In-House Services

Screen Printing

A brief history of Screen Printing

Screen printing has its origins in simple stencilling, most notably of the Japanese form (katazome). The modern screen printing process originated from patents taken out by Samuel Simon in the early 1900s in England. This idea was then adopted in San Francisco, California, by John Pilsworth in 1914 who used screen printing to form multicolor prints in much the same manner as screen printing is done today.

Screen printing took off during First World War as an industrial process for printing flags and banners. The use of photographic stencils at this time made the process more versatile and encouraged wide-spread use. The term silk screen has not been in use within the industry since the mid-1940s when the use of silk was discontinued because of its use in the war effort. Since that time, screen printing has used polyester material for the screen mesh.

Screen printing was pioneered at the Jepson Art Institute by printmaker Guy McCoy, who was among the first to develop the techniques of silk screen printing as a fine art medium. Herbert Jepson was also the founder of the Western Institute of Serigraphy.

history cited from Wikipedia

Screen Printing collage image

Using a four-colour process and a fully automated press, there is no screen printing job, large or small, that we can't handle! Our 8-Colour press can output up to 500 units per hour! This means a quick turnaround time for large jobs. And because of the automated process, the work is always consistent and of the highest quality.

Artwork is limited only by imagination, and colour choices are virtually limitless. We use in-house custom mixing to make sure the colours are just right, and can implement metallic (gold and silver) colours, and even glow-in-the-dark!

Screen Printing can be done on a large variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, rayon, as well as signage materials (i.e. corrugated plastic etc.), and our gas-powered dryer ensures consistent curing that will last!

The Screen Printing Process

Artwork

The artwork is where it all begins! Whether you've got existing art, or you need us to create something for you, Graphix Plus has you covered!

Artwork must be converted or created in a vector* format to provide a crisp, clean, easily resizable graphic, that may be separated into colours for output to film positive for the next step in the screen printing process. Applications used to create vector graphics include Adobe Illustrator, and Corel Draw.

Film Positive

After colour separations are complete, film positives are printed out...one for each colour in the screen print. Velum or a film composite is the commonly used medium for film printing.

Screen Burning

Using the film positives, the screens used for the printing itself are burned using a UV-intensive exposure unit. It works similarly to processing photographs. An emulsion covers the entire screen, and upon being exposed to the UV light, is removed. Emulsion underneath the printed part of the film disappears, leaving a perfect positive imprint, ready for printing! A separate screen must be created for each colour being printed.

Screen Mounting

Once all screens are burned, they must be set up on the press for printing. Graphix Plus boasts both a manual, and fully-automatic press, allowing us to manage all sizes of jobs. Precision is a must when mounting the screens on the press, as proper alignment is critical for a proper print. Careful measurements are taken to ensure a quality screen print.

The Print

With the screens mounted in proper position, the printing begins! A squeegee is used (on both the manual and automatic press) to spread each colour of ink over the screen, onto the garment, which has been applied to a revolving palette underneath the screens. A UV lamp instantly cures the ink once the squeegee has passed, readying the garment for the next colour. Once all colours have been applied, the garment is put through the dryer, inspected for quality, and shipped out!

*Vector graphics are defined as the use of geometrical/mathematical equations to represent an image, allowing stretching, resizing, skewing and easy modifications to be made without any detrimental effects as opposed to *raster/bitmap graphics.

*Raster/Bitmap: An image defined by a series of pixels. Although high-quality bitmap graphics can be created, they lose quality when resized or reshaped.

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