Silk Screen Printing
Silk screen printing first began in China 1,100 years ago and slowly made its way through other Asian countries, eventually ending up in Europe by the end of the 1700s. This was mainly because the main material for the screen, silk, was not readily available until then in European countries. This also explains why screen printing is often referred to as silk screening, silk screen or silk screen printing. In 1941, polyester thread was invented and since then screens began to be produced using polyester threads as well.
Silk Screen Printing – The Method
Silk screen printing is a screen printing process that transfers a design onto a substrate (i.e. textile fabric, product label, decal, etc.) through a fine screen or mesh. You put a shirt on a pallet, you put a screen over it and you transfer ink through the screen onto the shirt. In this example however, there is no design to begin with.
If there is a design(which is the case every time), here is a step by step guide for you to understand silk screen printing!
- First, create a stencil. One Stenciling technique is to paint, draw, photocopy or print a design onto a transparent overlay making the areas to be inked not transparent.
- A screen mesh that is coated with a light-sensitive emulsion and dried is exposed to UV light.
- The areas exposed to light remain intact while the areas that did not get exposed to light will wash off leaving a negative image on the stencil.
- Affix your stencil on top of your tshirt to block out the areas that will not receive ink.
- Place the screen mesh (mounted on a wooden frame) on top of the stencil.
- You flood the frame with ink.
- Then, press the ink through the screen using a squeegee type tool. This removes any excess ink from the screen allowing only the area that is not blocked by a stencil to come in contact with the ink.
- Finally, remove everything off the tshirt carefully. And leave your screen printed tshirt to dry!
Advantages of Silk Screen Printing
- Silk Screen Printing is very economical for large quantities. This is because only 1 screen needs to be created for 1 design and it can be reused for 100s of tees.
- Silk screening is very durable and long lasting. This is because a substrate acts upon an enzyme at a molecular level. The result is the substrate bonding with the active state of the enzyme producing what is called an enzyme-substrate complex.
- Silk screening can be used to print on many different types of items. These include notebooks, watch and clock faces, labels, posters, decals, signs and balloons and much more.
Disadvantages of Silk Screen Printing
- Silk Screen Printing is expensive in small quantities.
- Screen Printing is expensive if designs have too many colours.
- Silk Screen Printing does not work with gradient colours.
The Noteway silk screens notebooks, T-shirts and hoodies in addition to many other items as silk screen printing is durable and very economical for large bulk orders. Also, we here at The Noteway provide free design services for bulk orders. So what are you waiting for!