Guide to Screen printing

Screen Printing is a kind of stencil printing, where ink travels through a material or mesh screen. These screens are made from thin fabrics, typically silk however nowadays usually a synthetic option, which is extended firmly over a metal or wood frame. It can be used to print onto a flat surface areas, consisting of other fabrics, documents, metals or wood; and is a process commonly used in printmaking, graphic design and fabrics.

The idea behind screen printing is to obstruct out or make impenetrable the locations that you do not want to be printed. Ink or paint is then forced through the rest of the screen with a rubber blade, called a squeegee onto the surface area you wish to print onto. The stencil can be produced by using an adhesive film (like vinyl or tape) or paper, painting onto it utilizing ‘screen blockers’ (glue, lacquer) or by finishing the screen with a light-sensitive emulsion which is then established as a photo.
What can you use screen-printing for?

Screen printing can be used to apply ink to any flat surface area, although the smoother the surface the much better the outcomes. Fabric and paper are the most typically screen printed surface areas, although wood, glass, perspex and metal are likewise choices. Screen printing is favoured as a printing approach due to the tactile nature of the resulting print and the saturated colours that it produces with ink. It’s extremely challenging to get the very same depth and strength of colour when printing digitally.

How does screen printing work?

The ‘screen’ in screen printing describes a metal or wooden screen, over which a great fabric, or mesh is stretched. The style to be printed is then created as a stencil onto this mesh, with the locations not to be printed being blocked out, and the areas to be printed left as mesh. Through this mesh, ink is pushed, using a rubber squeegee.

The stencil on the fabric screen can be produced by painting on glue or lacquer, or by using adhesive film or paper. A lot of typically though, stencils are made by painting a light-sensitive emulsion onto the screen which is then developed, in a procedure comparable to developing a photo.

This emulsion is delicate to light and stays water soluble till exposed to light. As soon as exposed to light, the emulsion hardens to the screen and can just be gotten rid of with chemicals. The emulsion is for that reason applied in a dark space and left to dry. An unfavorable of the image to be printed is then put over the screen (in the form of a nontransparent illustration or shape) and the screen is exposed to light. Where the light has been obstructed from striking the screen (where your nontransparent image has been) the emulsion remains water soluble, so once the screen is washed in water your blocked image area removes, leaving the exposed mesh. It is through this exposed mesh that your image can be printed.

The emulsion approach of developing a screen is most common, due to the fact that it permits outcomes to be exact and tends to make screens last longer, implying that numerous similar prints can be produced over time.
What sort of inks can I use?

Pigments, paint or anything liquid can theoretically be used to evaluate print, and the inks used in screen-printing differ depending on the surface you are printing on to.

For printing on fabrics, fabric inks can be used that, once heat set, develop device washable printed fabrics. This extends the life of the ink, enabling you to print a longer run prior to the colour dries in the screen.

The medium can also be used to create a translucent surface to the ink, implying two colours can be layered as much as create a 3rd colour.

Supplying the screen has been prepared and exposed effectively there is no limit to the variety of prints that can be printed from the coated screen and it can be washed with water and reused sometimes.
What other tools and devices do I require?

Aside from centers to make and clean the screen, there are a few beneficial tools you require around for screen printing.

Squeegee:
The squeegee is a long rubber blade in a wood or metal handle. The blade can be available in various solidity of rubber, with the more difficult rubber being most appropriate for fine details and paper printing and a softer rubber being used for less details and fabric printing.

Printing Press:

You can screen print directly onto any flat surface area, the screen is normally utilized with a printing press. This makes signing up numerous prints simpler and more precise as it holds the screen in one position while you’re printing. It also makes printing multiples much faster as the screen is kept in one location while you are altering and signing up the paper or surface you are printing onto.

Generally journalism has a vacuum connected to the base of the table, this sucks the paper down, holding it in position while you are printing. When screen printing huge lengths of material then a long, flat table is utilized and frequently 2 people will print together, passing the squeegee between them and holding the screen in location. As just a thin layer of ink is printed, suggesting on a permeable surface areas such as paper and fabric the ink dries very quick. This indicates applying the next colour can happen directly away as the surface area is currently dry.
Where did the process originated from?

Artists initially began utilizing Screen printing in 1930s America and the term ‘serigraph’ was at first utilized to signify an artist’s print, as opposed to business work. Screen printing kit is still commonly used by artists and print makers to produce editions of prints.
What other technical details do I need to know?

Fit Together Counts and Image Detail:
Depending upon the size of the mesh in your screen, you can attain a high level of information with screen printing – with the greater the mesh count, the smaller the areas between threads therefore the greater the detail of the print. Often you need to utilize a various mesh count to print onto different surfaces, depending on how ink takes to them.

It’s also possible to print with numerous colours, with each colour being printed as a separate layer of ink. This makes screen printing quite a time consuming print technique as specific screens need to be gotten ready for each colour layer of the design. It also develops the renowned look connected with Screen Printing of a flat, minimal colour pallet, made popular by Andy Warhol.

As the colour is printed as an area colour in one layer there is no capability to vary tone with private printed layers. The colour is flat and solid and the tone even. However when preparing art work to screen print there is the choice to develop the image using half tones. This is where the image is made up of differing size dots of the same colour, creating the impression of differing tone.

Any flat surface can be printed, in any colour. There is no limitation on the variety of colours that can be utilized, or the size of the print run. However, as screen printing is rather a time consuming and for that reason costly printing approach it is generally used for smaller print runs.

How is Screen printing used?

Screen printing is perhaps the most flexible of all printing procedures so is used by various industries. It can be utilized to print on a wide range of surface areas and some typical items evaluate printed consist of ceramic decals, signs, electronic circuit boards, posters and fabric garments and merchandise such as tote bags and tshirts.