Silkscreen Printing

Brief History Of Silkscreen Printing

Silkscreen printing is probably the most favored fabric printing technique in the world. From big print companies to small t-shirt entrepreneurs, silkscreen, or also known as screen print and serigraphy, is the preferred method. Even individuals who are trying their hands at shirt printing for the first time choose screen printing. The popularity of this technique is due to its relatively easy process and inexpensive materials involved. It may require patience as it is a time-consuming process, but unlike other methods, we don’t need expensive high-tech equipment or overtly artistic skills. We just need a fine screen over a frame, stencil, and paints among others.

Printing with the use of a screen goes as far as the Far East during the ancient times, although the art of stenciling can be traced earlier. The Song Dynasty in China first used this method before Japan and other neighboring countries in Asia followed and improved the process.

It was in 1907 that sign painter Samuel Simon perfected a simple wooden frame with silk stretched over it, which is similar to what we know of the technique today. He obtained patent for his silkscreen device and taught other sign makers how to use it. American entrepreneur John Pilsworth adopted the idea a few years later, combining several different stencils on different screen to produce an image with various colors.

Uses Of Silkscreen Printing

Nowadays, we often associate this print technique with fabrics such as t-shirts, bags, and banners. However, silkscreen printing is also widely used for mass printing on various surfaces, including plastic, paper, wood, and metal. We can even use it to print on glass, vinyl, ceramic mugs, and balloons.

The idea is to print in bulk quantity at the lowest cost. Printing using silk screen or fine mesh can achieve that goal. That is why a lot of printing companies prefer to use this method over others. It also produces clean and solid colors on print, although it is not recommended for printing photographic images.

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