Screen printing is said to be the most versatile among all the other printing processes. However, the printing process of screen printing is very crucial and tedious in which many complicated steps are involved. The first step for the printing is to place a screen on top of a substrate, in which the substrate can be materials such as a paper or a fabric. The ink is then placed on top of the screen, with the fill bar to fill the mesh opening with inks. After that, the operator will begin by lifting the screen. This is to ensure that the screen does not have any contact with the substrate. The operator will then use a slight amount of downward force to pull the fill bar to the front of the screen.
The squeegee is then being used to move the mesh down to the substrate and the squeegee will then be pushed to the rear of the screen. In the meantime, the tension of the mesh will pull the mesh away from the substrate, in which this action will leave the ink upon the substrate surface.
The above is the common process of screen printing. However, there are actually different types of screen printing process, namely the 'flat-bed', the 'cylinder', and the commonly used type, the rotary'. The screen can be used many times, in which it has to be cleaned after each use. This requires the reclaiming process. In this process, the ink is removed from the screen and it also involves the spraying of stencil removers, which come in the form of liquid, gels, or powders. Another process called the 'de-hazing' process will remove the haze of the blurry images left on the screen.
In summary, the screen printing process - if being described in an easier context - would be as follows: in the screen printing process, the ink will be passed through a screen (or a 'mesh'), which will be fixed on a frame before it is passed through the screen. Then, a stencil will be applied on the screen. The stencil openings are also responsible in determining the image that needs to be imprinted on the screen. The different types of screens are being used for different colors. The process is then repeated until the desired outcome is obtained.
Besides, there is also another screen printing technique known as the silk printing technique. This printing technique is also known as serigraphs in which it involves multiple printing technique which requires the use of stencils with the function to transfer the designs. In a single print, many colors can be used by using multiple stencils. This technique is commonly used by modern artists and recently, it has also been developed into a commercial medium.
In conclusion, screen printing is a useful technique in preparing gifts for multiple uses such as personal use, corporate use, and so on. The outcome of the printing technique is in high-quality and of course, this will gives out positive impression to the recipients.