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What is Screen/Silkscreen Printing?

Screen, or silkscreen, printing involves the use of a hand or electronically-prepared stencil which is housed in a frame (often made of wood). The area of the surface that is meant to be printed is made up of silk, nylon or a stainless-steel mesh. Ink can pass through this area but not through the other part of the stencil which is contained inside a frame. To create the print, the printing surface is placed under the frame on a flat surface. Then, ink is placed on the frame and is pressed through the screen by a rubber squeegee which is repeatedly run over the stenciled area.

Screen printing is a good choice for those looking to save money by creating small quantities of t-shirts, banners or posters at home and with relatively simple tools. It is also very popular in school art classes. However, the need for a heavy ink consistency and a course halftone screen restricts reproduction quality. One benefit of screen printing is that it offers high-opacity and brilliant color possibilities.

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