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SCREEN PRINTING (download PDF 1.0MB)
Introduction Preparing the Stencil & Emulsion Printing
Screen Print Materials Exposing the Stencil Stencil Removal / Screen Reclaiming
G&S Pigment System Paints Exposing Units / Methods Trouble Shooting
Creating Artwork Preparing for Printing Iron On Transfers
Mesh / Screen Preparation Printers Equipment Prices

INTRODUCTION

What is Screen Printing?

Artists call it serigraphy, hobbyist call it silk screen printing

Seeking a challenging and creative career?

The screen printing industry today is a large and highly varied industry in North America, and offers many exciting opportunities for a motivated individual. Thousands of people are employed in this business and it involves literally billions of dollars.

Screen printing is ancient, yet a highly revolutionary industry.

Screen printing is one of the world's oldest methods of printing words and images. Its origin can be traced back to early Egyptian and Chinese civilizations. Although it is an ancient process, there have been many new innovations and improvements in the last decades. Glow in the dark and scented inks, dye discharge for printing on darks, environmentally friendly and extremely high quality water based inks. Not to mention computer artwork!

Print on virtually anything.

Today it is still the only printing method that allows you to print directly onto virtually anything, including vertical, soft, hard, or round surfaces. Where other methods fail, screen printing often offers the solution.

Screen printing is universal - you see it everywhere.

With all the new processes and advancements, we come in contact with screen printed materials everyday, everywhere. For example, most of the plastic containers used for cosmetics, food, and industrial products, billboards, supermarket signs, ball point pens, golf balls, T-shirts, caps, safety stickers and product identification decals, imprinted toys, decorative automobile trim and truck signs have all been screen printed. Even electronic circuit boards and screen printed with special conductive inks allowing speedier production and cost reduction.

Screen printing is simple.

  1. A screen fabric or mesh (similar to a window screen, but much finer) is stretched tightly onto a square or rectangular frame. The screen fabric may be silk, nylon, wire, cotton organdy, but usually polyester.
  2. Part of the screen is blocked with a stencil.
  3. When ink is deposited onto the screen and frame assembly, pressure is required to spread and push the ink through those areas for the screen that are not blocked by the stencil. This is accomplished by the use for a squeegee-a flexible plastic or rubber blade supported by a holder.
  4. When the ink passes through to the surface below, that surface (called the substrate) is printed with the image defined by the stencil. The substrate may be T-shirts, paper, glass, plastic, or any of numerous possibilities.