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Screen printing

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One of the most used techniques for making prints is screen printing . This process, considered by many to be a decorative matter, has been used for hundreds of years and is seen as a type of graphic art, with some differences between artistic and industrial art.

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What is screen printing?

Screen printing is a technique by which enables printing of images or virtually letters on any type of materials through a screen and using ink particularly which can be performed manually or automatically by machines.

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What does it consist of

Screen printing is a process that consists of printing images by passing a certain amount of ink through a template, which is attached to a frame. This frame has a gauze that has been previously tensioned in a frame and works in such a way that the passage of the ink can be blocked in the different areas where there is no type of image or contour. This type of procedure can be performed continuously and repetitively once the first model is properly established.

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Screen printing features

Among the main characteristics of screen printing we mention the following:

  • Different types of inks can be used to make the prints, they can be in water, oil or synthetic resin.
  • The designs that are made are generally very smooth.
  • The screen printing has enough elasticity to be able to adapt to different types of materials such as fabric and paper.
  • The printing force that is exerted is extremely slight, giving protection to the materials used for the process.
  • It can also be printed on objects circular , large and small .
  • The designs have good flexibility .
  • Objects can be printed three-dimensionally obtaining good visual effects and reliefs.

Story

Experts and historians consider that the first screen printing designs occurred in the culture of the East around the year 3000 BC In the Middle Ages , the settlers of the time used it to print ornaments, figures related to religion and letters , however, It was not until the 20th century, in China , when it began to develop as a printing technique, managing to spread throughout Asia .

Around the year 1600 , silk-screen printing patterns made in Japan began to reach Europe and by the 18th century , the traditional Japanese market was opened to the western world, and some of the traditional techniques began to be adopted, including screen printing , which was expanded considerably thanks to the silk trade .

With the arrival of World War I , screen printing ceased to be in the hands of a few and spread popularly throughout the North American territory , where the process and the making of flags, posters, banners and pamphlets using The technique. By 1914, experts began to use colored inks and in 1915, the process of photographic screen printing applied to different types of fabric began.

Types of screen printing

There are three different types of screen printing that are detailed below:

1. Manual screen printing

This is the most classic type of technique and its process consists of placing a piece on the base, then a mesh is placed which must be previously clean and without wrinkles . Subsequently, the ink is placed on the mesh and spread along the surface using a special spatula . A little pressure should be exerted before passing the spatula again. This type of technique is used mainly on T-shirts.

2. Automatic screen printing

Already with innovation and the passage of time, it was possible to create automatic screen printing , a technique by means of which only the part to be treated is placed in the correct place so that a specialized machine does all the work. It is important that the person in charge of the process checks that there are no wrinkles in the fabric as the machine does not detect them, later, the fabrics must be subjected to an adequate drying process .

3. Circular screen printing

The pattern design is marked so that it can then be printed using a roller . This technique is used mainly on objects that have a round or circular shape.

What is it for

Screen printing is a process that is used to make different types of prints, whether they are documents or images on a certain piece that can be paper , fabric or plastic . It is a very useful process that can be used to create company logos, t-shirts, posters, advertisements, fabric prints, caps, and much more.

How is screen printing done

Screen printing is done using a mesh that is tightly and securely attached to a frame . Ink is passed through this mesh by applying a certain amount of pressure. The technique has the ability to block the passage of ink in places where there is no type of image, giving way to the creation of clean and well-detailed prints.

What products can be screen printed

The materials or products that can be screen printed are many and range from paper to fabric , cardboard , plastics , ceramics , metals , round objects such as balls and bottles. In the case of fabrics, these can be synthetic or natural.

Advantage

This technique has the ability to print on different types of materials and on different types of shapes, circular , conical , flat and cubic . Printing can be done in specific places such as showcases, vehicles and doors as it has the great advantage of not damaging the surfaces where it is placed. With it you can achieve vivid colors which are also resistant to water and the passage of time.

Different types of inks can be used and the process is relatively simple so it can be applied by anyone. It is a very inexpensive and easy to use system as it requires little equipment, it is cost effective and the duration of the process is short.

Disadvantages

Screen printing could also face a number of disadvantages that must be taken into account. One of them may be that due to consecutive washing, the designs may lose some color . The time it takes to produce the final products is usually quite long as the process takes longer than normal printing and, although different colors can be used , it is best to use a maximum of four . This technique can also be a bit expensive for low-quantity productions .

Importance

Screen printing is important because it is a technique that allows the realization of different printing jobs that are currently highly required by companies, either to promote businesses or to advertise in other areas. It is a process widely used for the production of labels, calendars, cards, key chains, balloon messages, posters, T-shirts and prints for pillows. All this can be done without the need for large printing machines, which means, depending on the quantity, a significant saving of money.

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