Screen Printing onto Irish Linen Part One

This is the first part of our three part screen printing blog posts to come, screen printing is becoming a massive part of what we do here in the studio (Click here to browse our range of Linen Wall Banners) so I wanted to share with you just what goes on and how it came to be!

Linen. Possibly one of the things associated most with Ireland when you think of fabrics. In terms of our heritage, centuries ago linen was a massive industry with many working mills over the country. With the introduction of cotton and other fabrics (plus the small issue of our 'troubles') there was a massive decline in the linen industry, however their is still a few mills weaving linen and a special one is part of our businesses story... 

Irish Craft, Linen, Irish Linen, Handmade, Wall Banner,

Independant crafters 

With all our products we've always wanted to make them ourselves mainly for the three reasons; 

1. To ensure our products are authentic and of the highest quality
2. So that we can have creative control and make our 'vision'
3. Running off our own steam making products means our customers receive orders as quickly as possible

As well as wanting to create all our products ourselves we like to source our materials from local and ethical businesses, something as you know we are passionate about. 

Challenges 

However when we came up with the idea of making wall banners we were faced with a series of challenges. How exactly were we going to be able to create them whilst staying true to our business philosophy? Upon researching linen suppliers, much of the linen on offer was not Irish and was synthetically made. As well as this we found digitally printing onto trial banners also created a problem, the machine just didn't give the finished piece a high quality look, with text slightly wonky! It was not ideal. All we wanted to do was create an authentic product whilst staying true to ourselves, why was this so difficult? 

Screen Print, Workshop, Handmade, Irish Craft, Printing

Challenge Accepted 

After some research we found a Flaxmill in Dungiven ran by a lovely couple Marion and Hermann who even weave some of their own linen! They cut our banners custom shape, send the linen back to us and we do the rest! So the first problem was solved, quality, authentic linen had been sourced and available cut to custom size, even better! 

Now we just needed to print, so we took a gamble and Al has set-up a  workshop here in our home studio and is now our self-taught screen printing expert. After two years of experimenting, considering out-sourcing amongst other things he made it, perfecting the process! That why as said we can ensure the banners were of a great, handmade quality whilst staying true to our philosophy. 

With the linen sourced and the printing technique perfected voila the problems were solved! We had our Irish linen, our workshop to screen print in and a few great ideas! Let the printing commence. 

Happy Place, Screen Printing, Workshop, Quotes, Happy Quotes, Irish Craft, Handmade, Itty Bitty Book Co

Printing goals 

So that's just the beginning of our screen printing journey! Browse our wall banners here :) Upcoming blog posts, will show you around our workshop where the banners are printed with Al giving a demo and we'll be showcasing all six of our banner designs. Watch this space and see where our printing journey takes us! Click here for part 2 of the screen printing series! 

                                         


Astra McNicholl
Astra McNicholl

Author

Co-Founder of Itty Bitty Book Co, positivity ambassador, wife, mother and all round happy person!