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Screen Printing is a process transference of ink through a mesh screen screen to a flat surface. It is one of the oldest methods of decoration and many printers are very experienced at achieving dramatic results. This is a technique used to brand on promotional items such as t shirts and bottles. You may have done screen printing in primary or high school without realising. It is a simple process where a stencil of your design is created. This stencil is appled on to a fine mesh (it can be made from silk or other material). Ink is then applied and literally sifted or forced through the mesh and onto the product to create the screen printing image. This simple process has been used for hundreds of years and despite the advancement in machinery and technology the screen printing method is fundamentally the same.
Maximum of colours can be used for this print method is 8-12 colours depending on machines available. Half tone can be achieved, please consult your printer first. Often when quoting white bases are needed to be added - eg on a black garment. A screen must be made for each colour. Film is attached to a screen and then the screen is coated in emulsion and exposed to light. It generally takes approx half an hour to prepare and can last for thousands of prints. Repeat setups are generally charged as the time taken to set the machine up. Artwork required in Vector file. See artwork guide. Majority of products are baked or "tunnel" dried and therefore can be provided quickly. Some products need to wait for a period to check that there is no reaction with ink to the substrate.
The advantage of screen printing are:
There are some disadvantages of this method of printing though such as:
Garments / Cotton bags / Promotional bags / Branded Tee shirts / Printed Caps / Custom USB Drives / Compendiums / Corporate Shirts / Customised Hoodies / Beach Towels / Personalised Tea Towels / Brandable Umbrellas / Printable Beach Umbrellas / Logo Scarves / Event Bandanas / Calico Bags / Non Woven Bags / Flags / Branded Compendiums and more...
Screen printing is sometimes referred to as silk screen printing as early methods used the silk fabric as a mesh screen. The method originated in China during the Song Dynasty (approx 960AD). Eventually with trade it found its way to Europe and the rest of the world. Currently screen printing is a fun hobby for many enthusiasts as well as DIY home projects as well as students.