One of the most used techniques for making prints is screen printing . This process, considered by many to be a decorative matter, has been used for hundreds of years and is seen as a type of graphic art, with some differences between artistic and industrial ones .

Related topics

Lithography ,  woodcut

What is screen printing?

Silkscreen printing is a technique by means of which the printing of images or letters on practically any type of material is possible through a mesh and using special ink which can be done manually or automatically by machines.

  • What does it consist of
  • Silkscreen Features
  • History
  • Silkscreen types
  • What is it for
  • How screen printing is done
  • What products can be screen printed
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • Importance

What does it consist of

Screen printing is a process that consists of printing images by passing a certain amount of ink through a template, which is attached to a frame. This frame has a gauze that has been previously stretched into a frame and works in such a way that the passage of the ink can be blocked in the different areas where there is no type of image or contour. This type of procedure can be performed continuously and repetitively once the first model has been properly established.

Silkscreen Features

Among the main characteristics of screen printing we mention the following:

  • Different types of inks can be used to make the prints, they can be in water, oil or synthetic resin.
  • The designs that are made are generally very smooth.
  • The printing screen has enough elasticity to be able to adapt to different types of materials such as fabric and paper.
  • The printing force that is exerted is extremely slight, giving protection to the materials used for the process.
  • It can also be printed on circular objects , large and small .
  • Designs have good flexibility .
  • Objects can be printed three-dimensionally obtaining good visual effects and reliefs.


Experts and historians consider that the first serigraphy designs were given in the culture of the East around 3000 BC In the Middle Ages , the inhabitants of the time used it to print ornaments, figures related to religion and letters , however, It was not until the 20th century, in China , when it began to develop as a printing technique, managing to spread throughout Asia .

Around 1600 AD , serigraphy models made in Japan began to arrive in Europe and by the 18th century , the traditional Japanese market was opened to the western world, and some of the traditional techniques began to be adopted, including serigraphy , which expanded considerably thanks to the silk trade .

With the arrival of World War I , serigraphy was no longer in the hands of a few and spread popularly throughout the United States , where the process began and the making of flags, posters, banners and pamphlets using The technique. As early as 1914, experts began using colored inks and in 1915, the process of photographic screen printing applied to different types of fabric began.

Silkscreen types

There are three different types of screen printing that are detailed below:

1. Manual screen printing

This is the most classic type of technique and its process consists of placing a piece on the base, then a mesh is placed which must be previously clean and wrinkle-free . The ink is then placed on the mesh and spread across the surface using a special spatula . A small pressure should be exerted before passing the spatula again. This type of technique is mainly used in shirts.

2. Automatic screen printing

With innovation and the passage of time, automatic screen printing was created , a technique by means of which only the piece to be treated is placed in the correct place so that a specialized machine does all the work. It is important that the person in charge of the process check that there are no wrinkles in the fabric because the machine does not detect them, later, the fabrics must be subjected to an adequate drying process .

3. Circular screen printing

The print design is marked so that it can be printed using a roller . This technique is mainly used on objects that have a round or circular shape.

What is it for

Silkscreen printing is a process used to make different types of prints, be they documents or images on a specific piece, which can be paper , cloth or plastic . It is a very useful process that can be used to create company logos, t-shirts, posters, advertisements, fabric prints, caps and much more.

How screen printing is done

Screen printing is done using a mesh that is attached to a frame tightly and securely. The ink is passed through this mesh applying a certain amount of pressure. The technique has the ability to block the passage of ink in places where there is no type of image, leading to the creation of clean and well-detailed prints.

What products can be screen printed

The materials or products that can be screen printed are many and range from paper to fabric , cardboard , plastics , ceramics , metals , round objects such as balls and bottles. In the case of fabrics, they can be synthetic or natural.


This technique has the ability to be able to print on different types of materials and on different types of shapes, circular , conical , flat and cubic . Printing can be done in specific places such as showcases, vehicles and doors, since it has the great advantage of not damaging the surfaces where it is placed. With it you can achieve vivid colors which are also resistant to water and the passage of time.

Different types of inks can be used and the process is relatively simple so it can be applied by anyone. It is a very economical and simple system to use since it requires little equipment, it is profitable and the duration of the process is short.


Screen printing could also face a number of disadvantages that must be taken into account. One of them may be that due to consecutive washing, the designs may lose some color . The time taken to produce the final products is usually quite long since the process takes longer than normal printing and, although different colors can be used , it is recommended to use a maximum of four . This technique can also be a little expensive for low quantity productions .


Silkscreen printing is important because it is a technique that allows the realization of different print jobs that are currently highly required by companies, either to promote businesses or to advertise in other areas. It is a widely used process for making labels, calendars, cards, key chains, balloon messages, posters, t-shirts, and pillow prints. All this can be done without the need for large printing machines, which, depending on the quantity, represents a significant saving in money.


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