Screen-printing is a method of printing some graphic models: signs, images, on a flat surface. During this process, the specially prepared ink is passed through a fabric named serigraphic sieve (serigraphic screen) which is treated in such a way that it lets the ink lay on the support set beneath the sieve in a pre-determined way. This can be done on fabric (T-shirts, jackets, caps) and on solid materials (stickers, agendas, calendars, name-cards, etc.).
The use of screen-printing on a large scale begins in the 70's thanks to the development of the ink's and pigment's chemistry.
With screen-printing it can be printed on numerous metarials. What changes each time, according to the support underneath the sieve, is not the process itself but the type of the ink. The main rule of screen-printing is that the support material has to be wet. Other ways of printing (engraved rollers, patterns, extrication, etc.) depend on the type of material, inks and dyes, and on the color range. The advantages of screen-printing are the following: printing in small and medium numbers, high resistance of the dyes to friction, scratching and especially UV rays.
On a large scale, this method is used for printing ballpens, lighters, glasses, toys, different containers, paper and cardboard, agendas, housing, industrial products, fabric, etc.
The image made with screen-printing consists of a number of dots which is given by the number of the holes on the sieve on which the work is done. The finest sieves used in screen printing have a maximum number of 300 holes/inch. This means the maximum resolution screen-printing can create is 300dpi. This assures a very good quality of the printed images, but which is still very far from the offset printing quality which can provide a resolution of 2400 dpi or even more. The use of even bigger sieves is limited by the number of the particles of the dye, which have to be able to pass through the sieve. Nevertheless, for most of the applications a resolution between 100 and 300 dpi is enough.
With screen-printing monocolor images can be printed by color counterpoint or color overlay (polichromy), while the printed surface can be between a couple of square-centimeters and square-meters.
Compared to other printing methods, through screen-printing the thickness of the dye is the biggest. This can lead to creating some special effects that is not possible with any other printing method.
How it's made: