From design to printing – few words about screen printingSeptember 5th, 2018 / Prints on clothing, Screen Printing
Today’s post will be about screen printing – a printing method that has a wide range of applications. We also use it in Turdus Concept when making our prints. Despite its simplicity, this technique has deep roots and has undergone numerous modifications. What? This is what you will learn from this entry.
Screen printing is one of the oldest reproduction methods and one of the less demanding when it comes to preparing and running the production process itself. Perhaps some, as children, tried their best to print simple shapes using templates. It was enough to apply the template appropriately cut to a sheet of paper, and run a free space with a brush or sponge soaked in paint, thus creating a print. By applying the same template anywhere, you can duplicate the cut shape any number of times anywhere.
Where it all began…
This is where the method called silkscreen is derived. Over the years, this technique has been modified.The screen printing had its origins in the region of East Asia (Japan, Philippines) as a technique of decorating a fabric using templates. In turn, for the first time, the frame with stretched silk netting covered with varnish covering the right places was used in Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. From the word silk, the silk-screen method has been called, which in the industry is still used today. And this despite the fact that currently the nets are made of polyester and artificial fabrics rather than natural ones. This method was developed for industrial purposes, but it has also found its application in art. One of the most popular screen printers today and its use for non-industry purposes is – certainly everyone knows – Andy Warhol. Today we can admire his famous works made using sieve and squeegees.
Why has the technique gained such widespread application and recognition among artists? Because it offers practically unlimited possibilities as to the form, size and media used for printing. You can make prints on virtually any flat, but also cylindrical surface. In addition, the technique itself is not very demanding when it comes to the basic tools and materials needed to make the print. This method can be successfully tested in the comfort of your home studio, with really basic materials at your disposal. Today, printing is carried out on various types of textiles or stationery using serigraphy. The use of special matrices made of metal produces even such complex things as electronic components. An extraordinary advantage of serigraphy is repeatability combined with low cost and a relatively small amount of funds for the preparation of appropriate forms. These costs increase with the level of complexity, but still this technique remains one of the most cost-effective duplication methods.
Printed with love…
In Turdus Concept, we make prints using special polyester mesh screens with high density, thanks to which we can get very detailed and accurate mapping of both colors and shapes. In addition, they are free from PVC and silicone content, which is why they are much more environmentally friendly than other paints with similar properties. Prepared matrices are “fired” on sieves coated with a light-curing emulsion. The desired image printed on a transparent foil (positive), covering some areas of the screen, thus protects them from UV rays, so they are not fixed. After the exposure is completed, the matrix is removed and the screen is rinsed with warm water. Unprotected places are cleaned of emulsion, and we see a ready-made form with which prints will be made in any quantity. Now it is enough to place the screen prepared in this way in a printing machine, and then using a special squeegee, squeeze the appropriate color of paint through the sieve directly onto the shirt / blouse / bag, etc. At the end of the production process, the paint is fired for drying and polymerization so that the ready print can be fixed on the textiles.
In our prints we use ecological vinyl paints, so-called plastisols, which have a high degree of coverage and much higher durability. Printed with them, the prints are much more resistant to mechanical damage or everyday use and look great even after repeated washing.
As mentioned at the beginning of this entry, screen printing is a cost-effective method of printing both for large series and smaller orders (already about 10 pieces of clothing). By using sieves in primary colors – black, red, yellow, blue – we are able to make a full color imprint, which is only limited by the imagination. In subsequent posts, I will try to show you specific examples of how such prints are made in Turdus Concept, what equipment we use and what the production process itself looks like.
If you are curious about what our first print looked like, be sure to look here. And if you need to print your logo on company t-shirts, want to decorate your clothing with graphics of your project or have more questions about screen printing, I encourage you to contact me. Write to us using the contact form on our website