One of the popular printing methods is screen printing. This is because many large industries use screen printing techniques to produce special clothing, artwork, and so on. Therefore, you need to know what is a screen printing.
Initially, screen printing was a simple process, but now the process is more mechanical so you need to know what the process is like. Then, you also need to know what screen printing is used for. If you are curious about what is a screen printing and its various aspects, here is the review:
What is a Screen Printing?
The definition of screen printing is a method used to transfer a stencil design to a flat surface and involves a mesh screen, ink, and squeegee. The most common screen printing surfaces are cloth and paper.
However, there are special inks that can also print on metal, wood, glass, or plastic. This method is the creation process involves stenciling on a fine mesh screen. Then, the ink is pushed so that your design is printed on the surface underneath.
Why Is Screen Printing Used?
The above points have explained what is a screen printing. Now is the time for you to know why many people use this method. One of the reasons many people use this technique is because screen printing can produce bright colors, even on darker fabrics.
Also, many people and manufacturers use it because it allows the printer to efficiently produce a design multiple times. Because with this technique, you can use the same stencil to print designs over and over again. Then, if you want to make multiple copies of the same garment or accessory, you can use this stencil.
So, when you want to make a large number of custom clothing, this is a very efficient technique. Moreover, if screen printing uses professional equipment, then you can make even complex colorful designs. Then, the coloring on screen printing will be more intense than conventional digital printing.
The Screen Printing Process Step by Step
If you already understand what is a screen printing, you also need to know about the process. All the basic techniques in screen printing are the same, although there are several methods of it. The following are the steps of the screen printing process that you can use as a reference:
1. Design Creation
The first thing you do in the screen printing process creates a design. Then, you need to print your design onto a transparent acetate film to create a screen or stencil.
2. Selecting and Preparing The Screen
The next step is to select the screen and the number of meshes. The number of meshes you need will depend on the design you are going to print. For example, a higher mesh count can print finer details while maintaining an even ink layer.
Meanwhile, the screen with a low number of mesh will allow the ink to flow because the opening is wider. Once you have selected the mesh background, coat it with a light-reactive emulsion layer.
3. Exposing The Emulsion
You can place a transparent acetate film on an emulsion-coated mesh screen under bright light. It will cause the emulsion to harden and develop. However, when multiple colors are involved in the design, you should use separate screens for the different colors.
4. Stencil Creation
To harden the uncovered area of the screen, you need to expose the screen. If there is any unhardened emulsion remaining, you can rinse it off to leave a clear imprint on the screen.
Then, you can dry the screen. After that, if any touché up is needed, the printer will make the print as close to the original design as possible.
Now you are ready to use the stencil and you can place the material you want to print on the printing board. Make sure the screen is on top of the material in the desired position, and it’s ready to print.
5. Applying The Design
In this step, your printed design will come to life. The print board will lower the screen and add the desired color ink to the top of the screen.
Then, the squeegee along the screen will distribute the ink evenly. On the exposed area of the stencil, the ink will press and transfer onto the underlying silk. This results in printing the design on the product.
6. Heat Curing and Finishing
The final process is to heat-cured the printed product by using the dryer. You should do this step to create a smooth design and the design does not fade away easily.
Now you know a lot about what is a screen printing and its various aspects. Starting from the definition, the reasons for using this method for printing, to the process. So, you can use this article as a reference if you want to enter the world of printing.