Screen printing, also known as silk-screen printing, is a method of direct printing in which screens are used to transfer patterns onto a surface.
A screen is made of a piece of mesh stretched over a frame. There are several different mesh counts that can be used depending on the detail of the design to be printed.
A stencil of the image or design is made from porous polyester fabric. Before printing, both the screen and frame must undergo a pre-printing process. In the pre-printing process the screen is coated with emulsion and dried. Once dry, the print is burned onto the screen using an exposure unit. Once exposed, the screen is taken to a washout tank, and sprayed with a hose, leaving behind a clean area in the mesh with the shape of the design or image to be printed.
Ink is forced into the mesh openings by a squeegee transferred onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. The screen withdraws away from the surface and the ink remains. In screen printing, only one color is printed at a time (one color per screen) so several screens are necessary to produce an image or design containing multiple colors.
Screen printing is more versatile than traditional printing techniques. The surface does not have to be printed under pressure, unlike etching or lithography, and it does not have to be flat. Although screen printing is usually associated with printing logo or brand designs onto t-shirts and other apparel, different inks can be used to work with a variety of materials, such as textiles, ceramics, wood, paper, glass, metal, and plastic.
Whether you’re looking for corporate or casual apparel customized with your company logo, or branded promotional products for your next trade show or company event, Underground Graphics is your one stop shop for Custom Screen Printing, Embroidery and Promotional Items.
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