Silk screening is a messy process, but mostly just on the equipment and your hands. As long as I pay attention to my fingers, I can (and have done) silk screen in formal clothing. That said, not all students pay close attention to their fingers.
Each student has a partner, who holds the screen in place during the messy part.
The screen goes on top, then the stencil, then the fabric, and finally some cardboard and newspaper in case anything soaks through.
First, a dollop of ink is placed on the screen with a spoon. The ink is then gently smeared around until it covers all of the stencil holes. Finally, pressure is applied to the squeegee to force the ink through the silk and stencil onto the fabric.
If nobody else were waiting to use the equipment, the screen could then just drip dry overnight. But we've got 60 students and silk-screening factory going on here, so we use a hair dryer to dry the screen between students.
Between 7 and 15 students get through the process each afternoon.