WHAT IS SILK SCREEN PRINTING?

Screenprinting, silkscreening, or serigraphy is a printmaking technique that creates a sharp-edged image using a stencil. A screenprint or serigraph is an image created using this technique.

It began as an industrial technology, and was adopted by American graphic artists in the early 1900s. It is currently popular both in fine arts and in commercial printing, where it is commonly used to print images on T-shirts, hats, CDs, DVDs, ceramics, glass, polyethylene, polypropylene, paper, metals, and wood.

Graphic screenprinting is widely used today to create many mass or large batch produced graphics, such as posters or display stands. Full color prints can be created by printing in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). Screenprinting is often preferred over other processes such as dye sublimation or inkjet printing because of its low cost and ability to print on many media.

A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric (originally silk, but typically made of polyester or nylon since the 1940s) stretched over an aluminium frame. Areas of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material—a stencil—which is a positive of the image to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear.

The screen is placed on top of a piece of dry paper or fabric. Ink is placed on top of the screen, and a squeegee (rubber blade) is used to push the ink evenly into the screen openings and onto the substrate. The ink passes through the open spaces in the screen onto the paper or fabric below; the screen is lifted away and then the squeegee is pushed back across the screen, with the screen lifted, "flooding" the ink into the screen. The screen can be re-used after cleaning. If more than one color is being printed on the same surface, the ink is allowed to dry and then the process is repeated with another screen and different color of ink.

While the public thinks of garments in conjunction with screen printing, the technique is used on tens of thousands of items, including birthday cake designs, decals, clock and watch faces, and many more products. The vast majority of silk-screen printings are monochromatic.

Printing was first conceived and developed in China and Korea [1]. Primitive woodblock printing was already in use by the 6th century in China. The oldest known surviving printed document is a Buddhist scripture recently discovered in Korea, which dates to 751 [2]. The oldest surviving book printed using the more sophisticated block printing, the Chinese Diamond Sutra (a Buddhist scripture), dates from 868. The movable type printer was invented by Bi Sheng in 1041 during Song Dynasty China. The movable type metal printing press was invented in Korea in 1234 by Chwe Yoon Eyee during the Goryeo Dynasty -216 years ahead of Gutenberg in 1450. By the 12th and 13th century many Chinese libraries contained tens of thousands of printed books. The oldest extant movable metal-type book is the Jikji, printed in 1377 in Korea.

 
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