Screen printing is a printing technique that uses a woven mesh to
support an ink-blocking stencil. The attached stencil forms open areas
of mesh that transfer ink or other printable materials which can be
pressed through the mesh as a sharp-edged image onto a substrate. A
roller or squeegee is moved across the screen stencil, forcing or
pumping ink past the threads of the woven mesh in the open areas.
Screen printing is also a stencil method of print making in which a
design is imposed on a screen of silk or other fine mesh, with blank
areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced through
the mesh onto the printing surface. It is also known as silkscreen,
seriography, and serigraph.
A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric called mesh
stretched over a frame of aluminium or wood. Originally human hair was
used, then silk was woven to make a screen mesh; currently most mesh is
woven of man-made materials such as steel, nylon, and polyester. Areas
of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material to form a
stencil, which is a negative of the image to be printed; that is, the
open spaces are where the ink will appear.
The screen is placed atop a substrate such as paper or fabric. Ink is
placed on top of the screen, and a fill bar (also known as a floodbar)
is used to fill the mesh openings with ink. The operator begins with the
fill bar at the rear of the screen and behind a reservoir of ink. The
operator lifts the screen to prevent contact with the substrate and then
using a slight amount of downward force pulls the fill bar to the front
of the screen. This effectively fills the mesh openings with ink and
moves the ink reservoir to the front of the screen. The operator then
uses a squeegee (rubber blade) to move the mesh down to the substrate
and pushes the squeegee to the rear of the screen. The ink that is in
the mesh opening is pumped or squeezed by capillary action to the
substrate in a controlled and prescribed amount, i.e. the wet ink
deposit is proportional to the thickness of the mesh and or stencil. As
the squeegee moves toward the rear of the screen the tension of the mesh
pulls the mesh up away from the substrate (called snap-off) leaving the
ink upon the substrate surface.
There are no products to list in this category.