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what is screen printing

What Is Screen Printing and How Does It Work?

What Is Screen Printing and How Does It Work?

what is screen printing

Screen printing is a printing technique that has been around since the Chinese Song Dynasty over 1,000 years ago. While the methods and technology has changed over the years, it has proven to produce durable, vivid prints for many different applications.

What is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is a printing technique using ink and a screen (mesh stencil). Most commonly people recognize it for printing t-shirts and other apparel. It is also deemed to be somewhat of an art form due to amount of detailed attention that can be used to get precise results. However, screen printing is not only limited to shirts. Screen printing can be applied to plastic, metal and many other types of material for magnets, flags, stickers, signs and host of other custom applications.

Additionally, custom print projects can be achieved by manipulating the process of screen printing. However, this usually is something should be left to printing experts. With a little tweaking here and there, a precise faded print on a sign or a specific ink combination to produce a glow-in-the-dark effect can be possible.

Screen printing is very flexible in terms of the materials it can be applied on. It is not just limited to a plain old cotton shirt. Explore different options by working with plastic, metal, polyester, silk, viscose, and more.

How Does It Work?

Screen printing involves the use of a mesh (a material made of a network of stencil, in this case) and of course, ink. The mesh is used to transfer ink except on the areas made ink-resistant by a blocking stencil. One screen, or mesh stencil, is used for each color to be printed. Before starting, the screen must be lined up properly and each screen must be tested to ensure that the color registration is correct. The inks are then pushed through the mesh stencil one color at a time onto the substrate. As the last step, each piece will be processed through a large ultraviolet (UV) dryer to cure the inks.

The process of screen printing is very effective as it has few limitations when considering types of surfaces it can be applied to. Also, there are techniques that you can use during the process of printing to achieve effects like fading, ombre, contrasting, and many more. Many custom ink formulations can help produce the desired look of the final product.

Here at The Graphics Shop our team has decades of experience creating and refining the processes of professional screen printing. We’ve had the pleasure of being a leader provider of food merchandising like meat case dividers and danglers. In addition, we screen print many labels, stickers, signs and more. Let us know how we can help you with your next project. Contact us today or leave a message below.