Screen printing has been in use for over 100 years, but it still remains highly popular today. It may also be called serigraphy or silkscreening but the basic methods and processes remain the same. Essentially, it involves creating a mesh stencil and using that stencil to transfer designs onto the printing surface with inks. Whether you are looking for a new hobby or thinking of new ways to advertise your business, this is an excellent guide to screen printing.
Screen Printing Step-by-step:
• Step 1: Create the design. Often, it is printed out onto a transparent acetate film. This first step is important to get right because the results are used to create your stencil.
• Step 2: Prepare the screen. Select a mesh screen that has the right size and texture for your design. A layer of light-reactive emulsion is applied to the mesh screen. Other possible methods involve glue or lacquer but will not be discussed here.
• Step 3: Place the transparent acetate film onto the mesh screen. Expose it to a very bright light. Areas of the screen not covered with art will harden and solidify, while the unexposed areas remain water soluble.
• Step 4: Carefully rinse and dry the mesh screen to reveal your completed stencil.
• Step 5: Place the stencil on your chosen printing surface. Cover the screen with an even layer of ink and press it through using a squeegee. Ensure the stencil is fully covered with ink.
• Step 6: Remove the mesh screen and do a series of quality checks. If required, correct any mistakes. Closely follow the instructions on the temperature and duration required for the ink to dry completely.
Why Screen Printing Produces Vibrant Results
When compared to other forms of printing like digital printing, screen printing produces some of the most stunning and vivid images. This is because applying the thick layer of ink directly to the printing surface is more intense than the individual dots of color that digital printing uses. When combined with the variety of colors and designs that screen printing can produce, this makes it a very attractive option for people who want eye-catching designs.
Furthermore, due to the application of ink onto the surface, the design usually has a tactile quality to it. Some have described this as having an almost three-dimensional look and feel. This additional feature of having texture makes it even more vibrant, especially when different types of inks are used. Whether it’s glittery inks or puffy inks, the possibilities are endless!
Why Screen Printing Is So Efficient
Screen printing can produce large quantities of products in a short amount of time. This is because after the initial stencil has been created, it can be used repeatedly without the need for setting it up again. Additionally, the materials and equipment used are very easily transported. With no need for a studio or specific physical requirements, screen printing can happen almost anywhere! Professional screen printers like Hit+Run have gone on an America tour, bringing live screen printing to different states, countries, and types of events.
Screen printing is a wonderful example of how traditional art forms can still be relevant in modern times. The next time you think of printing on something, consider screen printing for a fun and hands-on experience!