Screen printing is a printing which uses a mesh fabric (silk) as a support for the composite stencil. In order to transfer the ink as an image onto a surface, the stencil form opens up areas of this mesh. A roller moves across the stencil and pumps the ink onto the mesh outlined in the open areas.
This type of printing is a type of stencil printing that prints a design on a silk screen or any other soft surface that has hollow areas covered with an impermeable material.
Silk screen printing
This type of printing has been used by artists to create works of art, and works created using this technique are called silk screen or serigraphy. A group of artists later formed the National Graphic Series Association, which in the 1930s coined the term “serigraphy”. This process was used in order to distinguish the difference between the artistic use of screen printing and the industrial use of this process. The word serigraphy is a combination of the Latin word “quot” (meaning silk) and the Greek word graphein (meaning writing or drawing). According to the announcement of the National Center for Environmental Aid, screen printing is the most common printing process in the world. Due to the availability of materials and equipment related to this printing technique, it is used for basic settings.
Screen printing history
Based on historical evidence, such a printing was first used in China during the Song Dynasty. Also, Japan and other Asian countries have also used this printing technique and by integrating with wood printing, improvements were made in this field.
Silk screen printing was invented for the first time in 1907 by “Samuel Simon” in England and was initially used for commercial and advertising purposes. This type of printing was used to print expensive wallpapers, printing on linen, silk and other soft fibers. Some European printers also took extensive activities in order to monopolize this technique.
In the early 1910s, some printers conducted experiments on chemicals that are sensitive to light. Roy Beck, Charles Peter, and Edward Owens tested the chromic acid salt, which was made from an emulsion of light-reactive stencils, and revolutionized the industry by providing optical image stencils. They created commercial screen printing. But it can be said that it took a long time to accept this method.
Currently, sensitizers are used, which have more security and less toxic substances compared to bichromats. In recent times, several methods are used to make light-sensitive stencils.
Screen printing technique
The screen is made of porous fiber that is stretched over an aluminum or wooden mold. In recent times, most meshes are made of man-made materials such as nylon and polyester. A portion of the screen is covered with an impermeable material to form a stencil that forms the negative pole of the image to be printed.
Then the obtained screen is placed on the surface where the printing is to be done, such as paper or other fibers. Ink also fits on the upper surface of the screen. The printing process happens in such a way that a small amount of pressure is applied on the printing surface and the ink tank is directed to the front part of the screen. Then a rubber blade is used to move the mesh to the lower part of the printed surface and press the rubber blade on the back surface of the screen.