Screen printing is the method of putting ink through a screen to create the desired printed design. It’s a common method used in different companies, in case you haven’t come across the term before, you have used or worn a screen-printed product without your knowledge. The process is also referred to as silk screen printing or serigraphy, but all these names refer to the same thing.
Serigraphy is an effective method for creating artwork, bold canvases and posters. Still, this technique can also be used for printing textiles and fabrics. In the article, we will tackle some common questions often asked about screen printing.
Screen printing process
There are different techniques of serigraphy, but they entail one same method.
- The design is created
First, the printer will take the design of the desired finished product, and then it will be printed on a transparent film. The final product will be used for the creation of the stencil.
- The screen is prepared
Secondly, the printer will select a mesh screen that will suit the texture of the material and complexity of the design being printed. The mesh screen is then hardened under bright light by covering it with a layer or two of light-reactive emulsion.
- The emulsion is exposed
The acetate sheet is placed on the emulsion coated screen, and the whole product is exposed to bright light. The light is used for hardening the emulsion.
- Washing off the emulsion and creation of a stencil
After exposing the screen for some time, those parts not covered by design will turn hard. The remaining emulsion which didn’t harden washed off. A precise imprint of the design is left to allow the ink to pass.
- The item is now ready for printing
The screen is then laid on to the printing press, the item intended for printing is now placed flat on the printing board ready for printing.
- The ink is pressed through the screen onto the item
The screen is lowered down onto the printing board. Ink is added to the top end of the screen, and a squeegee is used to pull the ink along the full length of the screen. This presses the ink through the open areas of the stencil, imprinting the design on the product underneath.
- The product is dried, checked and finished
The printed product then passes through a dryer, which 'cures' the ink and creates a smooth, colourfast finish.
The durability of screen-printed items
If an item is correctly screen printed by following all the steps above, the design is bound to stay for life. For durability, the printer should ensure that the ink is set as per the manufacturer’s instructions. The correct time and temperature may vary depending on the fabric used and the ink type, so there is a need to follow all the guidelines to the letter to create a washable item that will last for long.
Here at Always Trendin, we offer screen printing and digital printing.
Make that custom clothing idea a reality! We’re here to make this happen – get in contact with one of our team members!