What is Screen Printing?
Screen printing is a printing method that offers the possibility of transferring an illustration onto paper or fabric through the stamping process. This is an ancient technique that appeared in the Orient, however it had a greater impact on art, starting in the 1950s with the Pop Art artistic movement. Through works on American culture, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein popularized this mode of reproduction. Nowadays, many artists such as Vhils , Banksy , João Cutileiro , José Guimarães , among others, have used screen printing to develop their artistic production in different ways. Are you curious to know how to produce a silkscreen? Learn with us how to create your own graphic work at home.
How to screen print?
Screen printing, also known as silk-screen or screen printing, is a stamping process, which consists of transferring the ink through a stretched mesh on a frame, forced to cross to another area due to the movement performed. The screens of this method were originally made of silk, so the expression serigraphy derives from two words, the first being Latin “sericum” which means silk and the second Greek “graphé”, the action of writing or drawing.
Regardless of technological advances, this process is most often manual, however there are automatic and circular screen printing that use machines for this process.
Step by step, we will teach you how to produce a manual silkscreen. All printing processes require a set of materials so first, let's mention the materials needed for this process:
- Drawing ink (drawing fluid)
- brush and pencil
- Screen filler
- Spatula or squeegee to spread the paint
- Mesh and frame
- Ink suitable for screen printing
- Support for printing (paper or fabric)
Create the illustration you want to print.
In a frame, place the mesh well stretched.
Place the illustration on a table and place the frame on top. Draw your illustration with a brush on the frame's stretch mesh.
Raise the frame/display so that it is not touching the table. Paint the area of the illustration you want to print and wait until it is completely dry.
Place paper tape around the frame. Now it's necessary to use the screen filler in the areas that you don't want to print. Shake the screen filler first, pour a little on top of the screen and spread the paint with a spatula all at once. (Spreading multiple times will create bubbles.)
After the ink on the screen is dry, clean the ink on the design with water at room temperature (do not use hot water). The blue ink in the illustration will begin to fade.
You can finally print! Place the ink on top of the screen, farthest away from you. Firmly and using pressure drag the spatula towards you at an angle of approximately 60 degrees.
Your silkscreen is ready!