The Basics of Screen Printing

For those of you who aren’t familiar with screen printing, it is the process of transferring a design to a flat surface by means of a screen. The process is particularly cost-effective, and it can produce intricate designs. It is manual and requires a large print run. The process can produce a variety of products, from apparel to t-shirts and even automobiles. Below is a brief explanation of the basic steps of screen printing.

Screen printing is a process of transferring a design onto a flat surface

In screen printing, a stencil is used to transfer a design onto a flat surface. Parts of the stencil are blocked off in the negative image of the design. The screen then gets lowered onto a printing board, and ink is pushed through the open areas. The ink is transferred onto the surface of the fabric or paper through these open spaces. The resulting impression is a vivid color that is printed on the surface.

It is cost-effective for large print runs

Because of its cost-effective nature, screen printing is an excellent option for large print runs with relatively simple designs. In contrast, it is not as cost-effective for multiple-color designs, since a single design run can only be produced with a single set of screens. Because of this, screen printing requires a higher up-front investment than other imprinting methods, with an investment of $15,000 to $20,000 for a small print shop.

It allows for intricate designs

The process of screen printing involves forcing ink through a stencil to create a design. The stencils are made of masking tape or vinyl. They are adhered to mesh screens, and a squeegee is used to push the ink across the screen and into the stencil. A stencil can have any number of layers and must be aligned perfectly to achieve the desired end result. The printing process also involves bleeding.

It is a manual process

Although screen printing may not be as time consuming as digital printing, the entire process is still very manual. The screen printing press operator is in charge of stage the t-shirts for print and may not receive them. They use a Work Order printed on a tablet or printed Work Order and retrieve tools as needed. Although a press operator is not essential in large, automated shops, you can still hire one in smaller shops.

It is similar to developing photographs

Screen Printing is a process of making prints on a variety of surfaces. This method works best for flat, uncoated surfaces, like paper or plastic. In order to produce a screen-printed image, an image must be separated into individual colours using an emulsion. Professional screen printers use graphic design software to separate the different colours before screen-printing. If a photograph or piece of artwork is only one color, the process can still work.

It requires a new screen

In order to reuse a screen after printing, the process must begin by washing it thoroughly. The ideal way to wash a screen is with a high-pressure nozzle. Then, gently wet both sides of the screen – the print side and squeegee side. The opaque image on the film will begin to soften after a while. Once this is complete, the screen is ready to use again.

It requires a squeegee

A squeegee is essential to screen printing. This simple piece of rubber plays an important role in the transfer of ink through the screen. Hence, the squeegee must be cleaned properly to avoid damage. It should be rotated between printing sessions and allowed to rest for 24 to 48 hours. The squeegee blades must be sharpened periodically, as continuous contact with the inks and solvents will weaken the squeegee blades and decrease its performance.

It requires a wooden frame

In addition to the actual screen, a wooden frame is also used for the mesh. Most wood screens have the mesh glued to the frame’s face. However, many wooden screens were made in the 1970s with soft pine frames and corrugated staples in the corners. In these instances, the mesh is attached with cord pressed into grooves in the frame’s face or by using staples over cloth tape strips. While both methods work well, neither is particularly sturdy, and either method is unlikely to hold any more tension than is necessary. A better quality wood frame is made with mortise-and-tenon corners and has a mesh fabric glued directly to the face of the frame.

It is a pop-art medium in the 1960s

The pop artist Andy Warhol has made screen printing an iconic art form. He is credited with legitimizing screenprint as a fine art medium in the 1960s. Although screen printing had been around for centuries, Warhol contributed to the popularity of the medium by making it accessible to the mass public. Purists had criticized the technique for being too impersonal and machine-influenced, but Warhol exploited this disconnection by bringing it into the mainstream.

It is more expensive than sublimation printing

While the cost of screen printing is higher than sublimation printing, you won’t save money by using a sublimation printer. The ink and materials required to create screen prints are both expensive. The time it takes to set up each print also contributes to the cost. Although the cost of screen printing is higher than sublimation printing, the benefits far outweigh the cons. For starters, screen printing is more durable and offers higher quality prints. Unlike digital printing, which uses special printers to print on fabric, screen printing is more durable and provides high-quality images. Additionally, DTG designs fade after a few washes. Sublimation printing is now considered the future of this process.