Screen printing is a technique of printing by stencil on various materials. The process began in the late 1800s as an art form involving stencilling, but soon turned into an industry. It started with hand stencils attached to fabrics stretched over wooden frames. In the 20th century, the process became more sophisticated and mechanised, with screens being used to print on fabric and flat posters. Today, screen printing is used primarily for textiles and packaging, as well as on flat signs and posters.
Screen printing requires tiny dots, like those used in comic books. The process takes much longer than digital printing, and involves manual prep work. However, screen printing has many advantages over digital printing, including its consistency. In addition to being faster, screen printing also offers some unique effects. For instance, the printing of comic books can use fluorescent colors known as “dayglo” shades. Moreover, high-density inks have suede-like textures. In addition, the crackle effect allows the image to appear distressed, giving the piece a vintage look.
Once the mesh screen is ready, it is lowered onto the printing board. Ink is added to the top part of the screen with the squeegee. A squeegee is used to push the ink through the stencil’s open areas, creating a design that imprints on the product underneath. Usually, multiple items are placed on the printing board at the same time, and the process is repeated for each new garment. When the printing is complete, the stencil is cleaned and repurposed.
Among the two methods of textile printing, screen printing is the most popular method for producing high-quality prints. The price is lower when printing a single color, but increases in price as more colors are used. This technique is best for custom prints because it allows for high-quality, intricate designs. In addition, it is cheaper for large orders than for one-off prints. It can also be used for multi-colored designs and can be more complex than with digital printing.
Using a mesh screen is a highly efficient method for making multicoloured prints. To achieve a high-quality print, a screen must be coated with a special emulsion. This emulsion hardens under bright light. The acetate sheet with the design is then placed on the emulsion-coated mesh and exposed to the light. As the screen is exposed to the light, the emulsion remains liquid on the screen covered with the design.