Just Hit Print… Screen Printing
Today I will be covering screen printing. Screen printing is also known as silk screening or serigraphy.
Screen printing is one of the earliest methods of printing. It has been around since approximately the Song Dynasty in China (979 t0 1279 AD). Screen printing involves the passing of ink or any other printing medium through a mesh or ‘screen’ that has been stretched on a frame after a stencil or design is added to the screen. The stencil determines what will be imprinted and what will not on the printed surface. A roller or squeegee is drug across the screen stencil, forcing ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas. Like offset and lithography, for every ink color used a screen is needed.
Below is a simple screen print process.
Creating the Stencil
There are several methods for creating the stencil.
- Cutting the design from a non-porous material and attaching it to the screen.
- Painting a negative image directly on the screen.
- Photo-emulsion technique
Screen Printing Inks and Materials
A multitude of products can be used on a screenprint.
- Plastisol the most common ink used in commercial garment decoration
- Water-Based inks
- PVC/ Phalate-free ink
- Discharge inks
- Flocking, Glitter, Metalllic, Puff inks
- Caviar beads
- Four colour process (CMYK)
- Gloss, Nylobond, Mirrored Silver, Suede inks
Because screen printing can be done on a variety of substances, it is one of the most versatile printing processes. Screen printing can be done on clothing, textiles, labels, electronics, circuit boards, balloons, medical devices, snowboards, signs and displays.
Gocco (go-ko) is a form of screen printing that originated in Japan. Gocco is a self-contained compact color printing system that uses flash bulbs to thermally imprint and image on a screen. Because the printing system is compact, only small images can be created.
Gocco’s are easy to use; simply load the art, a blank screen, and sometimes a special filter into the machine, use the bulbs to burn the image into the screen, ink the screen, and print.
Below is an image of a Goco kit.
Screen Print Examples
- Springtime Coatrack by The Crosbie
- Gossamer by Alison Tauber
- Pinky Bird Journal by Earmark Stationery
- Feeding Time by Sepialepus
- Leaf Jumper by Susan Estelle Kwas
- Nigel and Lily Embracing by Amanda Blake