, but there are tons of great on-line sources for t-shirts in bulk. 
  • I buy foils and flocking from cricut.com.
These are tips learned from Shannon Lerner at Provocraft at the Cricut Circle crop at Louisville, KY on June 3, 2011 as well as my tips on using liquid emulsion.  For the same information with pictures, please visit http://withglitteringeyes.blogspot.com/p/yudu.html