Silk screening uses a woven screen with varied densities that have a coating of emulsion troweled onto them. The screen is then exposed through a light source using a film positive of the art transferred. The image is burned into the emulsion and then washed out, leaving only the images exposed.
The ink is dragged across the screen by use of the squeegee and applied to the surface through the screen. Actual dots flow together to form the image on the parts. The flatter and smoother the item, the clearer the print will be.
Different inks can be used to work with a variety of substrates, such as textiles, ceramics, wood, paper, glass, metal, rubber, and plastic. As a result, screen printing is used in many different industries, including medical, industrial, and promotional add specialties.
There are three common types of Silk Screen printing presses. The ‘flat-bed’, ‘cylinder’, and the most widely used type, the ‘rotary’.
Textile items printed with multicoloured designs often use a wet on wet technique, or colours dried while on the press, while graphic items are allowed to dry between colours that are then printed with another screen and often in a different colour after the product is re-aligned on the press.
Most screens are ready for re-coating at this stage, but sometimes screens will have to undergo a further step in the reclaiming process called dehazing. This additional step removes haze or “ghost images” left behind in the screen once the emulsion has been removed.
While the public thinks of garments in conjunction with screen printing, the technique is used on tens of thousands of items, including decals, clock and watch faces, balloons, and many other products. The technique has even been adapted for more advanced uses, such as laying down conductors and resistors in multi-layer circuits using thin ceramic layers as the substrate.
We are the Silk Screening specialist in the Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding area!