Silk Screen Printing----Popular printing method
The following will be the detailed explanation of silk screen printing, which aims to helping people understand the technique of silk screen printing method.
The silk screen process is one of the most versatile of printing methods. Silk screen printing can be used on fabric, metals, glass and, of course, paper and cardboard. Large commercial screen print operations now use automated equipment, but hobbyists, artists and small shops continue to do silk screening by hand.
The screen itself may be made of silk, but organdy is often substituted. It is stretched on a frame usually made from 2-by-2 inch lumber. The silk or organdy is stapled to what will be the bottom of the frame, and sealing tape (the paper kind that needs to be moistened to stick) covers the staples and extends past the frame onto the silk by about an inch. Tape is also put around the inside edges of the frame to cover the joint between the frame and the silk, and extends the same distance onto the silk. The moisture from the tape is sufficient to stretch the cloth taut. The tape is shellacked, and the frame is hinged to a smooth, flat table.
The only other essential piece of equipment is the squeegee. Silk screen squeegees are manufactured in 6-foot lengths, and graphic arts suppliers cut them to measure.
Stencils for silk screening can be made from ordinary paper, but special lacquer film stencil material is popular for hand-cutting, and special photo-sensitive films can be used to reproduce more detailed patterns.
Silk screen ink is available off-the-shelf in many popular colors, and it can be custom mixed just like house paint. It is about the same consistency as gel toothpaste and, also like house paint, it is available in either water-base or solvent-base.
The stencil is attached to the under side of the screen. The exact procedure depends on the type of stencil used. The material to be printed is placed on the table, and the screen is lowered over it. A generous quantity of ink is put at the top of the pattern, but outside the printing area. The squeegee pulls the ink across the pattern and forces it through the silk onto the material.
Most screen printing jobs require more than one color of ink. Each color must thoroughly dry before the next color can be applied. Large screen print operations have a different screen for each color. In a small shop, the same screen is cleaned of the stencil and ink and then reused for the next color.
Pictures shown, which adopts silk screen printing process: